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Limited cdrecord compatibility wrapper for libburn


Burns preformatted data to CD, DVD, and BD media:

Direct hop to download links ->

Hardware requirements:

About any CD, DVD, or BD recorder produced in the recent ten years.
libburn supports recorders which are compliant to standards MMC-1 for CD and MMC-5 for DVD or BD. Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris, and NetBSD can communicate with drives connected via SCSI, PATA (aka IDE, ATA), USB, or SATA.

Software requirements :

Linux with kernel 2.4 or higher (and libc, of course) :
With kernel 2.4 an ATA drive has to be under ide-scsi emulation.
With kernel 2.6 or higher the drive should not be under ide-scsi.
or FreeBSD (with libc, of course) :
ATA and SATA drives need atapicam running.
libcam has to be installed.
or Solaris (with libc, of course) :
Tested on kernel 5.11, hopefully suitable for older ones too.
or NetBSD (with libc, of course) :
Tested on 6.1.2 and 6.1.3
is supposed to be a standard system component.

GPL software included:

(founded by Derek Foreman and Ben Jansens, developed and maintained since August 2006 by Thomas Schmitt from team of
transfers data to CD, DVD, BD

This program system has been tested on Intel/AMD with Linux, FreeBSD, OpenSolaris, and NetBSD based operating systems.
Ports to other usable systems are appreciated. Reports are welcome.

Special features:


The most common options of cdrecord for data and audio on CD media are provided in a compatible way.
On all DVD media, cdrskin is able to perform any recording job which is possible with cdrecord. Other than with cdrecord, option -multi is supported with many DVD types and BD-R. Write mode -tao works with anything but quickly blanked DVD-RW and DVD-R DL, which both support no -multi.

Get an overview of drives and their addresses
# cdrskin -scanbus
# cdrskin dev=ATA -scanbus
# cdrskin --devices
Being superuser avoids permission problems with /dev/srN and /dev/hdX .
Ordinary users should then get granted access to the /dev files as listed by option --devices. Linux, FreeBSD, and NetBSD demand rw-permission. On Solaris it is r-permission and privileges "basic,sys_devices".
Get info about a particular drive or loaded media:
$ cdrskin dev=0,1,0 -checkdrive
$ cdrskin dev=ATA:1,0,0 -v -atip
$ cdrskin dev=/dev/hdc -minfo
Prepare CD-RW or DVD-RW for re-use, DVD-RAM or BD-RE for first use:
$ cdrskin -v dev=/dev/sg1 blank=as_needed -eject
Format DVD-RW to avoid need for blanking before re-use:
$ cdrskin -v dev=/dev/sr0 blank=format_overwrite
De-format DVD-RW to make it capable of multi-session again:
$ cdrskin -v dev=/dev/sr0 blank=deformat_sequential
Write ISO-9660 filesystem image as only one to blank or formatted media:
$ cdrskin -v dev=/dev/hdc speed=12 fs=8m \
  blank=as_needed -eject padsize=300k my_image.iso
Write compressed afio archive on-the-fly (not DVD-R DL or minimally blanked DVD-RW):
$ find . | afio -oZ - | \
  cdrskin -v dev=0,1,0 fs=32m speed=8 \
  blank=as_needed padsize=300k -
Write several sessions to the same CD, DVD-R[W] or DVD+R[/DL]:
$ cdrskin dev=/dev/hdc -v padsize=300k -multi 1.iso
$ cdrskin dev=/dev/hdc -v padsize=300k -multi 2.iso
$ cdrskin dev=/dev/hdc -v padsize=300k -multi 3.iso
$ cdrskin dev=/dev/hdc -v padsize=300k 4.iso
Get multi-session info for option -C of program mkisofs:
$ c_values=$(cdrskin dev=/dev/sr0 -msinfo 2>/dev/null)
$ mkisofs ... -C "$c_values" ...
Inquire free space on media for a -multi run:
$ x=$(cdrskin dev=/dev/sr0 -multi \
  --tell_media_space 2>/dev/null)
$ echo "Available: $x blocks of 2048 data bytes"
Accelerate BD-RE writing to full nominal speed after the first 250 MB
$ cdrskin ... stream_recording=250m ...
Write audio tracks to CD:
$ cdrskin -v dev=ATA:1,0,0 speed=48 -sao \
  track1.wav -audio -swab track3.raw
Get overview of the cdrecord compatible options:
$ cdrskin -help
Get overview of the non-cdrecord options:
$ cdrskin --help
Read the detailed manual page:
$ man cdrskin
Read about the standard for which cdrskin is striving:
$  man cdrecord
Do not bother Joerg Schilling with any cdrskin problems. (Be cursed if you install cdrskin as "cdrecord" without clearly forwarding this "don't bother Joerg" demand.)
Learn to know a more versatile way to burn ISO 9660 formatted data
Standalone ISO 9660 multi-session CD/DVD/BD tool xorriso.

