Linux Guide/CD Burning

Burning CDs and DVDs with K3B Edit

K3B ( is a CD and DVD burner for Linux. Technically, it is a front-end for some of the commands given in the "using the console" section below.

K3B requires KDE (see also KDE how-to) to run.

Burning CDs and DVDs with Brasero Edit

Brasero ( is a popular GTK+ CD burning software. It is part of the GNOME project.

Burning CDs and DVDs using xcdroast Edit

xcdroast ([1]) is an alternative front end to cdrtools, which does not require KDE. Similarly to K3B and other such programs, it acts as a front end to automate commands which would normally be entered from the console.

Burning CDs and DVDs using the Console Edit

1. Make an ISO Image Edit

An ISO Image is a file which contains all the data required on the CD or DVD - that is, all the files plus the directory structure. An ISO file is about the same size as all the files it is created from.

There are several ISO formats available,

To make the ISO in Linux, use 'mkisofs. mkisofs has many options to control how to handle CD and DVD creation - these include how linux-style filenames are converted to work for Windows and Apple Mac, and options for creation of a boot-cd. However, the standard command is:

mkisofs -r -o <file> <dir>

The easiest way to make an CD/DVD image is to copy all the files required in a new directory, such as "myproject". Then just run the command

mkisofs -r -o /tmp/myimage.iso myproject

to create the image. The image size should not be larger than the size of the CD (~ 700MB) or DVD (~ 4.4GB).

Note also that the FAT32 file system can only manage files of less than 4GB (which is less than the maximum DVD size)

2. Identify a CD drive Edit

To burn the CD or DVD, we'll use cdrecord. The following command lists all the CD-R and DVD-R drives. and provides an address (a SCSI-style address)

cdrecord -scanbus

3. Burn the CD Edit

Burn the CD or DVD with:

cdrecord -v speed=2 dev=<dev> [blank=fast] -data  <cd_image>

Use blank=fast to clear all data from a CD-RW. cd_image is the ISO file created in step 1.


cdrecord -v speed=2 dev=0,6,0 -data  /tmp/myimage.iso

Creation of Video DVDs Edit

For DVDs to work in a DVD player, the movies and file structure must be very specific. A guide to creating a DVD video is given at VideoLan Wiki - see Making a DVD Video with VLC.