To almost quote Wikipedia, ripping is the process of copying input audio or video content (typically from an optical disc such as a CD or DVD) and outputting to a "normal" storage filesystem. Ripping is typically more difficult than simple file copying (as when copying files from a flash drive or external hard drive) in that

Hence ripping audio or video involves at least 3 separate problems:

  1. reading the optical disc
  2. writing to the desired output format
  3. gathering (or authoring) metadata

Debian users have access to several software packages to assist with these problems.

ripping audio CDs

Popular CD rippers available in Debian include:

CD rippers not available in Debian include:


ripping audio CDs with pacpl

pacpl will rip tracks from the current disc to any of several supported formats with command-lines like:

pacpl --rip all --to flac
pacpl --rip 1,3,9,15 --to mp3

Install the pacpl package and read info pacpl (especially section=RIPPING OPTIONS).

ripping audio CDs to MP3s with Sound Juicer

If you want to rip audio CD's to MP3's with Sound Juicer, install the gstreamer1.0-plugins-ugly package.

ripping audio CDs to MP3s with abcde

abcde (A Better CD Encoder) is a performant and reliable command-line tool for ripping audio CDs which can be installed from packages. For much more information about abcde, see:

Modern versions of abcde come with logical defaults. An easy way to change the defaults is to copy /etc/abcde.conf to ~/.abcde.conf and edit the latter. Everything in the configuration file is commented out, so uncomment and change the values you want.

install abcde

Install abcde with your favorite package manager. abcde recommends and suggests many packages, consider looking at each package and installing the ones that you need.

running abcde

Put a CD in the CD reader of the system. Start abcde with abcde to execute with all the defaults and any configuration changes you have made. It will ask a few questions but then proceed to rip and save.

ripping video DVDs

See also

CategorySound CategoryVideo CategorySoftware