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Linux and the laser

The above 3 options are all that I required in normal usage.

Additionally if you come across a re-writeable CD then you should know how

to blank the CD before you write to it. Use the command line option blank.

cdrecord -v -dev=0,0,0 -speed=8 -blank=fast

Blanking has a lot more options. Look at the man page for that. Fast will

do a quick erase of the PMA, TOC and the pregap. You can blank specific

tracks or do a more thorough blanking but generally you can get away with

'fast' unless it's a stubborn re-writeable.


Before you can write a CD, you will have to create an ISO image of your

compilation. An ISO images is essentially a raw image of the CD layout

and its contents.

mkisofs like cdrecord is available with most Linux distributions. But if

your distribution doesn't have it or you want to try out the latest

version then you can get it here.

ISO's can be built by any user. You do not need to be root as you would

have to be to write a CD.

Create a directory to hold your cd contents. Into that directory, copy all

your data up to a limit of 650MB. There are some CD's with higher capacity

and using techniques like overburning but I haven't been able to try that out.

Once you have all the data in there, you can use mkisofs to build an

ISO. Get out of the directory with your data and give the following


mkisofs -o foo.iso -J -r foocd/

-o - Output filename. This could be anything you want and point to any

path that you want.

-J - This puts in a Joliet file descriptor on to the CD. This way any long

filenames will be preserved under Windows machines too.

-r - You will need the Unix Rockeridge extensions for the long filenames

under Linux. The iso9660 standard does not allow very long filenames.

The last item in the command line is the path which contains the data that

needs to be part of the iso image.

Soon enough you will have an ISO image which you can burn using cdrecord.

That's about it for basic cd-writing and the creation of ISO images. There

is a lot more that you can do. Mulitsession CDs as well as audio CD

creation and bootable CDs too. The CD-Writing HOWTO is an excellent

resource for information, so do go through that too.