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Summary help replacing me
This document outlines various methods of burning, playing and ripping CD/DVDs.
Related Playing
Related Ripping

Optical disc drive


Install CD-burning utilities


cdrkit is a suite of programs for recording CDs and DVDs, blanking CD-RW media, creating ISO-9660 filesystem images, extracting audio CD data, and more. The programs included in the cdrkit package were originally derived from several sources, most notably mkisofs by Eric Youngdale and others, cdda2wav by Heiko Eissfeldt, and cdrecord by Jörg Schilling. However, cdrkit is not affiliated with any of these authors; it is now an independent project.

The cdrkit package is available in the official repositories.

If you intend to use cdrdao (for writing cue/bin files to CD), install that package instead.

  • If you face any issues with cdrkit, it is recommended to install cdrtools from the community repository (cdrkit is a fork of cdrtools). cdrtools is being actively developed and supports CD, DVD and Blu-ray burning along with complete CDRWIN cue/bin support. cdrtools does not depend on cdrdao. For more information, see this page from the cdrtools site
  • Make sure that you build a package using makepkg and install with pacman. Pacman wrappers may resolve to cdrkit instead

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.

If wodim gives you an error message similar too Cannot open SCSI driver!, use the following command:

$ modprobe sr_mod

You can try to let wodim locate your burning device with this command:

$ wodim -checkdrive

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:

$ cdrecord -v dev=/dev/sr0 isoimage.iso

Verify the burnt ISO image

You can verify the integrity of the burnt CD to make sure it contains no errors. Always eject the CD and reinsert it before verifying.

First calculate the md5sum of the original ISO image:

$ md5sum isoimage.iso
 e5643e18e05f5646046bb2e4236986d8 isoimage.iso

If the CD was burnt in DAO (Disc At Once) mode by passing the -dao option to cdrecord you can calculate the md5sum of the burnt CD as follows:

$ md5sum /dev/sr0
 e5643e18e05f5646046bb2e4236986d8 /dev/sr0

If the CD was burnt in TAO (Track At Once) mode it can be verified with dd and md5sum. You need to know the number of sectors to check. You can calculate this by dividing the size of the ISO file by 2048, but for your convenience this is included in the output of cdrecord:

Track 01: Total bytes read/written: 90095616/90095616 (43992 sectors).

Then check if this matches the md5sum of the burnt image, replacing "count" with the number of sectors:

$ dd if=/dev/sr0 bs=2048 count=43992 | md5sum
 43992+0 records in
 43992+0 records out
 90095616 bytes (90 MB) copied, 0.359539 s, 251 MB/s
 e5643e18e05f5646046bb2e4236986d8  -

Burning an audio CD

Create your audio tracks and store them as uncompressed, 16-bit stereo WAV files. To convert MP3 to WAV, ensure lame is installed, cd to the directoy with your MP3 files, and run:

$ for i in *.mp3; do lame --decode "$i" "$(basename "$i" .mp3)".wav; done

In case you get an error when trying to burn WAV files converted with lame try decoding with mpg123:

$ for i in *.mp3; do mpg123 --rate 44100 --stereo --buffer 3072 --resync -w $(basename $i .mp3).wav $i; done

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. Use the following command to simulate burning the wav files as an audio CD:

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

In case you detect errors or empty tracks like:

Track 01: audio    0 MB (00:00.00) no preemp pad

try another decoder (e.g. mpg123) or try using cdrecord from the cdrtools package. Note that cdrkit also contains a cdrecord command but it is just a softlink to wodim. If anything worked you can remove the dummy flag to really burn the CD

To test the new audio CD, use MPlayer:

$ mplayer cdda://

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:

$ readom -v dev=/dev/cdrw f=isoimage.iso
Note: If you get "Error trying to open /dev/cdrw exclusively (Device or resource busy)...", unmount the CD with
# umount /dev/cdrw
Replace /dev/cdrw with /dev/cdrom if it's a CDRom.

You do not want to use dd or cat as they provide no error checking, but for reference here are those commands:

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

or with cat:

$ cat /dev/cdrw > isoimage.iso

Or use the readcd program (which is now a symlink to readom), 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 hard disk

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

$ 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

See also Mounting images as user for doing this without root privileges.

