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libisoburn and xorriso. By Vreixo Formoso <>
and Thomas Schmitt <>
Integrated sub project of
Copyright (C) 2006-2012 Vreixo Formoso, Thomas Schmitt.
Provided under GPL version 2 or later.
libisoburn is a frontend for libraries libburn and libisofs which enables
creation and expansion of ISO-9660 filesystems on all CD/DVD/BD media supported
by libburn. This includes media like DVD+RW, which do not support multi-session
management on media level and even plain disk files or block devices.
The price for that is thorough specialization on data files in ISO-9660
filesystem images. So libisoburn is not suitable for audio (CD-DA) or any
other CD layout which does not entirely consist of ISO-9660 sessions.
xorriso is an application of libisoburn, libisofs, and libburn, which reads
commands from program arguments, files, stdin, or readline.
Its features are also available via a C language API of libisoburn.
Currently they are fully supported on Linux with kernels >= 2.4,
on FreeBSD with ATAPI/CAM support enabled in the kernel, see atapicam(4),
and on OpenSolaris (tested with kernel 5.11).
On other X/Open compliant systems libburn will only offer POSIX i/o with disk
file objects, but no direct MMC operation on CD/DVD/BD drives.
By using this software you agree to the disclaimer at the end of this text:
"... without even the implied warranty ..."
Compilation, First Glimpse, Installation
Dynamic library and compile time header requirements for libisoburn-1.2.0 :
- , version libburn-1.2.0 or higher
- , version libisofs-1.2.0 or higher
libisoburn and xorriso will not start with libraries which are older than their
include headers seen at compile time.
Obtain libisoburn-1.2.0.tar.gz, take it to a directory of your choice
and do:
tar xzf libisoburn-1.2.0.tar.gz
cd libisoburn-1.2.0
Within that directory execute:
./configure --prefix=/usr
Then become superuser and execute
make install
which will make available and the program xorriso.
On GNU/Linux it will try to run program ldconfig with the library installation
directory as only argument. Failure to do so will not abort installation.
One may disable ldconfig by ./configure option --disable-ldconfig-at-install .
By use of a version script, the library exposes no other function
names but those of the API definitions in <libisoburn/libisoburn.h> and
If -Wl,--version-script=... makes problems with the local compiler, then
disable this encapsulation feature by
./configure --disable-versioned-libs
make clean ; make
The ./configure script of libisoburn can check via pkg-config whether suitable
libburn and libisoburn are installed. Regrettably this test failed on several
systems due to local pkg-config problems. So it is disabled by default and may
be enabled by:
./configure --enable-pkg-check-modules
In this case, ./configure fails if no suitable installations are found.
libisoburn comes with a command line and dialog application named xorriso,
which offers a substantial part of libisoburn features to shell scripts and
users. Its file xorriso/README_gnu_xorriso describes the tarball of the
derived package GNU xorriso as first preference for a statically linked
xorriso installation.
The libisoburn installation described above produces a dynamically linked
xorriso binary depending on,,
After installation documentation is available via
man xorriso
man xorrisofs
man xorrecord
Several alias links point to the xorriso binary:
xorrisofs starts xorriso with -as mkisofs emulation already enabled
xorrecord starts xorriso with -as cdrecord emulation already enabled
osirrox starts with -osirrox image-to-disk copying already enabled
By default xorriso will depend on libreadline if the readline-dev headers
are present. This dependcy can be avoided by running
./configure --prefix=/usr --disable-libreadline
make clean ; make
Never omit the "make clean" command after switching libreadline enabling.
Other deliberate dependency reduction options of ./configure are:
--disable-libacl avoid use of ACL functions like acl_to_text()
--disable-xattr avoid use of xattr functions like listxattr() on Linux
resp. extattr_list_file() on FreeBSD
--disable-zlib avoid use of zlib functions like compress2()
--disable-libjte avoid use of libjte for -jigdo command
xorriso allows to use external processes as file content filters. This is
a potential security risk which may be avoided by ./configure option
By default the filter feature is disabled if effective user id and real
user id differ. This ban can be lifted by
In some situations Linux may deliver a better write performance to DVD drives
if 64 KB rather than 32 KB are transmitted in each write operation.
