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Installation instructions at about line 60. First the legal stuff:
This all is under GPL.
(See GPL reference, our clarification and commitment at the end of this text)
Based on and sub project of:
By Mario Danic <> and Thomas Schmitt <>
Copyright (C) 2006-2007 Mario Danic, Thomas Schmitt is inspired by and in other components still containing
parts of
Libburn. By Derek Foreman <> and
Ben Jansens <>
Copyright (C) 2002-2006 Derek Foreman and Ben Jansens
See toplevel README for an overview of the current copyright situation in
My thanks to the above authors (except myself, of course) for making the
following possible.
cdrskin. By Thomas Schmitt <>
Integrated sub project of but also published via:
Copyright (C) 2006-2007 Thomas Schmitt
On top of libburn there is implemented cdrskin 0.3.1, a limited cdrecord
compatibility wrapper which allows to use some libburn features from
the command line.
Interested users of cdrecord are invited to participate in the development
of cdrskin. Contact: or .
We will keep copyright narrow but will of course acknowledge valuable
contributions in a due way.
Important :
This software is provided as is. There is no warranty implied and no
protection against possible damages. You use this on your own risk.
Don't blame me or other authors of libburn if anything goes wrong.
I used it on my own risk with :
SuSE 7.2, kernel 2.4.4, ide-scsi emulation, LITE-ON LTR48125S CD burner, 2002
SuSE 9.0, kernel 2.4.21, ide-scsi emulation, LG GSA-4082B CD/DVD burner, 2004
NEC ND-4570A CD/DVD burner, 2006
RIP-14.4, kernel 2.6.14, no ide-scsi, with all above burners
It fails to compile or run on SuSE 6.4 (kernel 2.2.14).
It does not find the IDE CD burner on SuSE 7.2 without ide-scsi.
Other people sucessfully tested cdrskin on several kernel 2.6 based x86 Linux
systems, including 64 bit systems. (Further reports are welcome.)
Compilation, First Glimpse, Installation
Obtain cdrskin-0.3.1.tar.gz, take it to a directory of your choice and do:
tar xzf cdrskin-0.3.1.tar.gz
cd cdrskin-0.3.1
Or obtain a SVN snapshot,
go into the toplevel directory of the snapshot (e.g. cd libburn_pykix ),
and execute the autotools script ./bootstrap . Use autools version >= 1.7 .
Within that toplevel directory of either cdrskin-0.3.1 or libburn then execute:
(Note: there are next-level directories "libburn" and "cdrskin". Those
would be the wrong ones. Meant is the highest directory of tarball resp.
SVN download. Among others containing files "AUTHORS", "configure",
"", as well as directories "libburn" and "cdrskin".)
This will already produce a cdrskin binary. But it might be necessary to
install libburn in order to use this binary. Installation of libburn is
beyond the scope of cdrskin. For this, see included libburn docs.
In order to surely get a standalone binary, execute
Version identification and help texts available afterwards:
cdrskin/cdrskin -version
cdrskin/cdrskin --help
cdrskin/cdrskin -help
man cdrskin/cdrskin.1
Install (eventually as superuser) cdrskin to a directory where it can be found:
If cdrskin was already installed by a previous version, or by "make install"
in the course of this installation, then find out where:
which cdrskin
Copy your standalone binary to exactly the address which you get as reply
cp cdrskin/cdrskin /usr/bin/cdrskin
Check the version timestamps of the globally installed binary
cdrskin -version
It is not necessary for the standalone cdrskin binary to have libburn
installed, since it incorporates the necessary libburn parts at compile time.
It will not collide with an installed version of libburn either.
But libpthread must be installed on the system and glibc has to match. (See
below for a way to create a statically linked binary.)
To install the man page, you may do: echo $MANPATH and choose one of the
listed directories to copy the man-page under its ./man1 directory. Like:
cp cdrskin/cdrskin.1 /usr/share/man/man1/cdrskin.1
The user of cdrskin needs rw-permission for the CD burner device.
