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Burning a CD in Linux

Here are the quick instructions on how to burn a CD from an ISO file in Linux. First you have to find out which device your CD-R is connected as. To find out the SCSI information for your CD-R, run the following command

   cdrecord -scanbus

to get a result similar to this

 Cdrecord 1.8 (i686-pc-linux-gnu) Copyright (C) 1995-2000 Jörg Schilling
 Using libscg version 'schily-0.1'
 	0,0,0	  0) 'PLEXTOR ' 'CD-R   PX-W8432T' '1.05' Removable CD-ROM
 	0,1,0	  1) *
 	0,2,0	  2) *
 	0,3,0	  3) *
 	0,4,0	  4) *
 	0,5,0	  5) *
 	0,6,0	  6) *
 	0,7,0	  7) *

where you can see that the CD-R here is connected as SCSI device 0,0,0. This will be needed by cdrecord when we burn the CD. The cdrecord command has to be run by root or made sudo. There are potential security problems if permissions are changed to allow a regular user to run cdrecord.

You might ask why I mentioned SCSI information since you have an ATAPI-IDE CD-R. The general ATAPI interface has elements from the SCSI system and the interfaces for CD-Rs (and CD-RWs) are implemented using SCSI emulation.

Once you have your ISO file ready (see the file makeISOfile.txt) all you need to do is run the cdrecord program. I also recommend running some cdrecord jobs using the -dummy option first.

Using the -dummy option on cdrecord will run a complete job but not turn on the laser. It is a good idea to do this so you can see the statistics produced. This is especially important if your system runs under heavy loads. If your system boggs down due to system load (or because it started using swap space, or it started a large disk write, etc) the fifo buffer in the CD-R could run empty and then you will have a coaster, not a CD.

Here is an example of the dummy and the actual CD burn runs

   cdrecord -eject -dummy -v speed=8 dev=0,0,0 -data ori01.iso 
   cdrecord -eject -v speed=8 dev=0,0,0 -data ori01.iso 
 	-dummy		- tells cdrecord to not turn on the laser
 	-eject		- tells cdrecord to eject the tray when finished
 	-v		- tells cdrecord to be more verbose
 	speed=8		- tells cdrecord to burn at 8x speed
 	dev=0,0,0	- tells cdrecord the device ID of the CD-R
 	-data ori01.iso	- tells cdrecord which ISO file to use

Since I am using a Plextor PX-W8432T 8/4/32 speed (write, re-write, read) CD-RW my maximum speed is 8 but I could use slower speeds depending on the availability of properly rated blank disks.

(C) 2001 Petar Knezevich


Every attempt has been made to ensure that the information presented in this mini-HOWTO is safe and accurate. However, this information is given without any warranty, either expressed or implied, as to its suitability for a particular use. It is generally considered a GoodThing(TM) to make backups of your system files before changing system configurations and/or files. I suggest you take this precaution "just in case".