64k can be made default at configure time by:
libisoburn, libisofs, and libburn C language API
For the lower API concepts and calls see
as well as
xorriso C language API
Actually the dynamically linked xorriso binary is only a small start program
for the xorriso API that is implemented inside libisoburn.
There are API calls for command readers and interpreters, and there are
API calls for each single command of xorriso.
Interested programmers should have a look into the API definition at
and the start program
The header file xorriso.h gets installed suitable for
#include <libisoburn/xorriso.h>
So after installation of a binary libisoburn package you may find it e.g. as
Drives and Disk File Objects
The user of libisoburn applications needs operating system dependent
permissions for the CD/DVD/BD drives which shall be used.
On Linux and FreeBSD this means -rw-permissions, even if only reading is
intended. On Solaris one needs privileges "basic,sys_devices" and r-permission,
even if writing is intended.
A list of rw-accessible drives can be obtained by
xorriso -devices
resp. by xorriso API call
resp. by libburn API call
A possible source of problems are hald or other automounters.
If you can spot a process "hald-addon-storage" with the address of
your desired drive, then consider to kill it.
A similar process "udisks-daemon: polling ..." can be seen on newer Linuxes.
On Debian GNU/Linux 6.0.2 amd64 there is
where one can remove all CD drives ("sr*") from the list of automountable
KERNEL=="sd*|hd*|mmcblk*|mspblk*", ENV{UDISKS_PRESENTATION_NOPOLICY}="0"
# KERNEL=="sd*|hd*|sr*|mmcblk*|mspblk*", ENV{UDISKS_PRESENTATION_NOPOLICY}="0"
Copying the recognition criterion from
one can prevent automounting a single drive, too. E.g.:
SUBSYSTEM=="block", ENV{ID_CDROM}=="?*", ENV{ID_PATH}=="pci-0000:00:11.0-scsi-2:0:0:0", ENV{UDISKS_PRESENTATION_NOPOLICY}:="1"
If you cannot get rid of the automounter, try whether it helps to always load
the drive tray manually before starting a write run of xorriso. Wait until the
drive light is off and the mounted media appears.
Then try to unmount the mounted media before a write run.
Besides true optical drives, libisoburn can also address disk files as input or
output drives. The addresses of the disk files have to be preceded by "stdio:".
Note: xorriso by default prefixes "stdio:" to addresses outside the /dev tree
if they do not lead to an optical drive device file.
For automated and manual tests of xorriso's functionality see file
Result comparison with self produced ISO images
We are quite sure that libisofs produces accurate representations of the disk
files. This opinion is founded on a lot of test burns and checks by a little
test program which compares files from the mounted image with the orignals
on disk. It uses the normal POSIX filesystem calls, i.e. no libburnia stuff.
This program is not installed systemwide but stays in the installation
directory of the libisoburn tarball as test/compare_file . Usually it is
run as -exec payload of a find command. It demands at least three arguments:
The path of the file to compare, the prefix1 to be cut off from path
and the prefix2 which gets prepended afterwards to obtain the path of the
second file to compare.
As further argument there can be -no_ctime which suppresses the comparison
of ctime date stamps.
The exit value is 0 if no difference was detected, non-0 else.
Example: After
xorriso ... -pathspecs on -add /=/original/dir --
mount /media/dvd
cd test
compare tree /media/dvd with tree /original/dir :
find /original/dir -exec ./compare_file '{}' /original/dir /media/dvd ';' \
| less
and vice versa:
find /media/dvd -exec ./compare_file '{}' /media/dvd /original/dir ';' \
| less
This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of the GNU General Public License version 2 or later
as published by the Free Software Foundation.
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
Based on and sub project of:
By Mario Danic <>,
Vreixo Formoso <>
Thomas Schmitt <>
Copyright (C) 2006-2012 Mario Danic, Vreixo Formoso, Thomas Schmitt.
We will not raise any legal protest to dynamic linking of our libraries
with applications that are not under GPL, as long as they fulfill
the condition of offering the library source code used, whether
altered or unaltered, under the GPLv2+, along with the application.
Nevertheless, the safest legal position is not to link libburn with
non-GPL compatible programs. is inspired by and in other components still containing
parts of old
Libburn. By Derek Foreman <> and
Ben Jansens <>
Copyright (C) 2002-2006 Derek Foreman and Ben Jansens
libisoburn does not stem from their code.