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CD Writing Howto


There are many types of CD burner available on the market. High-end devices are usually SCSI devices. The majority of consumer devices are IDE drives, and there are a few "odd ones out" like USB and parallel port devices. Whatever interface they use, they have one thing in common: they are seen by CD writing software as SCSI devices. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule, which we'll see later.

Whichever type of device you have, you'll need CD writing software. Typically, you'll be using a set of 3 applications: mkisofs is used to create the ISO 9660 filesystem image which will be written to the blank CD. cdda2wav is known as a CDDA "ripper", because it rips the audio data out of audio tracks on a CDDA (CDDA stands for Compact Disc Digital Audio). An alternative ripper, heavily based on cdda2wav, and which we will be using in fact, is cdparanoia. Finally, cdrecord is a tool which is used to write ISO 9660 filesystem images and audio data to a blank CD-R or CD-RW. A fourth application you can (optionally) use is a GUI front end to all of these applications, such as X-cdroast. However, here we'll be concentrating on the command line tools which don't need the overhead of a graphical interface and are therefore that much more efficient.

Before going any further, you'll want to know if the appropriate software is set up on your machine. One way of doing this is to try and run it! cdrecord, for example, can only be run by root, so "su" and try and get cdrecord's version:

$ su
# cdrecord --version
Cdrecord 1.10 (i686-pc-linux-gnu) Copyright (C) 1995-2001 Jörg Schilling

Users of RPM-based distributions such as Red Hat, Mandrake and SuSE can use the old rpm trick to find out if cdrtools are installed:

$ rpm -qa | grep cdrtools

If they are not installed, the chances are that they're bundled somewhere on your Linux distribution CD-ROMs/DVD-ROM. Refer to the documentation specific to your distribution. Alternatively, they can be found online here: cdrecord and mkisofs, cdda2wav, cdparanoia, X-CDRoast.

If cdrecord is installed then make a note of which version you have. If not, then do try and get version 2.0 or higher since you won't have to muck about with ide-scsi emulation.


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