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Making DVDs with DeVeDe in Linux

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DeVeDe is a great way to create DVDs quickly and easily. You won't be able to make fancy menus, but sometimes you want to just pop in a DVD and have it play.

DeVeDe should be available in your distribution's repositories. If it's not, or if you want the newest version, you can download it from the DeVeDe homepage. Installation is easy. In a terminal enter the directory you downloaded DeVeDe to and unpack it with tar xvjf devedefilename. Enter the directory created with cd devededirectoryname and type ./install.sh  as root. Ubuntu users will use sudo ./install.sh then type their password. Others will first su, enter their password, then type ./install.sh. The install script will install DeVeDe and create a menu entry.

When you first open DeVeDe you are given the option of choosing different discs to create. Select Video DVD.

Under Files on the top right of the window, click Add.

Now click the Forward button in the lower right corner.

Select the file you want to convert. You also need to select the video format here. It defaults to PAL/SECAM, which is used in Europe, so if you live in North America you'll want to change this to NTSC.

Click OK. You will see a Disc usage bar showing how much disc space the movie will take. This bar is lying to you. DeVeDe always seems to overestimate how large the final file will be. A single two or three hour movie should almost always fit on a single 4.7 GB DVD.

Now we want to choose how the converted file will be saved. Choose Only convert film files to compliant MPEG files if you want to save the file as an MPEG-2 file and author it with another program such as DVDStyler to add menus. I've shown how to use DVDStyler in my article Making DVDs in Linux.

Create disc structure will make a VIDEO_TS and AUDIO_TS folder with the VOB video files necessary to create a DVD. These can be used by a disc burning program to make a DVD.

We're going to Create an ISO or BIN/CUE image, ready to burn to a disk. Click that option, then click Forward.

Select where you want the image saved, and name it. Click OK.

DeVeDe will now spend some time transcoding the movie and creating the disc image. Time to have some dinner, watch TV, or have a nap.

Once it's done we have to burn the image to a DVD. In Gnome it's really easy. Just open up Nautilus, the file manager, find the iso image, right click it, and select Write to Disc.

It's almost as easy in KDE. Find the iso file in Konqueror, right click it, go to Actions and then select Write CD Image with K3B. When K3B pops up, click Start.

That's it. In a few minutes you'll have a shiny DVD ready to play. I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any suggestions or problems by emailing me or leaving a comment.

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About Steve R.

  • Quincy Knight

    Great help… Got as I read this!!!!

  • Migel

    Hi! I have been using Deeveedee for a couple of weeks successfully and finally finished my first pack of dvd discs. However, when I bought my second pack deeveedee would not burn on it and just ejects the disc with an error message of “unknown error”. Both are Memorex DVD-R 16x, 4.7Gb, 120 mins. Anyone has any idea what could be going wrong?

  • Alan Gill

    Could you please explain how I can make several menus as I have 39 dance tracks and the present menu only holds 10 tracks. I am using Ubuntu 10.04.

  • Greg

    Looks very useful. As I write this I am in the process of creating a disk structure. Once that is done can I use the results to burn to a DVD without having to go through all the coding again?
    a) Nautilus but tell it to make an ISO DVD?
    b) use mkisofs then tell Nautilus?


    kilgore — same for me. only i dont have a mac on hand so im SOL.

  • kilgore

    I followed instructions to the letter. devede and K3b. MAcbookPro plays the disk. Blueray(sony) says wrong format as does another regular dvdplayer. So I used Toast(on the mac)..no problems. I wante d to use Ubuntu, becase it is hardwired to net. Now I have to copy avis to laptop(Macbook)

  • Steve

    Brenda, is that the .iso file that you burn to your DVD with K3B,as mentioned in the guide? Just a thought.
    Kind regards Steve

  • brenda

    ok, i follow the steps one by one, but when devede finishes creating the file it does show like an image of a little disk it shows a little square, is that ok or im missing something?

  • marinegundoctor

    Oh, and DeVeDe does not give the option of creating a 4.37GB iso either. only 1.7, 4.7, 8.5 for DVD. I am using DeVeDe 3.11 on Intrepid.

  • marinegundoctor

    Well I can not figure out why Ubuntu (8.10) can not burn a 4.6GB iso onto a DVD when Windows XP can. I have read all the “dvd is really 4.37Gb” and the differences between Giga and Giba-bytes. That does not explain why windows can burn the same iso to DVD and Ubuntu can not.

