cdrskin logo: Doener mit Scharf

Homepage of


Limited cdrecord compatibility wrapper for libburn


Hardware requirements:

A CD/DVD recorder suitable for (SCSI or IDE/ATAPI writers compliant to standard MMC-3 or higher).

Software requirements :

Linux kernel 2.4 or higher
With kernel 2.4 the drive has to be under ide-scsi emulation.
With kernel 2.6 the drive should not be under ide-scsi.
is supposed to be a standard system component.

GPL software included:

(by Derek Foreman, Ben Jansens, and team of
transfers data to CD

This program system has been tested on Intel/AMD Linux systems only.
Ports to other usable systems are appreciated. Reports are welcome.

Special features:


The goal is to provide some of cdrecord's options in a compatible way. This has been achieved quite sufficiently for the needs of backup tool scdbackup and for data CD projects of K3b (see examples). Suitability for audio CD frontends has been improved much and is now being evaluated.
Most DVD types are written in pseudo -tao modes which are very different from the write mode DAO used by cdrecord(-ProDVD). With DVD-R[W] cdrskin can use this write mode, too.
Further enhancements depend on people who can describe and discuss their wishes as well as on the development of libburn.

Get an overview of drives and their addresses:
$ cdrskin -scanbus
$ cdrskin dev=ATA -scanbus
$ cdrskin --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 -toc
Make used CD-RW or used unformatted DVD-RW writable again:
$ cdrskin -v dev=/dev/sg1 blank=fast -eject
$ cdrskin -v dev=/dev/dvd blank=all -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 \
  -sao -eject padsize=300k my_image.iso
Write compressed afio archive on-the-fly:
$ find . | afio -oZ - | \
  cdrskin -v dev=0,1,0 fs=32m speed=8 \
  -tao padsize=300k -
Write several sessions to the same CD or DVD-R[W]:
$ cdrskin dev=/dev/hdc -v padsize=300k -multi -tao 1.iso
$ cdrskin dev=/dev/hdc -v padsize=300k -multi -tao 2.iso
$ cdrskin dev=/dev/hdc -v padsize=300k -multi -tao 3.iso
$ cdrskin dev=/dev/hdc -v padsize=300k -tao 4.iso
Get CD or DVD-R[W] multi-session info for option -C of program mkisofs:
$ c_values=$(cdrskin dev=/dev/sr0 -msinfo 2>/dev/null)
$ mkisofs ... -C "$c_values" ...
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.)

Known deficiencies:

Download as source code (see README):
cdrskin-0.3.2.pl00.tar.gz (570 KB).
The "stable" cdrskin tarballs are source code identical with "stable" libburn releases or with "stabilized" libburn SVN snapshots. They get produced via a different procedure, though.
cdrskin is part of libburn - full libburn is provided with cdrskin releases.
Download as single x86 binaries (untar and move to /usr/bin/cdrskin):
cdrskin_0.3.2.pl00-x86-suse9_0.tar.gz, (80 KB),
runs on SuSE 9.0 (2.4.21) , RIP-14.4 (2.6.14) , Gentoo (2.6.15 x86_64 Athlon).
cdrskin_0.3.2.pl00-x86-suse9_0-static.tar.gz, (285 KB), -static compiled,
runs on SuSE 7.2 (2.4.4), and on the systems above.
README an introduction
cdrskin --help non-cdrecord options
cdrskin -help cdrecord compatible options
man cdrskin the manual page
Thomas Schmitt,
libburn development mailing list,
GPL, an Open Source approved license

Enhancements towards previous stable version cdrskin-0.3.0:

Development snapshot, version 0.3.3 :

Enhancements towards stable version 0.3.2:
  • New option --tell_media_space tells the maximum size for the next burn
README 0.3.3
cdrskin_0.3.3 --help
cdrskin_0.3.3 -help
man cdrskin (as of 0.3.3)
Maintainers of cdrskin unstable packages please use SVN of
Download: svn co libburn_pykix
Build: cd libburn_pykix ; ./bootstrap ; ./configure ; make
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 downloads are intended for adventurous end users or admins with full system souvereignty.
Source (./bootstrap is already applied, build tested, for more see upcoming README ):
cdrskin-0.3.3.tar.gz (570 KB).
Binary (untar and move to /usr/bin/cdrskin):
cdrskin_0.3.3-x86-suse9_0.tar.gz, (80 KB).
cdrskin_0.3.3-x86-suse9_0-static.tar.gz, (280 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 media.

Example for a setup of device permissions. To be done by the superuser:
(CD devices which offer no r-permission are invisible to normal users.)
(CD devices which offer no w-permission are not useable.)
# cdrskin --devices
0  dev='/dev/sg0'  rwrwr- :  'TEAC' 'CD-ROM CD-532S'
1  dev='/dev/hdc'  rwrw-- :  'LITE-ON' 'LTR-48125S'
# chmod a+rw /dev/sg0 /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.)

Example for a test session with a cdrecord based scdbackup installation:
$ cdrskin -scanbus
    2,0,0    0)  'TEAC' 'CD-ROM CD-532S' '?' Removable CD-ROM
$ cdrskin -scanbus dev=ATA
    1,0,0    1)  'LITE-ON' 'LTR-48125S' '?' Removable CD-ROM
$ export SCDBACKUP_SCSI_ADR="ATA:1,0,0"
$ export SCDBACKUP_CDRECORD="cdrskin -v -v"
$ scdbackup_home
Example for a permanent configuration of cdrskin based scdbackup
$ cd scdbackup-0.8.6/inst
cdrskin 0.3.2 : limited cdrecord compatibility wrapper for libburn
If your system is stricken with some ill CD device then this can stall and you will have to press Ctrl+C to abort. In this case, you may execute export SCDBACKUP_NO_SCANBUS=1 and try again.
------------------- SCSI devices. To be used like    0,0,0
    2,0,0    0)  'TEAC' 'CD-ROM CD-532S' '?' Removable CD-ROM
------------------- end of SCSI device list
------------------- ATA devices. To be used like ATA:0,0,0
    1,0,0    1)  'LITE-ON' 'LTR-48125S' '?' Removable CD-ROM
    * Your cdrecord offers -driveropts=burnfree with your recorder.
scdbackup for CD 0.8.6 : First stage of installation done.
Now give it a try. Run : scdbackup_home
To get back to using cdrecord :
$ cd scdbackup-0.8.6/inst

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 am a long time user of cdrecord and it works fine for me. Especially i do appreciate its write mode -tao which allows to pipe arbitrary data on CD and CD-RW via stdin. cdrecord is reliable, versatile and well maintained. So for me - there would be not problem with it.
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 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 ongoing work. I owe him much. For cdrecord, for mkisofs, for star. Chapeau.

cdrskin logo: Doener mit Scharf

Enjoying free Open Source hosting by
100 % Microsoft free
and by
SourceForge Logo

Links to my other published software projects :
scdbackup, multi volume CD backup
(a second source of above)
Some Tools for Image Collectors
(a second source of above)
pppoem, a DSL throughput monitor (mainly for Linux kernel 2.4)

Legal statement: This website does not serve any commercial purpose.