[Some e-mails, below, have been updated to incorporate subsequent information.]

Date: Mon, 19 Jul 2004 02:18:52 -0700
From: Rick Moen rick@linuxmafia.com
To: luv-main@luv.asn.au
Subject: Re: Burning DVDs in Debian Linux

Quoting myself:

> However, here's another HOWTO, that I believe answers your question:
> http://crashrecovery.org/oss-dvd/HOWTO-ossdvd.html

If you look at the parent directory, you'll find all manner of other interesting stuff, including a file that gives (among other stuff) a bestiary of some of the leading Linux tools for burning DVDs, and their history. That part was interesting to me, because I've always been a bit vague on what happened.

The main tools for writing CDR/CDRW media on Linux were originally the open-source command-line tools cdwrite and cdrecord (now bundled as "cdrtools"), but cdwrite ceased being maintained. Later, cdrecord author Jörg Schilling started showing severe signs of volunteer fatigue (even as the "MMC" standard finally made CD-writer support relatively easy), and then started adding new features including DVD support only in a proprietary, binary-only variant program he suddenly created, called cdrecord-ProDVD. Meanwhile, Schilling also bundled cdrecord with several other tools in an omnibus GPLed package called cdrtools. (Latest and perhaps last version of each is 2.0. Subsequently, in mid-2006, Schilling changed cdrtools's licensing to CDDL, at which point a group of Debian developers created a fork called "cdrkit", which I personally find to be a big improvement in many ways, including losing Schilling's peculiar device-addressing. cdrkit's command-line tool for burning CDs is "wodim" = Write Optical DIsk Media, just as cdrtools's command-line tool for burning CDRs is cdrecord.) By intention, cdrkit's utilities present a compatible command-line interface to the OS, and therefore work with the same graphical front-end tools.

(More recently, in 2006, Mario Danic created the "libburnia project" package of command-line utilities, likewise comptiable with cdrtools's command set. It's based on library "libburn", and its analogue to cdrecord is called cdrskin.)

However, at least one person (Nicholae Mihalache) duplicated Schilling's proprietary DVD extensions and released GPLed code as an enhancement to cdrtools/cdrecord (http://www.abcpages.com/~mache/cdrecord-dvd.html). That work was then updated by Florent (Warly) Villard and others (http://people.mandrakesoft.com/~warly/files/cdrtools/) to work with newer (post-1.11) cdrtools versions.

That patch then gave rise to no fewer than five forks:

There's also a completely different toolkit called dvd+rw-tools (including the key growisofs utility), which you can read a great deal about, here on Andy Polyakov's page, including quite a lot about kernel support for various device types: http://fy.chalmers.se/~appro/linux/DVD+RW/ This tool has the advantage of burning DVD +R/RW and -R/RW equally well. The other offerings support (to date) only DVD-R/DVD-RW, not the "+" varieties.

The K3B graphical front-end utility knows how to use dvd+rw-tools, so that is a compelling combination.

To recap, my strong personal recommendation would be growisofs / dvd+rw-tools for burning DVDs, and wodim / cdrkit for burning CDRs.

Cheers,     Founding member of the Hyphenation Society, a grassroots-based,
Rick Moen   not-for-profit, locally-owned-and-operated, cooperatively-managed,
rick@linuxmafia.com     modern-American-English-usage-improvement association.

From rick Mon Oct 28 16:05:50 2002
Date: Mon, 28 Oct 2002 16:05:50 -0800
To: [a mailing list]
Subject: Re: DVD Burners..
User-Agent: Mutt/1.4i
X-Mas: Bah humbug.

Quoting Edward Holden (eholden@promicrosystems.com):

> Hi all,
> Does anyone know of any DVD burners that either have Linux Drivers or
> support Linux through third party drivers? Does RedHat 8 support any
> DVD burners natively?

Looks like you'll want to read some of this stuff:


From rick Tue Dec 3 01:29:21 2002
Date: Tue, 3 Dec 2002 01:29:21 -0800
To: luv@luv.asn.au
Subject: Re: DVD+RW in Linux

Quoting Cameron McCormack (clm@csse.monash.edu.au):

> Does anyone here use a DVD+RW drive in Linux? What software do you
> use to burn, just cdrecord? Does this also work for +RW discs?
> Did you have to apply the kernel patch[1]?

I don't have any relevant experience with that sort of hardware on Linux, but here are some standard information resources, in case they help:

Looks like you'll want to read some of this stuff:


The latter you seem to have found. The former is a patched version of cdrecord. cdrecord's primary author (Jörg Schilling) isn't really happy about it, since he's attempting to sell a proprietary offshoot of cdrecord ("cdrecord-ProDVD"), using DVD support as one of the "sweeteners" perennially not merged into the open-source codebase.

From: star@starshine.org (Heather Stern)
To: conspire@linuxmafia.com
Subject: Re: [conspire] Burn DVDs...
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 2003 13:11:06 -0800

On Tue, Jan 07, 2003 at 04:58:40PM -0800, Jose Sanchez wrote:

> Hello. I am purchasing a DVD recorder (Sony DRU-500a) this week. I
> wanted to know if there is any software for linux regarding DVD
> burning. I will be adding this device on a pc running Red Hat 8.0
> Linux. I want to backup some files on DVDs because of the capacity it
> holds (4.7 Gigs). TIA.

There is some — but how reliable it is, is a very good question. General commentary on the Web seems to be equally divided between...

"Oh sure, it's easy! Just use a tweaked version of mkisofs to make HUGE iso9660 filesystems, then the program (either Jörg Schilling's ProDVD, or the GNU project fork dvdrecord) and it works great"

(Such people do not generally state if they were using DVD-R or DVD+R. They weren't using DVD-RAM: That does "just work", since it looks like a hard disk.)

...and "Arrrrgh! I can't get this thing to work at all!"

No experiment yet with the commercial ProGear package, but that's terribly expensive, since it's basically a movie-making kit.

I recommend getting model numbers, and typing them into search engines with the keyword Linux, before plunking cash down on anything.

. | . Heather Stern | star@starshine.org
--->*<--- Starshine Technical Services - * - consulting@starshine.org
' | ` Sysadmin Support and Training | (800) 938-4078

dvdrtools is a fork of cdrtools, with the primary goal of supporting writable DVD drives. The initial version was released February 4, 2002.

cdrecord DVD patch

This patch is a updated version of the original Nicolae Mihalache patch to cdrtools 1.11. You will find on this page the last updated version (currently cdrtools 2.01a16), as well as some Mandrake packages. On Red Hat systems, as far as I know the dvdrtools project is based on the same patch.

How to burn a DVD-Video under Linux, with mkisofs and dvdrecord

dvd::rip is a full-featured DVD copy program, written in Perl. It provides an easy-to-use but feature-rich GTK+ GUI, to control almost all aspects of the ripping and transcoding process. It uses the widely known video processing swissknife transcode, and many other open source tools.

RM adds: This is a program for extracting video content from video DVDs, which it then can write to VCD (video CD) format using either cdrdao or cdrecord. It is not any type of tool for burning DVDs.

Linux Video Stream Processing Tool

RM adds: Transcode is a console tool for decoding and encoding various types of digital video bitstreams. It can be used behind various front-end user interface packages such as dvd::rip (above). Like dvd::rip, it has nothing to do with burning DVDs, per se.

K3B has these new features, as of v. 0.10:

See also: http://linuxmafia.com/faq/Apps/cd-burning.html, as the space of CDR- and DVD-related utilities on Linux is increasingly merging.