  • scooter 1

    hi i was wondering why when i choose the bin / iso option it breaks the video into 3 files but an iso should only be one file for an image …. i dont get it it is seperating it into an xml document a mpg file and a a menu mpg file ?

  • Bodhisattva

    This is exactly how I did it and works great! Thankyou … only thing I am confused is how to put movies split into two parts on one dvd , well thanks Steve (Hemp for Rope)

  • d

    uh there 4.7

  • bliffle


    The basic problem is that there are a bewildering array of DVD formats with various degrees of inter-format compatibility. So you can burn a DVD that will work on one set of players and not on another!

    Through experience and experimentation I have found the set of parameters that works 99% of the time for me and the set of players that I have to target. YMMV.

    Next time I burn a good movie DVD with devede I’ll save the session parameters and publish them here. They may even work for you.

    But a warning: I always burn for PAL/SECAM because sometimes I use them in Europe, and all the USA players I experience handle that format OK, too.

    Some DVD players are quirky. the player I have in my thinkpad T60 at this moment will play DVD movies just fine, but for some reason it won’t even recognize a data DVD that I tried to load on it.

    I’ve also burned a lot of DVD movies with Windows XP and various burners there, and it’s no less of a problem. Overall, devede seems to work much smoother, simpler and reliable than various XP programs, like Nero.

  • drewbert

    the disks won’t play in my dvd player, and i definitely used the right format. what’s the deal?

  • lauren

    hi. good article. im using os and iv found that wen i click on the make ready to burn to disk button or whatever, it doesnt make a iso file or image file but 2 mpeg files and an xml file… what do i do with these do they just burn as a movie or is there another step i need to take… its made from an avi file.

  • Matt

    Awesome article. Thank you for putting this together.

  • eclectica

    I just want to say that K9 Copy is better than DVD95 for its quality. Also the so-called 4.7 GB discs are actually 4.38 GB in size.

  • Pizpot

    Let me add, that in Ubuntu7.10 with Devede 2.13 (as comes normally), I am getting the “maybe out of disk space” error. I happened to type “devede -version” at the prompt, which is invalid, but it told me temp folder is /var/tmp so I think aha it wouldn’t have said that if I couldn’t change it. Sure enough, there is a hidden .devede text file in my home folder with that line. I changed it to another drive with 125 GB and it will work I hope. (/media/hda4/devede_temp/ note the slash at the end!)

    I haven’t tried the cure yet but I have high hopes.

  • jgn

    Hi Caelos, If you want to make a smaller file, just put a lower bitrate. By default, when you want to create a DVD it use 5000 Kbits/sec. Just start lowering this value and you will see the new space this will need.

  • jgn

    Hi bliffle. I had the same problem on Ubuntu Festy. It seems that the version of DeVeDe that Ubuntu install has a bug.

    What I did was to install the Ubuntu DeVeDe version (so I could get the dependences), then uninstall it (just DeVeDe, not the dependences) and then I installed the latest version (3.1b) and now I can create the DVD.

  • rirruto

    Got this error message: “Failed to create the DVD tree; maybe you don’t have enough space.” Also, when I go to burn DVD I get two options: burn as data or image. Which should I choose?

  • Caelos,

    “dvd95” does it, and there’s a linux version of dvdshrink.

  • Carlos

    Is there a way to make sure the video will fit on a dvd 4.7GB? I’m converting a file but it makes 4.8GB and cannot fit on my dvd. Is there some setting to insure I can fit this file?

  • Eduardo

    I’ll try to write in english sorry for my english!

    1.- open devede
    2.- select video dvd
    3.- add files (your movie) it opens file properties select your movies and open option advance in the section Misc, write the next sentence in the textbox extra parameters for mencoder :

    -sub /home/subtitulo.srt -subcp enca:es:latin1

    where /home/subtitulo.srt is your subtitle.

  • felipecapelo

    hey man hoy are you, do you know how to put subtitles, i allready download the subtitles but i dont know how to put them in the dvd, do you know how?

  • Gustavo

    hi, it will be good if you speak about the advanced options, because its not function for me. And its difficult to find an article about DeVeDe in internet, even in the program homepage.