[wellylug] CDRW in RH 7.2

Jonathan Harker jharker at massey.ac.nz
Wed Jan 22 10:24:23 NZDT 2003

On Friday 17 Jan 2003 6:52 pm, Andrew Presant wrote:
> Should I be trying to mount a blank CD?


> How do you burn to a CDR in Linux?

(see below for GUI tools)

CDROMs work by using the ISO9660 file system. ISO supports only 11 character 
filenames (like DOS), hence the various ISO extensions to support things like 
long filenames (HFS for Mac, Joliet for Windows, Rockridge for *nix, and 

In Linux (and in Windows & Mac too, but it is all hidden from you behind 
pretty buttons), CD burning is done in two steps.

First, make an ISO "image" of the files and data to be written to the CD. The 
ISO layout is complicated, as it has to be written in one go, and has tricky 
redundancy and error checking built in. The ISO image will be a single large 
file, generally with .iso on the end of the filename. Linux distros from the 
web can usually be downloaded as ready-made ISO images. The tool to make an 
ISO image in Linux is mkisofs. The man pages (type man mkisofs at the command 
line) are very helpful and detailed.

Second, burn the ISO image to the disk, using cdrecord.

> Is there a (free) program (GUI please) I can use to burn CDs with Linux?

xcdroast, gcombust and gnome toaster are three GUI tools that pass your 
options to the two command line tools mentioned above. I must admit, most of 
the time I can't be bothered twiddling around with command line options, so I 
just use xcdroast. IIRC, at least one of these GUI tools comes with RedHat.

The really cool thing, however, is that if you're a sysadmin you can stick 
mkisofs and cdrecord commands in your shell scripts for doing things like 
weekly backups.

Hope that helps...

Jonathan Harker
Massey University

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