[buug] CD burning & cdrecord, etc.

Michael Paoli Michael.Paoli at cal.berkeley.edu
Sun Dec 6 10:06:09 PST 2009

CD burning & cdrecord, etc.

 From a wee bit of discussion at the 2009-11-19 & 2009-12-03 BUUG
meetings ...

Here's a basic example of how I'd typically burn a CD (CD-RW in this
# cdrecord -v -dao dev=0,0,0 speed=10 blank=fast driveropts=burnproof  
-data ubuntu-9.10-desktop-i386.iso
The above example was for burning an Ubuntu ISO for someone.  Some
noteworthy points, in not necessarily any particular order:
o That's using a somewhat older version of cdrecord
o I've mostly been using pretty much the same set of options for about 6
   years because, well, they worked fine then, and still work.  There may
   be spiffier/newer/better options now, but I haven't particularly
o I'm typically booting with kernel parameter option: hdc=scsi
   That causes the IDE/ATA/PATA hdc device (my DVD-ROM/CD-RW on that
   laptop) to be emulated as a SCSI device.
o # cdrecord -scanbus
   Is highly useful for identifying the correct device and information to
   pass to cdrecord's dev= option (I even have one program that uses that
   to properly identify a particular device and passes that information
   on to cdrecord's dev= option)
o speed= in this case I pick the fastest speed that I know will work
   with for all of drive, media, and media state (for the "high speed"
   media, and my "ultra speed" CD-RW drive, I could have picked anything
   between 4 and at least 10).
o blank=fast - the blank= options would only be applicable to rewritable
   media, e.g. CD-RW.  blank=fast does a minimal rewrite - it doesn't
   actually clobber all the old physical bits recorded on the media - and
   that's fine in the case where the earlier data was public data (e.g.
   some other Linux distribution's public ISO image).  If I didn't know
   the earlier data was necessarily public, I'd use blank=all - which
   would wipe all the old bits (and that can take substantially longer).
o driveropts=burnproof is applicable to some CD-R/CD-RW units, and is in
   my case, and helps reduce probability of tosterization of CDs

Other random point: CD-RW - I've yet to burn or purchase CD-R media -
I've always gotten CD-RW.  Cost about twice as much as CD-R per unit
media, but it's reusable - and I do reuse it a lot.  Also cuts way down
on tosterization (so far of the few hundred or so CD-RWs I have, I've
thus far only got one that I can't successfully (re)write to).  Of
course, if you're giving them away - particularly in large quantities,
and have already worked out all the burning details successfully, CD-R
would be much more economical (or likely mastered CD-ROM for quantities
probably at or over 1,000 of all the same image).

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