Converting to an ISO image

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

$ ccd2iso ~/image.img ~/image.iso

DVD Burning

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 cdrtools (which can be replaced by cdrkit, if desired).
  2. You also need the new DVD writing tools known as dvd+rw-tools found in the official repositories.
Note: Do not install the package known as dvdrtools. It conflicts with cdrtools, and dvd+rw-tools is the superior DVD writing package.
Note: cdrtools provides all the functionality of dvd+rw-tools, as growisofs depends on mkisofs. Also the development of dvd+rw-tools seems to be stalled for the past 5 years (the last release was in 2008)
Tip: If you wish to use a graphical front-end, install k3b or brasero, and you need to read no further.


This HOWTO will use the command growisofs from the dvd+rw-tools package. If you have ever written CDs from the command line before, you will know the process of first creating an iso9660 file (mkisofs), and then burning it to CD (cdrecord). growisofs 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/sr0 -r -J /path/to/files

where /dev/sr0 is your DVD writer device.

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

$ growisofs -M /dev/sr0 -r -J /path/to/files

To burn an ISO image to disc, use:

$ growisofs -dvd-compat -Z /dev/sr0=/path/to/iso

To create a video DVD, use the following:

$ 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: -r will choose different permissions than the real ones; to use the exact permissions use -R instead. See the man page of mkisofs for more information.
Tip: If you want to copy an existing DVD, one way that works is to make an ISO using readcd:
$ readcd -v dev=/dev/sr0 -f image.iso
as per CD Burning Tips, then use the growisofs 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 -M
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)
-iso-level 3
defines how strict you want to adhere to the iso9660 standard (-iso-level 1 is very strict while -iso-level 4 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 /files rather than the DVD root. See the mkisofs manual for details.

Note: growisofs is basically just a front-end to mkisofs. That means that any option for mkisofs also works with growisofs. See the mkisofs 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 dvd+rw-format like this:

$ dvd+rw-format /dev/cdrw

where /dev/cdrw is your DVD writer device.

DVD Playing

DVD, also known as Digital Versatile Disc or Digital Video Disc, is an optical disc storage media format used for video and data storage.


If you wish to play encrypted DVDs, you must install the libdvd* packages:

Additionally, you must install player software. Popular DVD players are MPlayer, xine and VLC.

Tip: Users may need to belong to the optical group to be able to access the DVD drive. To add USERNAME to the optical group, run the following:
# gpasswd -a USERNAME optical
Do not forget to log the user out and back in for the changes to take effect. You can see your user's current groups with groups command.

DVD players

See also: List_of_Applications#Video_Players


MPlayer is efficient and supports a wide variety of media formats (i.e. almost everything). To play a DVD with MPlayer:

$ mplayer dvd://N

...where N is the desired chapter number. Start at 1 and work up if unsure.

Mplayer checks /dev/dvd by default. Tell it to use /dev/sr0 with the dvd-device option at the command line, or the dvd-device variable in ~/.mplayer/config.

To play a DVD image file:

$ mplayer -dvd-device movie.iso dvd://N

To enable the DVD menu use (NOTE: you use arrow keys to navigate and the Template:Keypress key to choose):

$ mplayer dvdnav://

To enable mouse support in DVD menus use:

$ mplayer -mouse-movements dvdnav://

To find the audio language, start MPlayer with the -v switch to output audio IDs. An audio track is selected with -aid <audio_id>. Set a default audio language by editing ~/.mplayer/config and adding the line alang=en for English.

With MPlayer, the DVD could be set to a low volume. To increase the maximum volume to 400%, use softvol=yes and softvol-max=400. The startup volume defaults to 100% of software volume and the global mixer levels will remain untouched. Using the 9 and 0 keys, volume can be adjusted between 0 and 400 percent.


MPlayer home page


vlc is a portable, capable, open source media player written in Qt (VLC home page).

