What is the best way to play blu-ray / BDMV movies?


  1. What is the best apps/ways to play/watch blu-ray movies with Qubes?
    (I often have a blu-ray folder with BDMV inside and drop it to PowerDVD on Windows at the moment)
  2. What do you use for this and why?
  3. Are there any quality differences between watching blu-ray with Qubes and with Windows(I’m currently using PowerDVD on Windows)?


1 Like


For multimedia, I boot a standard linux from a sd card / usb / second drive / dual boot.

Doing so, I have:

  • better battery / less heat
  • hardware acceleration
  • no tearing
  • multimedia control

Not specific to bluray movies, but I find two things about qubesos which make it a poor choice for watching long-duration videos:

  1. the mouse cursor doesn’t disappear from the screen, so you are forced to notice it during a movie session
  2. the screen-lock doesn’t notice that your media qube is playing a movie, and thus, the screen lock gets activated, shutting down your screen
1 Like

Are you saying it’s more convenient/easy for you or is it super hard/not possible to achieve with Qubes? Battery/heat and multimedia controls aren’t that important for me, but the rest is.

This can be avoided by enabling Presentation mode in Power Manager using tray icon.
But you need to enable/disable it manually and screensaver won’t activate if you need to go away urgently and forget/won’t have time to disable Presentation Mode.


Thanks for letting me know that, I didn’t even think about the screen-lock and the mouse. Is this something that is inherently related to Qubes or perhaps permissions for specific VM for the full-screen? Or desktop environment?

Damn! I wasn’t aware of this! Thanks for correcting me.

As far as I understand, the problem with mouse not disappearing during a full-screen media playing—this is specific to QubesOS.

1 Like

you could install in dom0 a program like unclutter to hide the cursor when inactive. It’s certainly packaged in fedora :slight_smile:

1 Like

If you don’t want to play directly in dom0, it’s impossible. If you read a highly compressed file, you better have a powerful CPU for decoding in real time without stuttering. I don’t have a bluray drive, I don’t know how it’s encoded.

Tearing may be present or not, I’m not sure where it comes from, but it’s not always present some maybe some hardware combination.

1 Like

I’m willing to go the same way you’re doing this, with two systems, but I’m afraid that I’ll need to transfer files from Qubes OS to the second OS physically, e.g. with USB drive, and that will be really problematic for me.
Can you please share your process of sharing files between Qubes OS and second OS you boot from, because as far as I get it(and I’m really hoping so), the second OS won’t have any access to Qubes’ files?

The files are on my NAS, so I don’t have this issue. I’d use an usb memory stick or some kind of shared external drive if I only had Qubes OS.


I have a script, that checks pulseaudio chans, and if sound is played, the script postpones xscreensaver. So, watching movies is never interrupted by screen lock, while idle working state and auto-locking works as usual.

About mouse cursor: just move it to the right bottom when movie started, it will be invisible. No problem to me.

Very much possible. One should not go though the pain of dualboot to watch videos.

The only real problem I see is performance. Qubes OS renders video in software mode, solely by CPU.
So, you should have modern CPU, give qube with the player multiple vCPUs for better performance.

And use the proper player, like smplayer (mpv-based or mplayer-based). Because some players, like totem or something that comes with gnome is playing video much slower and worse in software mode (lags with movies that mpv plays well). So, stick to smplayer, mpv, or mplayer. Can be installed from Fedora fusion.

I have modern Intel CPU that plays 4k without frame drops, but it works on the edge for it. If bitrate of the 4k file is higher that usual, it can drop frames. Blu-ray may be also demanding, I do not know for certain.

Also useful thread about video capabilities of Qubes OS, mostly regarding youtube:


To summarize it about performance:

  • My usual but modern PC plays 25GiB videos with the length of 1.5 hours quite well, without issues. Even at 2X speed (it doubles the bitrate and PC load).

you didn’t mention the CPU :slight_smile: