CD Burning

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This document outlines the process of granting permissions to access specific CD reading and burning devices, and the commands needed to burn CDs. It does not outline the various GUI tools available, just mentions them.

Install cd-burning utilities

# pacman -Sy cdrtools

And if you intend to use cdrdao (for writing cue/bin files to cd)

# pacman -S cdrdao

Setting permissions

Users that should be able to use cd/dvd burning devices must have permissions to access the devices. If you are using udev (which is default in archlinux kernels), you only need to add the user(s) to the optical group:

# gpasswd -a <username> optical

Erasing CD-RW

CD-RW media usually need to be erased before you can write new data on it. To blank cd-rw medium use this command (replace /dev/hdc with the name of your recording device):

cdrecord -v dev=/dev/hdc -blank=fast

As you might have guessed, this blanks your medium really fast, but you can also use some other options, just replace the word fast with one of the following:

blank the entire disk
blank the entire disk
blank the entire disk
minimally blank the entire disk (PMA, TOC, pregap)
minimally blank the entire disk (PMA, TOC, pregap)
blank a track
unreserve a track
blank a track tail
unclose last session
blank last session

Burning an iso-image

To burn an iso-image run (replace /dev/hdc with the name of your recording device):

cdrecord -v dev=/dev/hdc isoimage.iso

Burning a bin/cue

To burn a bin/cue image run (replace /dev/hdc with the name of your recording device):

cdrdao write --device /dev/hdc image.cue

Making an iso-image from an existing cd

To copy an existing cd just type (replace /dev/hdc with the name of your recording device):

dd if=/dev/hdc of=/home/user/isoimage.iso

or even simpler:

cat /dev/hdc > isoimage.iso

Or use readcd program, also in the cdrtools package

readcd -v dev=/dev/hdc -f isoimage.iso

If the original cd was bootable it will be a bootable image.

Making an iso-image from existing files on harddisk

To make an iso-image just copy the needed files to one folder, then do a

mkisofs -V volume_name -J -r -o isoimage.iso ~/folder

Mounting an iso-image

To test if the iso image is proper, you can mount it:

mount -t iso9660 -o ro,loop=/dev/loop0 cd_image /cdrom

Alternative: Setting up K3B

This is a lazy man's way of setting up burning privileges.

  • Install k3b with pacman.
# pacman -Sy k3b
  • As root, run k3bsetup,
  • Your choice to use a burning group or not.

Alternative: Setting up Gnomebaker

This a nice solution if you're using Gnome:

  • Install gnomebaker with pacman.
# pacman -Sy gnomebaker

Alternative: Setting up Graveman

Graveman is a simple solution and it is almost dependancy free.

  • Install graveman with pacman.
# pacman -Sy graveman
  • As root, run graveman, go to menu File > Preferences... > Devices and add your CD burners.
  • Note that you may have to manually add your own device in Graveman's preferences and point it at /dev/cdrom instead of /dev/hdc

Bad CD-R Message

I wanted to add this, it happened when I tried to burn to a clunky CD, or one already written to.

Performing OPC...
wodim: Cannot get next writable address for 'invisible' track.
wodim: This means that we are checking recorded media.
wodim: This media cannot be written in streaming mode anymore.
wodim: If you like to write to 'preformatted' RW media, try to blank the media  first.
wodim: Cannot get next writable address.