CD Burning

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This document outlines various methods of burning CDs.

Commandline CD-burning

Install cd-burning utilities

# pacman -Sy cdrkit

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 Arch Linux kernels), you only need to add the user(s) to the optical group:

# gpasswd -a <username> optical

Then don't forget to log out and log in again.

Modifying the CD-RW

For the remainder of this section the name of your recording device is assumed to be /dev/cdrw. If that is not the case, modify the commands accordingly. In order to write to the CD it needs to be unmounted. If it is not, wodim will give you an error message.

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:

$ wodim -v dev=/dev/cdrw -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:

$ wodim -v dev=/dev/cdrw isoimage.iso

Burning an audio cd

1. Create your audio tracks and store them as uncompressed, 16-bit stereo .wav files.

2. Name the audio files in a manner that will cause them to be listed in the desired track order when listed alphabetically, such as 01.wav, 02.wav, 03.wav ... etc.

3. Use the following command to burn the wav files as an audio CD:

$ wodim -v -pad speed=1 dev=/dev/cdrw -dao -swab *.wav

Burning a bin/cue

To burn a bin/cue image run:

$ cdrdao write --device /dev/cdrw image.cue

Making an iso-image from an existing cd

To copy an existing cd just type:

$ dd if=/dev/cdrw of=/home/user/isoimage.iso

or even simpler:

$ cat /dev/cdrw > isoimage.iso

Or use readcd program, also in the cdrkit package

$ readcd -v dev=/dev/cdrw -f isoimage.iso

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

TOC/CUE/BIN for Mixed-mode disks

ISO images only store a single data track. If you want to create an image of a mixed-mode disk (data track with multiple audio tracks) then you need to make a TOC/BIN pair

$ cdrdao read-cd --read-raw --datafile IMAGE.bin --driver generic-mmc:0x20000 --device /dev/cdrom IMAGE.toc

Some software only likes CUE/BIN pair, you can make a CUE sheet with toc2cue (part of cdrdao)

$ toc2cue IMAGE.toc IMAGE.cue

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 (as root):

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

You have to first load the loop module:

# modprobe loop

Converting to iso-image

To convert a .img / ccd image, you can use ccd2iso :

# pacman -Sy ccd2iso

$ ccd2iso /home/archman/image.img /home/archman/image.iso

Burning CDs with a GUI

There are several applications available to burn CDs in a graphical environment. The use of these programs are self-explanatory.

Nero Linux

Just the same Nero on windows. Official link|AUR package

It's not free and the UI is not as good as the windows version. Also, 3.0.0 beta can't burn bootable cd from files correctly.

If you happen to have a DVD-burner unsupported by dvd+rw-tools (which also means k3b and all other free GUIs), nero would be your only choice.


According to, k3b is "The CD/DVD Kreator for Linux - optimized for KDE". K3B uses the QT toolkit.

  • Install k3b with pacman.
# pacman -Sy k3b
  • As root, run k3bsetup,
  • Here you can set up your preferences about permissions etc.
  • Run k3b to run the main program.

About Locale

When running K3B, if the following message appears

System locale charset is ANSI_X3.4-1968
Your system's locale charset (i.e. the charset used to encode filenames) is 
set to ANSI_X3.4-1968. It is highly unlikely that this has been done intentionally.
Most likely the locale is not set at all. An invalid setting will result in
problems when creating data projects.Solution: To properly set the locale 
charset make sure the LC_* environment variables are set. Normally the distribution 
setup tools take care of this.

It means that your locale is not set well.

To fix it,

  • Remove /etc/locale.gen
# rm /etc/locale.gen
  • Re-install glibc
# pacman -Sy glibc
  • Edit /etc/locale.gen, uncommenting all lines lines that corresponds to your language AND the en_US options, for compatibility.
# nano /etc/locale.gen
en_US.UTF-8 UTF-8
en_US ISO-8859-1
  • Re-generate the profiles with locale-gen
# locale-gen
Generating locales...
en_US.UTF-8... done
en_US.ISO-8859-1... done
pt_BR.UTF-8... done
pt_BR.ISO-8859-1... done
Generation complete.

More info here

K3B says that there's no Burning Devices

A common cause of this is the current user have no privileges for that. You can try to:

  • Add the user to the group optical (remember to re-login after this)
# gpasswd -a <user> optical
  • Set permissions to devices
# chmod 777 /dev/dvd*
# chmod 777 /dev/cd*
  • Make sure HAL is running, because recent k3b is HAL-based. Kindly reported by arnuld@ #archlinux.
# /etc/rc.d/hal status
# /etc/rc.d/hal start

Or perhaps consider adding a hal entry in your /etc/rc.conf so that it automatically loads upon boot.

Other causes, steps, look on the current guide (;


Gnomebaker is a solution to CD burning if you are using Gnome. Gnomebaker is no longer maintained upstream as the author of the program has indicated. Consider using Brasero instead.

  • Install gnomebaker with pacman.
# pacman -Sy gnomebaker
  • Run gnomebaker to run the main program.


Brasero is another solution to CD burning if you are using Gnome.

  • Install brasero with pacman.
# pacman -Sy brasero
  • Run brasero to run the main program.


Graveman is a simple and almost dependency-free application for burning CDs.

  • Install graveman with pacman.
# pacman -Sy graveman
  • Run graveman as a regular user to create the configuration file in ~/.config/graveman/graveman.conf (if you run graveman as root first, the permissions for this file will be wrong).
  • Now, in graveman, go to menu File > Preferences... > Devices and add your CD burners (If necessary, run graveman as root). Devices may already be set up correctly.
  • 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


Alternatively theres also Bashburn in AUR as a semi-gui solution. BashBurn is the new name for the cd burning shell script Magma. It's not the best looking CD-burning application out there, but it does what you want it to do.


Xfburn is a simple CD/DVD burning tool based on libburnia libraries. It can blank CD-RWs, burn and create iso images, as well as burn personal compositions of data to either CD or DVD. It Is currently under heavy development.

It can be found in the Extra Repository.

  • Install Xfburn with pacman.
# pacman -Sy xfburn


Recorder is a graphical frontend of cdrkit/cdrtools, cdrdao, mkisofs and growisofs. It aims to be simple and easy to use, free of large configurations and useless options, following the KISS principle and offering a disc burning of quality, nothing more.


PATA and SATA problems around 2.6.20/2.6.21

For some kernels on some machines, CD burning works very unreliably. This is not fully diagnosed but appears to be related to DMA and having SATA Hard Drives and older IDE CD/DVD Burners and is possibly more prevalent on PIIX Motherboards. On newer kernels there is a new driver whereby the CD/DVD Burner behaves as if it is a SCSI drive, even though it isn't.

The symptom for this problem is an almost total refusal to burn anything at all. It 'seems' to work fine, but if you verify the burn it invariably fails. If this is happening to you and you have an IDE burner try this fix.

You will need to install mkinitcpio as described here,Configuring_mkinitcpio so you can rebuild the kernel. You now need to reconfigure your /etc/mkinitcpio.conf file to reuse the old IDE drivers.

# gedit /etc/mkinitcpio.conf

Find the line:

MODULES="ata_generic ata_piix"

and change it to (insert piix in the front)

MODULES="piix ata_generic ata_piix"

Then, find the line:

HOOKS="base udev autodetect pata scsi sata usbinput keymap filesystems"

and change that to: (replace pata with ide)

HOOKS="base udev autodetect ide scsi sata usbinput keymap filesystems"

Use mkinitcpio to rebuild the kernel as described in it's own wiki page, and reboot. In brief:

# mkinitcpio -g /boot/kernel26.img