A list of rw-accessible drives can be obtained by
cdrskin --devices
CD devices which offer no rw-permission are invisible to normal users.
The superuser should be able to see any usable drive and then set the
permissions as needed. If this hangs then there is a drive with
unexpected problems (locked, busy, broken, whatever). You might have to
guess the address of your (non-broken) burner by other means, then.
On Linux 2.4 this would be some /dev/sgN and on 2.6. some /dev/hdX.
The output of cdrskin --devices might look like
0 dev='/dev/sg0' rwrwr- : '_NEC' 'DVD_RW ND-4570A'
1 dev='/dev/sg1' rwrw-- : 'HL-DT-ST' 'DVDRAM GSA-4082B'
So full and insecure enabling of both for everybody would look like
chmod a+rw /dev/sg0 /dev/sg1
I strongly discourage to run cdrskin with setuid root or via sudo !
It is not checked for the necessary degree of hacker safety.
Usage examples
For options and recordable media classes see
man 1 cdrskin
Get an overview of cdrecord style addresses of available devices
cdrskin -scanbus
cdrskin dev=ATA -scanbus
cdrskin --devices
Adresses reported with dev=ATA need prefix "ATA:". Address examples:
dev=0,1,0 dev=ATA:1,0,0 dev=/dev/sg1 dev=/dev/hdc
See also "Drive Addressing" below.
Obtain some info about the drive
cdrskin dev=0,1,0 -checkdrive
Obtain some info about the drive and the inserted media
cdrskin dev=0,1,0 -atip -v
Make used CD-RW or used unformatted DVD-RW writeable again
cdrskin -v dev=0,1,0 blank=fast -eject
Format DVD-RW to avoid need for blanking before re-use
cdrskin -v dev=0,1,0 blank=format_overwrite
De-format DVD-RW to make it capable of multi-session again
cdrskin -v dev=/dev/sr0 blank=deformat_sequential
Burn image file my_image.iso to media
cdrskin -v dev=0,1,0 speed=12 fs=8m driveropts=burnfree padsize=300k \
-eject my_image.iso
Write several sessions to the same CD or DVD-R[W]
cdrskin dev=/dev/hdc padsize=300k -multi 1.iso
cdrskin dev=/dev/hdc padsize=300k -multi -tao 2.iso
cdrskin dev=/dev/hdc padsize=300k -multi -tao 3.iso
cdrskin dev=/dev/hdc 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/hdc -msinfo 2>/dev/null)
mkisofs ... -C "$c_values" ...
Burn a compressed afio archive to media on-the-fly
find . | afio -oZ - | cdrskin -v dev=0,1,0 fs=32m speed=8 -tao \
driveropts=burnfree padsize=300k -
Burn 6 audio tracks from files with different formats to CD (not to any DVD).
Anything except .wav or .au files has to be converted into raw format first.
See below "Audio CD" for specifications.
ogg123 -d raw -f /path/to/track1.ogg
oggdec -R -o /path/to/track2.ogg
lame --decode -t /path/to/track3.mp3
madplay -o /path/to/track4.mp3
mppdec --raw-le /path/to/track5.mpc
cdrskin -v dev=0,1,0 blank=fast -eject speed=48 -sao \
-audio -swab track0[1-5].cd /path/to/track6.wav
Usage example with
Address may be a cdrecord-style "scsibus,target,lun" as listed with
cdrskin -scanbus (and hopefully as listed with cdrecord -scanbus) :
export SCDBACKUP_SCSI_ADR="0,1,0"
or a device file address as listed by --devices with an accessible drive :
export SCDBACKUP_SCSI_ADR="/dev/sg1"
Set usage of cdrskin with appropriate options rather than cdrecord :
export SCDBACKUP_CDRECORD="cdrskin -v -v"
Run a backup :
The major restrictions are lifted now: audio, TAO, multi-session do work.
Many cdrecord options are still unsupported, though.
If you have use cases for them, please report your wishes and expectations.