Download as source code (see README):
cdrskin-1.5.6.tar.gz (1075 KB).
(detached GPG signature for verification by gpg --verify cdrskin-1.5.6.tar.gz.sig cdrskin-1.5.6.tar.gz
after gpg --keyserver --recv-keys ABC0A854).
The cdrskin tarballs are source code identical with libburn releases of the same version number. They get produced via a different procedure, though.
cdrskin is part of libburn - full libburn is provided with cdrskin releases.
README an introduction
cdrskin --help non-cdrecord options
cdrskin -help cdrecord compatible options
man cdrskin the manual page
Thomas Schmitt,
GNU xorriso mailing list, where cdrskin and libburn are on topic, too:
GPL, an Open Source approved license

Enhancements towards previous stable version cdrskin-1.5.4:

Bug fixes towards cdrskin-1.5.4:

Development snapshot, version 1.5.7 :

Enhancements towards current stable version 1.5.6:
  • none yet
Bug fixes towards cdrskin-1.5.6:
  • none yet
README 1.5.7
cdrskin-1.5.7 --help
cdrskin-1.5.7 -help
man cdrskin (as of 1.5.7)
Maintainers of cdrskin unstable packages please use SVN of
Download: svn co libburn
Build: cd libburn ; ./bootstrap ; ./configure --prefix /usr ; make ; cdrskin/
Build of SVN versions needs autotools of at least version 1.7 installed. But after the run of ./bootstrap, only vanilla tools like make and gcc are needed.
The following download is intended for adventurous end users or admins with full system sovereignty.
Source (./bootstrap is already applied, build tested, for more see upcoming README ):
cdrskin-1.5.7.tar.gz (1075 KB).

Many thanks to Joerg Schilling for cdrecord,
and to Derek Foreman and Ben Jansens for creating libburn.
Historic versions based on Derek's and Ben's :
Very special thanks to Andy Polyakov whose dvd+rw-tools provide libburn with invaluable examples on how to deal with DVD and BD media.

Example for a setup of device permissions.
Newer Linux distros enable rw-access for the desktop user automatically. So try as normal user whether all your drives are found. CD devices which offer no rw-permission will stay invisible.
$ cdrskin --devices
If not all desired drives show up, become superuser and do again:
# cdrskin --devices
0  dev='/dev/sr0'  rwr-r- :  'TEAC' 'CD-ROM CD-532S'
1  dev='/dev/hdc'  rwrw-- :  'LITE-ON' 'LTR-48125S'
Most simple and most insecure is this equivalent of the usual cdrecord permissions u+s,a+x:
# chmod a+rw /dev/sr0 /dev/hdc
More secure is to put the permitted users into a group like "floppy", to assign /dev/sr0 /dev/hdc to this group, and to allow rw-access only to group members.
# vi /etc/group
# chgrp floppy /dev/sr0 /dev/hdc
# chmod g+rw /dev/sr0 /dev/hdc

Example how to setup K3b to use cdrskin for burning data CD projects.
K3b is a GUI frontend which uses cdrecord for CD burning.)

About the relationship of cdrecord and cdrskin

First of all: this relationship is single sided, as cdrskin has to be aware of cdrecord but not vice versa.

I was a long time user of cdrecord and it worked fine for me. Especially i do appreciate its write mode -tao which can pipe arbitrary data on CD and CD-RW via stdin. cdrecord is reliable, versatile and well maintained. So for me - there would be no problem with using it for burning CDs.
But the author of cdrecord and the Linux kernel people foster a very hostile relationship. Ok, that's their business, not mine (or ours if you are with me). One has to be aware, though, that this relationship might lead to a situation where cdrecord is no longer available for certain Linux kernels.
To have my own project prepared for such a time, i began to implement its cdrecord gestures on top of libburn. From now on i invite other interested users of cdrecord to teach cdrskin the gestures necessary for their cdrecord applications. Contact me. Let's see what we can achieve.

libburn and cdrskin are now mature enough to substitute cdrecord in its major use cases of CD and DVD burning. It is possible to foist cdrskin on various software packages if it gets falsely named "cdrecord". I do not encourage this approach, but of course such a replacement opportunity is the goal of a cdrecord compatibility wrapper.

It is very important to me that this project is not perceived as hostile towards Joerg Schilling and his work. I owe him much. For cdrecord, for mkisofs, for star. Chapeau.

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Links to my other published software projects :
xorriso, a standalone ISO 9660 multi-session CD/DVD/BD burn tool. No mkisofs needed.
(a second source of above)
scdbackup, multi volume CD backup
(a second source of above)
Some Tools for Image Collectors
pppoem, a DSL throughput monitor (mainly for Linux kernel 2.4)

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