It’s a bit like “how does one prevent viruses on linux” or “How does one replace the distributor cap on a diesel”? It simply does not apply. In the corporate licensed (locked) world, Windows cannot and will not afford the cost of unlocking DVD’s for every potential user and purpose, so it falls to individual applications to decode DVD’s for playing. Much of the cost of PowerDVD and its ilk comes from proprietary CSS libraries that are incorporated into the program itself. Newer DVD’s require installation of a special program to handle this on a disk-specific basis.
AnyDVD and DVD43 remove CSS protection so that ideally any software package will have access to the contents of any disk. If encryption is updated, only your decryption program needs to be updated, and only a small part of it, not the collection of other programs you’ve got installed already.
This is clearly the simplest solution, though ultimately expensive and legally muddy. The makers of these programs are daily faced with the decision of paying protection fees to content owners to reassure them that they’re being reimbursed for the possibility of illegal DVD copying, or just ignoring their protecion fees altogether, and risking litigation ala DeCSS.
Under Windows, Microsoft retains ultimate control, and no one risks going rogue because along with lawsuits, content owners can simply require Microsoft to shut down a particular program in its next Windows Update. Linux has no such central authority. There is, generally speaking, no one to sue, no one to file an injunction against, no one to threaten. Having a centralized decryption library makes the most sense, and is the simplest solution for DVDs.
libdvdcss accomplishes this, so once it’s installed, it’s as though DVD43 or AnyDVD is always running. By the same token, without libdvdcss, all encrypted dvd’s will appear broken in all programs. We don’t worry about some Hollywood movie conspiracy making a virus to disable libdvdcss, because the thought of allowing anyone else to run our systems, including a virus, is just silly. Additionally, so is the notion of having to install anything proprietary to do anything else.
Actually, you’ll find Ubuntu a good starting place, if nothing else because there’s a simple how-to for just about everything. And everyone is terribly kind about posting commands to use. They’re governed by a community of people who want you to succeed because they want Ubuntu to succeed, so malicious users are few and far between, and rigorously persecuted.
The short of it is that if you’ve got linux on your system and want to [make coffee automatically, change the channel on your tv, send an email] there’s a means of doing so and a how-to as well.
Except for DirectX gaming.