DVD support is restricted to single layer overwriteable DVD (-RAM, +RW, -RW)
for now.
Inspiration and Standard
For the original meaning of cdrecord options see :
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.)
cdrskin does not contain any bytes copied from cdrecord's sources. Many bytes
have been copied from the message output of cdrecord runs, though. I am
thankful to Joerg Schilling for every single one of them.
Actually i, Thomas Schmitt, am a devoted user of cdrecord via my project
scdbackup which still runs a bit better with cdrecord than with cdrskin. TAO.
I have the hope that Joerg feels more flattered than annoyed by cdrskin.
Many thanks to Andy Polyakov for his dvd+rw-tools
which provide me with examples and pointers into MMC specs for DVD writing.
Drive Addressing
Drives get addressed either via their cdrecord-style addresses as listed
with option -scanbus (see below "Pseudo-SCSI Adresses") or via the paths
of device files.
Not only device files listed by --devices may be used but also device files
which via their major,minor numbers point to the same device driver as
a listed device file.
Helpful with Linux kernel 2.4 is a special SCSI feature:
It is possible to address a scsi(-emulated) drive via associated device files
which are not listed by option --devices but point to the same SCSI addresses
as listed device files. This addressing via e.g. /dev/sr0 or /dev/scd1 is
compatible with generic read programs like dd and with write program growisofs.
Pseudo-SCSI Adresses
cdrecord and cdrskin share the syntax of SCSI addresses but not necessarily
the meaning of the components. A cdrecord-style address for cdrskin
can be interpreted in two different modes.
Standard mode tries to be compatible to original cdrecord. This should be true
with (emulated) SCSI where the /dev/sgN with is looked up with matching
scsibus,target,lun as given by the operating system.
With dev=ATA: or dev=ATAPI: the translation to /dev/hdX is purely literal
but matches the cdrecord addresses on all systems tested so far:
X = 'a' + 2 * scsibus + target
where target only may have the values 0 or 1.
In this mode, option -scanbus will list only SCSI devices unless option
dev=ATA or dev=ATAPI are given, which will suppress SCSI devices and only
show IDE drives (i.e. /dev/hdX without ide-scsi emulation).
In mode --old_pseudo_scsi_adr there is a scsibus,target,lun representation
which has nothing to do with SCSI and thus is not compatible to cdrecord.
Each number triple corresponds either to a device file address or to a
libburn drive number.
Component "scsibus" indicates the translation method. Defined busses are:
0 target is the libburn drivenumber as listed with --devices
1 associated to device file /dev/sgN , target chooses N
2 associated to device file /dev/hdX , target 0='a', 1='b' ..., 25='z'
So "1,1,0" is /dev/sg1, "2,3,0" is /dev/hdd, "0,2,0" is libburn drive #2 at
some unspecified device file.
This scheme shall help to keep cdrecord-style addresses stable and exchangeable
between users without excluding drives with unexpected device addresses.
The numbering on bus 0 is prone to arbitrary changes caused by changes in
drive accessability.
Further busses may emerge as libburn evolves. "prefix" and "lun" may get
a meaning. To stay upward compatible, use addresses as printed by -scanbus.
User Defined Device Address Translation
Some programs or users have their own ideas about the address of their burner.
K3b 0.10 for example derives cdrecord addresses by own examination of the
devices and not by calling cdrecord -scanbus.
Standard mode will hopefully be fully compatible with their ideas.
Old frontends which do not know dev=ATA or dev=ATAPI and which do ask their
"cdrecord" via -scanbus may be well served with option --old_pseudo_scsi_adr .
To direct any remaining stubborn callers to the appropriate drives, cdrskin
allows to define device address aliases. Like
cdrskin dev_translation=+1,0,0+/dev/sg1 \
dev_translation=+ATA:1,0,0+/dev/sg1 \
dev_translation=-"cd+dvd"-0,1,0 \
Any of the addresses dev=1,0,0, dev=ATA:1,0,0, dev=cd+dvd will be mapped to
/dev/sg1 resp. to 0,1,0.