Default in GNOME

Copy the system desktop file to the local one (local .desktop files supersede the global ones):

cp /usr/share/applications/vlc.desktop ~/.local/share/applications/

Define its mime types (known playback file type abilities) by doing:

sed -i 's|^Mimetype.*$|MimeType=video/dv;video/mpeg;video/x-mpeg;video/msvideo;video/quicktime;video/x-anim;video/x-avi;video/x-ms-asf;video/x-ms-wmv;video/x-msvideo;video/x-nsv;video/x-flc;video/x-fli;application/ogg;application/x-ogg;application/x-matroska;audio/x-mp3;audio/x-mpeg;audio/mpeg;audio/x-wav;audio/x-mpegurl;audio/x-scpls;audio/x-m4a;audio/x-ms-asf;audio/x-ms-asx;audio/x-ms-wax;application/vnd.rn-realmedia;audio/x-real-audio;audio/x-pn-realaudio;application/x-flac;audio/x-flac;application/x-shockwave-flash;misc/ultravox;audio/vnd.rn-realaudio;audio/x-pn-aiff;audio/x-pn-au;audio/x-pn-wav;audio/x-pn-windows-acm;image/vnd.rn-realpix;video/vnd.rn-realvideo;audio/x-pn-realaudio-plugin;application/x-extension-mp4;audio/mp4;video/mp4;video/mp4v-es;x-content/video-vcd;x-content/video-svcd;x-content/video-dvd;x-content/audio-cdda;x-content/audio-player;|' ~/.local/share/applications/vlc.desktop

Then in System Settings > Details >> Default Applications and on the Video drop-down menu, select Open VLC media player.}}


A lightweight media player supporting DVD menus.

xine home page

DVD ripping

Ripping is the process of copying audio or video content to a hard disk, typically from removable media or media streams.[1]

Often, the process of ripping a DVD can be broken down into two subtasks:

  1. Data extraction - Copying the audio and/or video data to a hard disk
  2. Transcoding - Converting the extracted data into a suitable format

Some utilities perform both tasks, whilst others focus on one aspect or the other.


dvdbackup is used simply for data extraction, and does not transcode. This tool is useful for creating exact copies of encrypted DVDs in conjunction with libdvdcss or for decrypting video for other utilities unable to read encrypted DVDs.


dvd::rip is a front-end to transcode, used to extract and transcode on-the-fly.

The following packages should be installed:

  • dvdrip: GTK front-end for transcode, which performs the ripping and encoding
  • libdv: Software codec for DV video
  • xvidcore: If you want to encode your ripped files as XviD, an open source MPEG-4 video codec (free alternative to DivX)
  • divx4linuxAUR: If you want to encode your ripped files as DivX (available in the AUR)

The dvd::rip preferences are mostly well-documented/self-explanatory. If you need help with something, see

Ripping a DVD is often a simple matter of selecting the preferred codec(s), selecting the desired titles, then clicking the "Rip" button.


FFmpeg is capable to do a direct rip in any format (audio/video) from a DVD-Video .iso image, just select the input as the *.iso image and proceed with the desired options. It also allows to downmixing, shrinking, spliting, selecting streams among other features.


HandBrake is a multithreaded video transcoder, which offers both a graphical and command-line interface with many preset configurations. The package is available in the official repositories: handbrake.


MEncoder is a free command line video decoding, encoding and filtering tool released under the GNU General Public License. It is a close sibling to MPlayer and can convert all the formats that MPlayer understands into a variety of compressed and uncompressed formats using different codecs. Wrapper programs like h264encAUR and undvdAUR can provide an assistive interface.


Hybrid is a multi platform (Linux/Mac OS X/Windows) Qt based frontend for a bunch of other tools which can convert nearly every input to x264/Xvid/VP8 + ac3/ogg/mp3/aac/flac inside an mp4/m2ts/mkv/webm/mov/avi container, a Blu-ray or an AVCHD structure.

A package is available in the AUR: hybrid-encoderAUR.

For detailed information visit the homepage.


From Wikipedia - DVD-VR:

The DVD-VR standard defines a logical format for video recording on DVD-R, DVD-RW, and DVD-RAM style media, including the dual layer versions of these media. As opposed to media recorded with the DVD+VR recording standard, the resulting media are not DVD-Video compliant, and will not play back in some DVD-Video players. Most DVD video recorders in the market that support DVD-R, DVD-RW, or DVD-RAM media will allow recording to these media in DVD-VR mode, as well as in a DVD-Video compliant mode. It is possible to use the DVD-VR format with DVD+R and DVD+RW media, but no examples are known other than some PC based recording utilities.

