We’ve covered how to play Blu-ray on Linux before, but that required ripping a movie and watching it later. You can use VideoLAN and a key file, but chances are 50/50 on whether or not it will work. Thankfully, huge advancements with Wine have been made in recent years, thanks largely to community modding and Valve’s work with Proton.
This now makes it possible to play Blu-ray discs on a Linux system simply by using Windows software through Wine. Nevertheless, this process can be something of a headache, which is where Lutris can save the day.
Before installing Lutris, the website recommends installing a recent version of Wine. We don’t have space to properly cover that here, but please see our guide on how to use Wine plus the website’s official installation instructions. For Ubuntu at least, installing Lutris also installs Wine, but this won’t be the same for all distros.
Although you can install programs through Lutris, it will be easier installing your programs through Wine first, then running their executables through Lutris. If you’re lucky, your file manager will have some kind of Wine integration allowing you to just click on a Windows program to launch it. Otherwise, you’ll have to do things the harder way by opening a terminal in the folder of your program and entering:
With Lutris in mind, when you’re installing each application, try to put them somewhere you can easily find them again. Don’t just click next, next, next. Wine’s C: drive is hidden under numerous sub-directories and will be a pain to retrieve later. A simple folder in your home directory (try browsing from the Z: drive) will make things much easier in the steps to come.
Of course, your Blu-ray player may run fine through Wine with no need for Lutris. If so, congratulations. However, it’s more likely you will have juddery performance. Lutris provides easy ways to boost performance, using specialized Wine builds and community modifications.
If you’ve never used Lutris, it’s a game management system based around “runners:” pre-configured programs that run games from within Lutris. For Windows programs, Lutris has a sizeable collection of Wine variants that can work independently of your system version – multiple versions can be used at once, and you can even use Proton if Steam is installed.
To get started, first you’ll need Wine runners. Depending on your version, the main menu should be somewhere around the top left: click “Lutris -> Manage runners.”
A new window will appear. Scroll down the list until you find the Wine entry, then click “Manage versions.” This will open a new window with a list of Wine versions, each with its own tweaks. Grab the newest main version first (lutris-5.7 at the time of writing), plus any of its variants for trying later. Click the check-box next to the entry to start the download.
Adding Your Player
Returning to the main screen, click the “Add Game” button to create a new menu entry (the + sign at the top of the window).
A new window will appear opened at the Game info tab. Give your entry a name and select Wine from the Runner list.
Select the Game options tab. For the Executable field, click Browse and select the .exe file of the Blu-ray program you installed.
If you open the Runner options tab, you can select your Wine/Proton version and the three most important options for performance: Enable DXVK, Enable VKD3D, and Enable Esync.
Each of these options can make a huge difference to playback but can also kill compatibility. It’s best to start with the newest Lutris build of Wine, with all options disabled. If your Blu-ray player works when launched, performance will probably be lousy, but at least you have a good starting point. Click Save, which will take you back to the main screen.
Try testing your Blu-ray app by either double-clicking on the entry or pressing the Play button. The first time you run Wine through Lutris you’ll get some Wine configuration pop-ups, asking to “Download Mono and Gecko components.” It’s best to just run through them and let them download – they won’t be there next time, and you may encounter errors without them.
Finally, your app will try to run. If nothing happens, don’t panic: some different options may get it working. Right-click on your app’s Lutris entry and choose Configure. Open the Runner options tab and try another version of Wine or a version of Proton. Click Save and try again.
If playback was halting or juddery, try enabling Esync. The DXVK and VKD3D options will help with hardware acceleration if supported. It’s likely one or more of these options will stop your player from working, but the right combination will get you closer to solid Blu-ray performance.
From a random pick of free players, we had varying amounts of success with Leawo, PotPlayer (32-bit), Aurora, and Free Blu-ray Player. Our best luck was with Leawo, using lutris-fshack-5.7 and DXVK disabled.
A Bright Future
Whether you have success or not, Blu-ray playback under Linux is now a much more optimistic prospect. As Valve continues to improve Proton, this code is feeding back into Wine, which in turn increases Windows compatibility. As the months pass, hardware and driver support should also improve, adding to the prospect of easy Blu-ray playback for everyone.
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