The first character after "dev_translation=" defines the character which
separates the two parts of the translation pair. (Above: "+" and "-".)
In K3b 0.10 it is possible to employ alternative writer programs by setting
their full path (e.g. /usr/bin/cdrskin) in menu
Settings:Configure K3b...:Programs:Search Path
and to make them default in menu
Settings:Configure K3b...:Programs:Programs:
A suitable setting for "cdrecord" in menu
Settings:Configure K3b...:Programs:User Parameters
would then probably be
-v dev_translation=+1,0,0+/dev/sg1
You will learn from button "Show Debugging Output" after a failed burn run
what cdrecord command was used with what address "dev=...". This address "..."
will be the right one to replace "1,0,0" in above example.
Startup Files
If not --no_rc is the first argument then cdrskin attempts on startup to read
arguments from the following three files:
The files are read in the sequence given above.
Each readable line is treated as one single argument. No extra blanks.
A first character '#' marks a comment, empty lines are ignored.
Example content of a startup file:
# This is the default device
# To accomodate to eventual remnant cdrskin-0.2.2 addresses
# Some more options
Audio CD
Lorenzo Taylor enabled option -audio in cdrskin (thanks !) and reports neat
results with audio data files which are :
headerless PCM (i.e. uncompressed)
44100 Hz sampling rate
16 bits per sample
stereo (2 channels)
little-endian byte order with option -swab, or big-endian without -swab
Files with name extension .wav get examined wether they are in Microsoft WAVE
format with above parameters and eventually get extracted by cdrskin itself.
In the same way files with name extension .au get examined wether they are
in SUN's audio format. For both formats, track format -audio and eventual
endianness option -swab are enabled automatically.
Any other formats are to be converted to format .wav with above parameters
or to be extracted as raw CD track data by commands like those given above
under "Usage examples". Those raw files need option -audio and in most cases
option -swab to mark them as little-endian/Intel/LSB-first 16-bit data.
Incorrect endianness setting results in random noise on CD.
I myself am not into audio. So might be the
best address for suggestions, requests and bug reports.
DVD+RW and DVD-RAM media get treated as blank media regardless wether they
hold data or not. Options -audio and -multi are not allowed. Only one track
is allowed. -toc does not return information about the media content.
Speed is counted in DVD units (i.e. 1x = 1,385,000 bytes/second). Currently
there is no difference between -sao and -tao. If ever, then -tao will be the
mode which preserves the current behavior.
For these media, -msinfo alone would not be enough to perform appending of an
ISO filesystem. The filesystem driver will need a hint to find the start of the
most recent session. For example put an ISO filesystem at address 1 GB:
mkisofs -C 0,524288 ... | \
cdrskin dev=/dev/sr0 -v fs=32m -eject speed=4 write_start_address=524288s -
The superuser may then do:
mount -t iso9660 -o ro,sbsector=524288 /dev/sr0 /mnt
Note: On my linux-2.4.21-215 mount works only with sbsector <= 337920 (660 MB).
To extend a filesystem already existing at address 0
mkisofs -C 0,524288 -M /dev/sr0 ... | cdrskin dev=/dev/sr0 ...
Record the number 524288 for usage as first number with -C at the next
mkisofs -C 524288,1000000 ... | cdrskin write_start_address=1000000s ...
Program growisofs can append to an ISO filesystem on DVD+RW by additionally
manipulating the first session. cdrskin does not want to get involved so deep
into the format of the burned data. Be advised to use growisofs for the
task of maintaining extendable ISO-Filesystems on DVD+RW.
DVD-RW are usable if formatted to state "Restricted Overwrite" or if in state
"Sequential Recording". DVD-R are always in sequential state.
"Sequential" is the state of unused media and of media previously blanked
or written by cdrecord. dvd+rw-format -blank can also achieve this state.
The according cdrskin option is blank=deformat_sequential .
If "Incremental Streaming" is available, then sequential media are capable
of multi-session like CD-R[W]. (But not capable of -audio recording.)
