This is how I like to create digital copies (i.e., backups) of my physical DVD collection, which I own legitimately. I don’t condone piracy or theft.

Backup instructions

  1. Rip physical DVD media makemkv
  2. Transcode mkv to m4v container using Fast 1080p30 preset in handbrake. Passthrough UTF-8 subtitles if you like those.
  3. Copy to media backup server rsync --protect-args -av --progress Season8 "shnerg@ & Teller Bullshit/"


  • MakeMKV transcoder that deals with proprietary (and usually encrypted) disc into a set of MKV files
  • Handbrake general video transcoder

The C source is available as tarballs makemkv-bin-1.16.5.tar.gz and makemkv-oss-1.16.5.tar.gz. The Linux release includes full source code for MakeMKV GUI, libmakemkv multiplexer library and libdriveio MMC drive interrogation library.

You’ll need the GNU compile and linker, header and library files for following libraries: glibc, openssl-0.9.8, zlib, expat, libavcodec and qt5. You may use the following command to install all prerequisites on Debian-based system:

sudo apt-get install build-essential pkg-config libc6-dev libssl-dev libexpat1-dev libavcodec-dev libgl1-mesa-dev qtbase5-dev zlib1g-dev

Unpack both tarballs. Starting with makemkv-oss (source code):

sudo make install

For the makemkv-bin package:

sudo make install

The application will be installed as /usr/bin/makemkv

Optional: Build with latest libavcodec

Starting with version 1.8.6 MakeMKV links directly to libavcodec. Please note that most distributions ship a very outdated version of libavcodec (either from ffmpeg or libav projects). You will have to compile a recent ffmpeg (at least 2.0) if you need a FLAC encoder that handles 24-bit audio. You will have to enable libfdk-aac support in ffmpeg in order to use AAC encoder. Starting from version 1.12.1 DTS-HD decoding is handled by ffmpeg as well, so you would need a recent one. Here are generic instructions for building makemkv-oss with latest ffmpeg:

  1. Download ffmpeg tarball from
  2. Configure and build ffmpeg
./configure --prefix=/tmp/ffmpeg --enable-static --disable-shared --enable-pic

Or with libfdk-aac support:

./configure --prefix=/tmp/ffmpeg --enable-static --disable-shared --enable-pic --enable-libfdk-aac

Followed by a cheeky make install.

Configure and build makemkv-oss:

PKG_CONFIG_PATH=/tmp/ffmpeg/lib/pkgconfig ./configure
sudo make install
rm -rf /tmp/ffmpeg