DVD Burning

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Summary help replacing me
An overview of DVD writing tools and methods.
DVD Playing
DVD Ripping
DVD Burning
Related articles
CD Burning Tips

Writing (or "burning") DVDs requires a different approach than burning CDs. DVDs offer much higher capacities, and the standard CD writing tools will not suffice.

This HOWTO covers a narrow scope for now: writing data onto DVDs using the command line.

Required packages

  1. You still need the standard CD writing tools known as Template:Package AUR (which can be replaced by Template:Package Official, if desired).
  2. You also need the new DVD writing tools known as Template:Package Official found in the Official Repositories.
Note: Do not install the package known as Template:Package Official. It conflicts with Template:Package AUR, and Template:Package Official is the superior DVD writing package.
Tip: If you wish to use a graphical front-end, install Template:Package Official or Template:Package Official, and you need to read no further.


This HOWTO will use the command Template:Codeline from the Template:Package Official package. If you have ever written CDs from the command line before, you will know the process of first creating an iso9660 file (Template:Codeline), and then burning it to CD (Template:Codeline). Template:Codeline merges these steps, so you do not need extra storage space for the ISO file anymore. Another advantage is that multisession writing has been simplified.


Essentially, writing a new DVD follows this procedure:

$ growisofs -Z /dev/cdrw -r -J /path/to/files

where Template:Filename is your DVD writer device.

To continue a DVD (write an additional session), you use:

$ growisofs -M /dev/cdrw -r -J /path/to/files

To burn an ISO image to disc, use:

$ growisofs -dvd-compat -Z /dev/cdrw=/path/to/iso

To create a video DVD, use the following (NOTE: rather than using Template:Filename directly, consider Template:Filename or even just plain Template:Filename):

$ growisofs -Z /dev/sr0 -dvd-video /path/to/video
start at the beginning of the DVD using the following device
start after the last session on the disc using the following device
Rock Ridge support with sane permission settings (recommended, extended Unix info)
Joliet support (recommended, extended info for Windows NT and Windows 95)
Note: Template:Codeline will choose different permissions than the real ones; to use the exact permissions use Template:Codeline instead. See the man page of Template:Codeline for more information.
Tip: If you want to copy an existing DVD, one way that works is to make an ISO using Template:Codeline:
$ readcd -v dev=/dev/cdrw -f image.iso
as per CD Burning Tips, then use the Template:Codeline example above to burn the ISO to a new blank disc.


Although the above might suffice for you, some users require extra settings to successfully write DVDs.

A simple DVD writing template:

$ growisofs -Z /dev/cdrw -v -l -dry-run -iso-level 3 -R -J -speed=2 -joliet-long -graft-points /files/=/path/to/files/
as seen above, this starts a new DVD; to continue a multisession DVD, use Template:Codeline
increase verbosity level (more output)
breaks DOS compatibility but allows for longer filenames
simulate writing (remove this flag if you are sure that everything is set up correctly)
defines how strict you want to adhere to the iso9660 standard (Template:Codeline is very strict while Template:Codeline is very loose)
see above
see above
start burning at 2X speed
allows longer Joliet file names

The final part needs more explanation:

-graft-points /files/=/path/to/files/

This specifies that files will be stored in the subdirectory Template:Filename rather than the DVD root. See the Template:Codeline manual for details.

Note: Template:Codeline is basically just a front-end to Template:Codeline. That means that any option for Template:Codeline also works with Template:Codeline. See the Template:Codeline man page for details.

Re-writable DVDs

The process for burning re-writable discs is almost the same as for normal DVDs. However, keep in mind that virgin DVD+RW media needs to be initially formatted ("blanked") prior to usage. Blanking can be done using the program Template:Codeline like this:

$ dvd+rw-format /dev/cdrw

where Template:Filename is your DVD writer device.


Permission denied

If you encounter a permissions error, make sure that you are a member of the group "optical":

# usermod -aG optical username

after which you will have to log off and then log on again.

Note: Template:Codeline will not run via sudo.