The acidrip utility gives you access to many of the common mencoder functions so you can use a GUI to rip and encode a DVD to a file.
As with many things under Linux, there are a number of ways to rip and encode a DVD. For instance, some people use the mencoder tool (part of the mplayer suite) with two-pass encoding to turn VOB files they have extracted from a DVD into an MPEG4 .avi file. This method works great; however, some people are turned off by the thought of doing encoding entirely from the command line. If you want to use mencoder to encode a DVD but would rather have a GUI, the acidrip utility provides you with a GUI interface for most of the major mencoder options you might want.
Before you install acidrip, follow the instructions in "Install Multimedia Plug-ins" [Hack #28] and "Play DVDs" [Hack #30] to make sure that you have all of the multimedia plug-ins you'll need. After that, use your preferred package manager to install the acidrip package (it's in the Multiverse subcategory); if you use apt-get, type:
sudo apt-get install acidrip
With acidrip installed, click
Applications→Sound and Video→Acidrip, or type
acidrip from the command line to start the
program. The default screen that greets you (see Figure 3-8) can be a bit intimidating at
first, because it has so many options. For basic ripping, however, there
are only a few options you need to worry about, and the nice thing is
that acidrip will remember your settings for next time. ...