.VRO files extracted from a DVD-VR can be easily converted and splitted in regular .VOB files using the DVD-VR program.

Install dvd-vrAUR from the AUR.

Burning CD/dvd with a GUI

Template:Wikipedia There are several applications available to burn CDs in a graphical environment.

  • AcetoneISO — All in one ISO tool (supports BIN, MDF, NRG, IMG, DAA, DMG, CDI, B5I, BWI, PDI and ISO) || acetoneiso2
  • BashBurn — Lightweight terminal based menu frontend for CD/DVD burning tools || bashburn
  • Brasero — Disc burning application for the GNOME desktop that is designed to be as simple as possible. Part of gnome-extra || brasero
  • cdw — Ncurses frontend to cdrecord, mkisofs, growisofs, dvd+rw-mediainfo, dvd+rw-format, xorriso || cdwAUR
  • GnomeBaker — Full featured CD/DVD burning application for the GNOME desktop || gnomebakerAUR
  • Graveman — GTK-based CD/DVD burning application. It requires configuration to point to correct devices || gravemanAUR
  • K3b — Feature-rich and easy to handle CD burning application based on Kdelibs || k3b
  • Silicon empire — Qt-based set of tools to manage and organize your optical discs like CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays || silicon-empireAUR
  • X-CD-Roast — Lightweight cdrtools front-end for CD and DVD writing || xcdroastAUR
  • Xfburn — Simple frontend to the libburnia libraries with support for CD/DVD(-RW), ISO images and BurnFree || xfburn

Nero Linux

Nero Linux is a commercial burning suite from makers of Nero for Windows - Nero AG. The biggest advantage of Nero linux is its interface which similar to window version. Hence, users migrating from windows might find it easy to operate. The Linux version now includes Nero Express, a wizard which takes users through the process of burning CDs and DVDs step-by-step, which users will be familiar with from the Windows version. Also new in version 4 is Blu-ray Disc defect management, integration of Isolinux for creating bootable media and support for Musepack and AIFF audio formats...

Nero Linux 4 retails at £17.99 with a free trial version also available.


  • Easy, wizard-style user interface for guided burning with Nero Linux Express 4
  • Full Blu-ray Burning Support
  • Supports Burning of Audio CD (CD-DA), ISO 9660 (Joliet support), CD-Text, ISOLINUX Bootable, Multi-session Discs, DVD-Video and miniDVD, DVD double layer support.
  • Advanced burning with Nero Burning ROM and command line client
Nota: For Nero Linux you need to load sg module at boot time. Put a namesake file in /etc/modules-load.d:
Some updates ago the sg module wasn't auto loaded any more and Nero needs it.


K3b locale error

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 file names) 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
  • Re-install glibc
  • Edit /etc/locale.gen, uncommenting all lines lines that corresponds to your language AND the en_US options, for compatibility:
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.

Brasero fails to find blank discs

Brasero uses gvfs to manage CD/DVD burning devices.

Brasero fails to normalize audio CD

If you try to burn it may stop at the first step called Normalization.

As a workaround you can disable the normalization plugin using the Edit > Plugins menu

VLC: Error "... could not open the disc /dev/dvd"

If you get the error, "vlc dvdread could not open the disc "/dev/dvd"" it may be because there is no device node /dev/dvd on your system. Udev no longer creates /dev/dvd and instead uses /dev/sr0. To fix this edit the VLC configuration file (~/.config/vlc/vlcrc):

# DVD device (string)                                                           

DVD drive is noisy

If playing DVD videos causes the system to be very loud, it may be because the disk is spinning faster than it needs to. To temporarily change the speed of the drive, as root, run:

# eject -x 12 /dev/dvd


# hdparm -E12 /dev/dvd

Any speed that is supported by the drive can be used, or 0 for the maximum speed.

Setting CD-ROM and DVD-ROM drive speed

Playback does not work with new computer (new DVD-Drive)

If playback does not work and you have a new computer (new DVD-Drive) the reason might be that the region code is not set. You can read and set the region code with regionsetAUR from the Arch User Repository.

None of the above programs are able to rip/encode a DVD to my hard disk!

Make sure the region of your DVD-reader is set correctly, otherwise you'll get loads of unexplainable CSS-related errors. Use regionsetAUR to do so.

See also