HD DVD steps with linux: read the disk, stupid

I recently bought a Acer 5920 to replace my old Dell 510. I went for a machine with more clout this time, since I sometimes use it for work. It came with Vista Home Premium, but I installed Gentoo on the spare partition, and spend most of my time there. They co-exist without problems.

One of the features of the laptop is a HD-DVD drive. I don’t have any HD-DVDs, so I never used it until I was lent one. Vista, I thought, was the obvious choice. Pre-installed, Vista has a player, so I started it up, and it played the movie (although it wouldn’t play it on the TV via s-video – incompatible video device).

I returned to the movie to finish watching it. Restarted Vista. It wouldn’t boot. I got a blue screen, and was re-directed to a system repair menu. It didn’t work; so I have an outstanding service request with Acer.

What about linux? I started googling, my suspicion that HD-DVD under linux might be – “less mature” – was correct. People have watched HD-DVDs under linux; just not very easily. I fell at the first hurdle. I needed udf version 2.50; but my kernel, 2.6.25, didn’t have it; I have to patch the kernel.

A patched kernel is building as I type, although I needed to get (from the european mirror). The udf patch was a little more difficult to track down.

More details and progress reports later.

Useful links:
the udf patches


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