This means they need option -multi to stay appendable, need to be blanked
to be writeable from start, return useable info with -toc and -msinfo,
eventually perform appending automatically.
Without "Incremental Streaming" offered by the drive, only write mode DAO is
available with sequential DVD-R[W]. It only works with blank media, allows only
one single track, no -multi, and demands a fixely predicted track size.
(growisofs uses it with DVD-R[W] if option -dvd-compat is given.)
Overwriteable DVD-RW behave much like DVD+RW. "Restricted" refers only to the
granularity of random access and block size which have always to be aligned to
full 32 kB. Sequential DVD-RW are converted into overwriteable DVD-RW by
cdrskin dev=... -v blank=format_overwrite
(Command dvd+rw-format -force can achieve "Restricted Overwrite", too.)
Formatting or first use of freshly formatted DVD-RW can produce unusual noises
from the drive and last several minutes. Depending on mutual compatibility of
drive and media, formatting can yield unusable media. It seems that those die
too on blanking by cdrecord, dvd+rw-format or cdrskin. Perils of DVD-RW.
There are three DVD-RW formatting variants with cdrskin currently:
blank=format_overwrite uses "DVD-RW Quick" formatting (MMC-type 15h)
and writes a first session of 128 MB. This leads to media which are expandable
and random addressable by cdrskin.
blank=format_overwrite_quickest uses "DVD-RW Quick" formatting (type 15h) too,
but leaves the media in "intermediate" state. In the first session of writing
one may only write sequentially to such a DVD. After that, it gets random
addressable by cdrskin. DVD-ROM drives might show ill behavior with them.
blank=format_overwrite_full uses preferrably "Full Format" (type 00h).
This formatting lasts as long as writing a full DVD. It includes writing of
lead-out which is said to be good for DVD ROM compatibility.
De-formatting options are available to make overwriteable DVD-RW sequential:
blank=deformat_sequential performs thorough blanking of all states of DVD-RW.
blank=all and blank=fast perform the same thorough blanking, but refuse to do
this with overwriteable DVD-RW, thus preserving their formatting. The specs
allow minimal blanking but the resulting media on my drives offer no
Incremental Streaming afterwards. So blank=fast will do full blanking.
blank=deformat_sequential_quickest is faster but might yield DAO-only media.
Special compilation variations
You may get a (super fat) statically linked binary by :
cdrskin/ -static
if your system supports static linking, at all. This will not help with kernels
which do not properly support the necessary low-level interfaces chosen by
your compile-time libraries.
A size reduced but fully functional binary may be produced by
cdrskin/ -do_strip
An extra lean binary with reduced capabilities is created by
cdrskin/ -do_diet -do_strip
It will not read startup files, will abort on option dev_translation= ,
will not have a fifo buffer, and will not be able to put out help texts or
debugging messages.
This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or
(at your option) any later version.
This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
GNU General Public License for more details.
You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software
Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307 USA
cdrskin is currently copyright Thomas Schmitt only.
It adopts the following commitment by the toplevel copyright holders:
We, the copyright holders, agree on the interpretation that
dynamical linking of our libraries constitutes "use of" and
not "derivation from" our work in the sense of GPL, provided
those libraries are compiled from our unaltered code.
Thus you may link our libraries dynamically with applications
which are not under GPL. You may distribute our libraries and
application tools in binary form, if you fulfill the usual
condition of GPL to offer a copy of the source code -altered
or unaltered- under GPL.
We ask you politely to use our work in open source spirit
and with the due reference to the entire open source community.
If there should really arise the case where above clarification
does not suffice to fulfill a clear and neat request in open source
spirit that would otherwise be declined for mere formal reasons,
only in that case we will duely consider to issue a special license
covering only that special case.
It is the open source idea of responsible freedom which will be
decisive and you will have to prove that you exhausted all own
means to qualify for GPL.
For now we are firmly committed to maintain one single license: GPL.
signed for cdrskin: Thomas Schmitt