How to get Blurays to play on Manjaro

I had to set this up for my wife recently and in doing so I became aware of how much of a hassle it is to do under Linux.

This guide is for Manjaro Linux, but I imagine it would work for other distributions as well, by changing the install commands to be for your distribution.

Okay, so here we go.


  1. A bluray drive in your PC (can be external)
  2. Manjaro Linux installed and updated
  3. Internet connection
  4. A Bluray movie

Installing dependencies

Manjaro should already have VLC installed, but I will include it in this command anyway to be on the safe side. To install the needed software, you need to install VLC, libaacs, aribb24 and MakeMKV. We can do this in Manjaro by running these two commands:

sudo pacman -S vlc aribb24

pamac build makemkv makemkv-libaacs

Installing required config and database files

We then need the keydb.cfg file, so aacs knows what to do.

This can be downloaded from FindVUK Online. I usually just go for the english file. Once you have downloaded and unpacked it, you need to place it inside ~/.config/aacs. If the folder does not exist, create it, then place the keydb.cfg in it.

Setting up MakeMKV

MakeMKV is a closed source tool, that can be used to decrypt blurays. It's usually used to "rip" the Bluray to the harddrive as an MKV file, therefore the name. But in our case, we just need to use it's decryption stuff, not the application itself. But to use this functionality, we need to register the application. This is free as long as the application is in Beta stage (it's been that for 11 years now) and the current registration key can always be found in this forum post. The key is usually valid for a month at a time, so you likely need to do this part every month.

Copy the key from the forum post.
Open up MakeMKV. Go to Help -> Register and paste in the key. The application will tell you how long the key is valid for. Press "Okay" and close the application.

Playing the Bluray with VLC

We have now got all the pieces in place to be able to play Bluray.

To play a bluray in VLC you need to do the following:

  1. Insert Bluray disc
  2. Open VLC
  3. Go to File -> Open Disc
  4. Select Bluray and select "No Disc Menus"
  5. Click "Play" at the bottom and it should now start playing the primary title on the Bluray.

If you get an error that the disc is corrupted or something like it, you might need to first "open" a bluray with MakeMKV to enable the decryption module.

This can be done like this:

  1. Open MakeMKV while a bluray is inserted
  2. After it's done loading simply press the big "Open Disc" icon in the middle
  3. When that's done, you can close MakeMKV and the movie should now be playable in VLC.