DVDs not ripping on OS X El Capitan, here’s the fix!

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OS X El Capitan

Apple are constantly updating and refining their Operating Systems non stop, and it’s sure not going to stop anytime soon, and that’s a good thing, but of course like everything, something always tends to give and here’s one example in Apple’s latest, as of this post, operating system being El Capitan.

Due to some new Security features featured in El Capitan, one of the most popular private APIs used to call DVDs for DVD ripping was disabled, this was the same on even some paid software, other than the most popular free method of using Handbrake and VLC in coalition. Codenamed “libdvdcss”, the API works perfectly fine on previous versions of OS X, but when El Capitan left beta and went public people instantly noticed issues. The biggest issue you’re likely to see, will be that DVDs with any regards of Copy Protection whatsoever, will either simply not rip at all, or rip with a layer on top of the image and sound garnering the resulting files unusable.

Such affects are of course deliberate by the companies in which produce such content which is kind of understandable, and whilst Apple do have close ties with Pixar, this isn’t the movies folks doing in this case it’s Apple’s, but actually with good intent. A piece of software as part of El Capitan called ‘System Integrity Protection’ is a benefit to users for many reasons on a deep security level, however the drawback of it’s blocking and in some cases uninstallation of certain private APIs, luckily however their is a fix and it’s rather straight forward and comes down to simply putting the software back on your Mac.

Re-installing the required API

Whilst the API is available to download online, the only way you can install it on El Capitan is by disabling OS X System Integrity Protection all together which has no benefit whatsoever, even if this is something you wish to do in the first place, but their is another way, and that’s by using a piece of software called Homebrew;

Homebrew is a software package manager build for the Mac which allows installation of certain APIs and functions to OS X either not made by Apple or all, or in this case re-installing an Apple API. To install packages such as APIs, naturally Homebrew needs to work through the deepest layer of OS X which naturally means through the Terminal.

Luckily however, if you’re not familiar with Terminal, they’ve made this very easy and we’ve a step by step guide on what you need to do to get this working for you;

1. Open Terminal and begin to Install Homebrew

Launch Terminal from either Spotlight using COMMAND+SPACE and typing Terminal, or through Applications > Utilities.

Once open, all you need to do is paste this in to Terminal using COMMAND+C to copy, and COMMAND+V to paste when back in Terminal, press ENTER once pasted in, when prompted to enter your Admin password*, this will then Install Homebrew, you should see confirmation of that (triple click below section to select, then copy);

ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)"

*1.5. Install required Software

In some cases after pushing ENTER on Step 1, your Mac may require to Install additional software, don’t worry this is normal. Simply leave it to go through the ‘Finding Software’ and ‘Installing Software’ window. This shouldn’t take any longer than 5 minutes.

Once the dialogue goes away, continue from Step 1 by entering your Admin password* and pushing ENTER, this should Install Homebrew

2. Install required API

The reason the DVDs aren’t ripping, as we mentioned before, is due to a missing API, where can you get that API? Right here in Homebrew. To install anything in Homebrew, what you would type in always starts with “brew install”, so to install an API such as the one we need, being the “libdvdcss” API, installing it couldn’t be easier, simply and easily paste the below command in Terminal, then push ENTER;

brew install libdvdcss

3. Things of note

Whilst installing the libdvdcss API, you should see confirmation of it downloading, and a final line including words such as ‘pouring’. Once this has finished, you can close Terminal and launch programs you were attempting on using to rip DVDs, whether our recommended solution of Handbrake and VLC or not, and now they should be working perfectly fine.


Any further questions, feel free to comment below and we’ll be happy to help you. Hope this helps anyone struggling with ripping on El Capitan.


*should you have no Admin password on your User Account on OS X, simply ENTER again

Published by R-Tech

R-Tech is the source of all the latest Technology posts on RKUK Media.

4 thoughts on “DVDs not ripping on OS X El Capitan, here’s the fix!

  1. I appreciate all the info here. I am still having some problems. I am not seeing confirmation of it downloading. I see the info below then nothing else.

    ==> Searching online for the Command Line Tools
    ==> /usr/bin/sudo /usr/bin/touch /tmp/.com.apple.dt.CommandLineTools.installondemand.in-progress
    brew install libdvdcss

    Please advise.

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