The Centre for Speech Technology Research, The university of Edinburgh

CSTR guide to burning CDs and DVDs under DICE

There is a CD burner installed on Liberator and a DVD burner (which will also write CD media) installed on Jenna. Blank CDs and DVDs can be obtained from Rob. Burning a CD is slightly simpler and is covered first.

Burning a CD

Burning a data CD is a two stage process.

  1. Creating an image of the CD.
  2. Writing the image to the blank CD.

Creating the image

Creating the image involves writing a single file which contains an image of the filesystem that you want to appear on the CD. This can be thought of as similar to a tar archive file. The mkisofs utility creates an ISO9660 image file that can be written to a disk. The general form of the command is:
mkisofs -o image.iso -J -R -A -V -v path/to/files
This creates an image file called image.iso of everything under path/to/files. It is suggested that you create this file on the machine with the CD writer under /disk/scratch.

It is worth noting that a CD filesystem is much simpler than a standard UNIX filesystem, It does not do symbolic links or weird filenames. If you have weird long filenames, you may want to include the flag -U. This creates an image which violates the ISO9660 standard, but your filenames will be preserved. Or you may want to create a tarfile and write that to the disk to preserve a full file structure.

Writing the image to CD

This can be done using cdrecord.

cdrecord -v speed=8 dev=0,0,0 image.iso 
If you want a multisession disk add the flag -multi.

To have write access to the CD device you must be logged on at the console of the machine which it is connected to, you cannot write to it is you are logged in remotely.

Graphical applications

There are a few graphical applications for writing CDs. Instructions can be found here. None of these applications have been tested at CSTR, so use them at your own risk.

Advanced usage

To copy an existing CD, you can create the iso image using dd:

dd if=/dev/cdrom of=image.iso

To make an audio CD from a bunch of wav files:

cdrecord -v dev=0,0,0 speed=1 -dao -pad -useinfo *.wav

To pipeline as a single command try:

mkisofs -J -R -A -V -v path/to/files | cdrecord -v fs=6m speed=8 dev=0,0,0 -

Burning a DVD

The process to burn a DVD is essentially the same as burning a CD except the DVD writting process is not supported by the standard version of cdrecord, so a specialist version is provided on jenna in /disk/scratch/dvd/tools.

Create the iso image as for a CD (this can be stored in /disk/scratch/dvd/images) then burn the image with the following command:

/disk/scratch/dvd/tools/cdrecord-prodvd-2.01b31-i686-pc-linux-gnu -dao -v dev=0,0,0 image.iso