My first experience with CD Writers was guided by the "Linux CD Writer mini-HOWTO" by Matt Cutts <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Thanks Matt!
Although my intention was only to upgrade his document, I rewrote it from the scratch after I realized how much changed since 1994.
I (Winfried Truemper) DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES WITH REGARD TO THIS DOCUMENT, INCLUDING ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A CERTAIN PURPOSE; IN NO EVENT SHALL I BE LIABLE FOR ANY SPECIAL, INDIRECT OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OR ANY DAMAGES WHATSOEVER RESULTING FROM LOSS OF USE, DATA OR PROFITS, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, NEGLIGENCE OR OTHER TORTIOUS ACTION, ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE OF THIS DOCUMENT. Short: read and use at your own risk.
The CD-R FAQ is a general FAQ about compact-disk recordables (CD-R).
The Linux CD-ROM HOWTO explains everything one should know about CD-ROM drives under Linux. As a supplement, you may want to take a look at the Linux SCSI HOWTO and the Linux Kernel HOWTO.
CD-ROM stands for Compact Disc Read Only Memory, a storage medium utilizing an optical laser to sense microscopic pits on a silver shimmering disk. (The silver shimmering comes from an aluminized layer which is the carrier.) The pits represent the bits of the information (in some way) and are so petite that some billions of them fit on the disc. Thus a CD is a mass-storage medium.
The Term CD-R is a short form of CD-ROM recordable and refers to a CD that doesn't have those "microscopic pits" on it's surface... thus it's empty.
Instead of the aluminium layer (silver) a CD-R has a special film (colored) into which "microscopic pits" can be burned in. This is done by giving the laser which normally only senses the pits a little bit more power so he burns the pits. This action can only be taken once on a CD-R.
You can leave out some areas for later writing, though, creating a so called multi-session CD.
This mini-HOWTO deals with the task of writing a CD-R. Welcome on board, captain.
The detailed list of models which have been reported (not) to work successfully is available from
The list will be included in future versions of this mini-HOWTO. Most SCSI cd-writers are supported and the newest version of cdrecord even supports ATAPI cd-writers.
If your hardware isn't supported you can still use Linux to create an image
of the later CD but then you have to use DOS-Software to write the image to
In this case you can skip all hardware-related sections (those about
generic SCSI devices and
Currently the software for burning CDs under Linux does support the following main features:
Feature cdwrite-2.1 cdrecord-1.7 -------------------------------------------- ATAPI support no yes Multisession only partial yes RockRidge yes (mkisofs) yes (mkisofs) El Torito yes (mkisofs) yes (mkisofs) HFS yes (mkhybrid) yes (mkhybrid) Joliet yes (mkhybrid) yes (mkhybrid)
RockRidge is an extension to allow longer filenames and a deeper directory hierarchy. El Torito can be used to produce bootable CDs. Please see the accompanied documentation for further details upon this special features. HFS lets a macintosh read the CD-ROM as if it were an HFS volume. Joliet brings long filenames (among other things) to some variants of Windows (95, NT).
Section 2.8 lists the availability of the mentioned software.
If you want to join the development team (with the intention to actively _help_ them), send e-mail to
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subscribein body of the message.
The newest version of this document is always available from