July 22, 2011

Burning a CD or DVD using Command Line tools

This section details the use of the command line(terminal) to burn either a CD or DVD disk.

Creating an ISO image

A command called mkisofs can make an .ISO image to be burned or mounted.
  • genisoimage -r -J -o cd_image.iso /directory
The -r and -J ensures long file names work for Unix (using Rock Ridge) and Windows (using Joliet extensions) respectively.

Checking CD Images Before Burning

It's possible to check CD images before burning. The easiest way is to simply double-click on it from the file browser, which will view the image with the Archive Manager.
  • If you have sudo access, you can also mount the image, and explore its contents
    sudo modprobe loop
    sudo mount -t iso9660 -o ro,loop=/dev/loop0 cd_image.iso /media/cdrom
    Remember to unmount an image after checking:
    sudo umount /media/cdrom

Burning a CD on the Command Line with wodim

cdrecord can burn an ISO(.iso) disk image or other data onto a CD. To burn a data CD (using image prepared earlier):
First see where the CDROM/DVDROM is located. Something like this
  • $ wodim --devices
    wodim: Overview of accessible drives (1 found) :
    0 dev='/dev/scd0' rwrw-- : 'LITE-ON' 'DVDRW SOHW-1633S'
After finding the info. from device scanning, take the appropriate target. This is important if there are more than one device on the system.
In my case /dev/cdrw and /dev/dvdrw both point to /dev/scd0
  • $ ls -l /dev/cdrw
    lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 4 2009-01-26 21:56 /dev/cdrw -> scd0
    $ ls -l /dev/dvdrw
    lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 4 2009-01-26 21:56 /dev/dvdrw -> scd0
Hence one can use the following notation :-
  • wodim dev=/dev/cdrw -v -data cd_image.iso
    To burn an audio cd from wav files:
    wodim dev=/dev/cdrw -v -audio [wav files...]
    Replace /dev/cdrw as needed if this is not your CD-Writer
    -v (verbose) lets you track the recording progress

Blanking a CD/RW

To reuse a rewritable CD or DVD you first need to 'blank' the disk. This erases the old data and prepares the disk for new data.

Using wodim on "unsupported" drives

Sometimes Ubuntu fails to detect and configure your Burner. This results in "no media found" if you use 'wodim dev=/dev/cdrw'. Even 'wodim -scanbus' does not work - so you just don't know, how to address the drive. You can work around this by looking into the boot messages with dmesg, to identify the devicepath to your burner.
  • $ dmesg
    hdb: IDE DVD-ROM 16X, ATAPI CD/DVD-ROM drive
    hda: ATAPI 40X DVD-ROM DVD-R CD-R/RW drive, 2000kB
Ok so we know, it is hda.
  • Now you can burn on this drive using:
    wodim dev=ATAPI:/dev/hda -data -v -eject your_data.iso

Burning a DVD or Blu-Ray Disc

  • Install the dvd+rw-tools package. See [InstallingSoftware].
  • Use the packages growisofs application to burn a DVD or Blu-Ray disc.
growisofs -Z /dev/dvdrw -R -J /some/files

growisofs -speed=2 -dvd-compat -Z /dev/dvdrw=dvd_image.iso

Note that -dvd-compat closes the disk in write-once context (DVD+R or DVD-R).
Add additional sessions by using
  • growisofs -M /dev/dvdwriter additionaldata

Blanking DVD+RW discs

dvd+rw-format -blank /dev/cdrw

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