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cdrskin Wiki - plain text copy
cdrskin is the cdrecord compatibility middleware of libburn.
Its paragon, cdrecord, is a powerful GPL'ed burn program included in Joerg
Schilling's cdrtools. cdrskin strives to be a second source for the services
traditionally provided by cdrecord. Currently it does CD-R and CD-RW.
Its future ability to burn DVD media depends on the development of libburn.
cdrskin does not contain any bytes copied from cdrecord's sources.
Many bytes have been copied from the message output of cdrecord
runs, though. The most comprehensive technical overview of cdrskin
can be found in cdrskin/README . Online available as :
About libburn API for burning CD:
Appending sessions to an unclosed CD is restricted to write mode TAO.
(Users who have a burner which succeeds with a follow-up session via
cdrecord -sao : please contact us.)
cdrskin does not provide DVD burning yet. See advise to use dvd+rw-tools
at the end of this text.
About the command line options of cdrskin:
There are two families of options: cdrecord-compatible ones and options
which are specific to cdrskin. The latter are mostly used to configure
cdrskin for its task to emulate cdrecord. There are some, nevertheless,
which provide rather exotic unique features of cdrskin.
The cdrecord-compatible options are listed in the output of
cdrskin -help
where the option "help" has *one* dash.
For these options you may expect program behavior that is roughly the
same as described in original man 1 cdrecord .
The cdrskin-specific options are listed by
cdrskin --help
where the option "help" has *two* dashes.
Those have no man page yet. Some are very experimental and should only be
used in coordination with the libburnia developer team.
Some are of general user interest, though:
--devices allows the sysadmin to scan the system for possible drives
and displays their detected properties.
The drives are listed one per line, with fields:
libburn-drive-number, sysadmin-device-file, permissions, vendor, type
0 dev='/dev/sg0' rwrw-- : 'HL-DT-ST' 'DVDRAM GSA-4082B'
This feature is valuable since cdrskin -scanbus will not give you
the device file name and its current permissions.
cdrskin will accept of course the proposed dev= option as address
for any usage of the drive.
Different from cdrecord, cdrskin is intended to be run without special
privileges, i.e. no superuser setuid. It is intended that the sysadmin
controls drive accessability by rw-permissions of the drive rather than
by x-permission of the burn binary. To be usable with cdrskin, the drive
has to offer both, r- and w-permission.
fifo_start_at=<num> is a throughput enhancer for unsteady data streams
like they are produced by a compressing archiver program when piping to
CD on-the-fly. It makes better use of the general property of a FIFO
buffer to transport surplus bandwidth into the future. Yep. A time machine.
One-way, i fear.
FIFO originally was introduced by cdrecord's author Joerg Schilling in order
to protect mediocre burner hardware from suffering buffer underruns
and thus producing misburns (at 1x speed on CD-R media at the price of a
DVD-RAM nowadays). This purpose would not justify a fifo any more -
given the limited life time of burners and the seamless underrun protection
of contemporary consumer drives.
With an unsteady data stream the task of the buffer is to soak up peak
performance and to release it steadily at the drive's maximum speed.
The larger the buffer the more reserves can be built up and the longer
input drought can be compensated.
Original cdrecord has the historical property, though, to first wait until
the buffer is completely filled. Best practice for fighting drive
underruns, of course.
With a very fat fs=# buffer (128 MB for 12x CD is not unrealistic) this
can cause a big delay until burning finally starts and takes its due time.
fifo_start_at=<num> makes cdrskin start burning after the given number of bytes
is read rather than waiting for the FIFO to be completely full resp. the data
stream to end. It risks a few drive buffer underruns at the beginning of burn
- but modern drives stand this.
Usage examples:
cdrskin ... fs=128m fifo_start_at=20m ...
cdrskin ... fifo_start_at=0 ...
Note: no FIFO can give you better average throughput than the average
throughput of the data source and the throughput of the burner.
It can be used, though, to bring the effective throughput very close
to the theoretical limit. Especially with high speed media.
--no_rc allows you to surely ban influence from systemwide or user specific
default settings of cdrskin. Possible locations for such settings:
tao_to_sao_tsize=<num> allows the - actually unsupported - cdrecord option
-tao and defines a default track size to be used if - as custom with -tao -
no option tsize=# is given.
Since -tao is supported in cdrskin-0.2.6 the TAO-to-SAO workaround has become
quite obsolete. Nevertheless, tao_to_sao_tsize= allows to preset a default
size for SAO mode which is in effect only if no track size is available.
As in general with cdrskin tsize=# the data source does not have to provide
the full annouced amount of data. Missing data will be padded up by 0-bytes.
Surplus data is supposed to cause an error, though. The burn will then
be a failure in any way.
dev_translation=<sep><from><sep><to> may be needed to foist cdrskin to
frontend programs of cdrecord which do *not* ask cdrecord -scanbus but
which make own assumptions and guesses about cdrecord's device addresses.
Normally, cdrskin understands all addresses which are suitable for cdrecord
under Linux. See cdrskin/README, "Pseudo-SCSI Adresses".
This option is mainly for (yet unknown) exotic configurations or very
stubborn frontend programs.
If a frontend refuses to work with cdrskin, look into the error protocol
of that frontend, look at the output of a run of cdrskin --devices and give
cdrskin the necessary hint.
Example: Your frontend insists in using "0,0,0" and --devices reported
dev='/dev/hdc' resp. cdrskin dev=ATA -scanbus reported "1,0,0" then this
would be the appropriate translation:
The "+" character is a separator to be choosen by you.
Currently i am not aware of the need to choose any other than "+"
unless you get playful with custom translations like
for an illustrated example with K3b 0.10 .
DVD advise:
For burning of DVD media the cdrskin project currently advises to use
Andy Polyakov's dvd+rw-tools which despite their historic name burn
for me on above burner: DVD+RW, DVD+R, DVD-RW, DVD-R .
They are not compatible or related to cdrecord resp. cdrecord-ProDVD
(now obsoleted by original source cdrtools cdrecord with identical
capabilities besides the license key).
If there is sincere and well motivated interest, the cdrskin project could try
to employ growisofs as DVD burning engine. The cdrskin project would prefer to
wait for DVD support being included in libburn, though.
A very limited and specialized cdrecord-compatibility wrapper for growisofs
serves in my project scdbackup. It is not overly hard to make one that serves
some very few fixed use cases.
To my knowledge, Linux kernels 2.6 do write to DVD+RW via block devices as
they would write to a traditional tape device. Try old tape archiver
commands with addresses like /dev/sr0 or /dev/hdc rather than /dev/mt0 .
I have heard rumors that DVD-RW in mode "restricted overwrite" would be
block device ready, too. My burner is not a real friend of DVD-RW and
in an experiment the burn worked fine - but the result was not identical
to the stream sent to the device. I had similar failure with DVD-RAM, too.
Beware of the impact of a slow block device on overall system i/o buffering.
It is wise to curb its input to a speed which it is able to deliver to media.
Else your i/o dedicated RAM might buffer a big amount of stream data.