Burning data DVDs

A DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R or DVD+RW can store 4.7gb of data. The RW media can be blanked and reused. A selection of the above media are available from Stores. Currently, the following machines have DVD or CD burners on them:

MachineMain UserWrites CDs?Writes DVDs?
grusDiana Worrallyesyes
pavoRhys Morrisyesyes
lupusMalcolm Bremeryesyes
monocerosAaron Robothamyesyes
velaLaura Douglasyesyes
eridanusKaty Lancasteryesyes

There is slight difference between the way RedHat Enterprise 3 (RHEL3) and RHEL4 handles DVD burning. If you're curious, then RHEL3 requires SCSI emulation while RHEL4 can talk directly to IDE optical media burners.

The command to use on RHEL3 and older is:

 growisofs -l -r -f -R -J -Z /dev/scd0 ~/
The command to use on RHEL4 is:
 growisofs -l -r -f -R -J -Z /dev/cdrom ~/
If you are using RW media, the above command will overwrite the original contents of the disk so be warned! The command above will burn a copy of your home directory (~/) on to a DVD+R or DVD+RW. It is probably best to experiment with a DVD+RW first, as they are re-usable.

If you want to add to a previously written DVD, read the growisofs man page and look for the -M option.

Note: if you see the following, or similar, error:

Error trying to open /dev/scd0 exclusively (Device or resource busy). retrying in 1 second.
Error trying to open /dev/scd0 exclusively (Device or resource busy). retrying in 1 second.
then maybe the disk contains media, and is already mounted. Type the 'mount' command to see if the CD/DVD is mounted, then unmount it using the 'umount' command and try again.

There is more information on http://fy.chalmers.se/~appro/linux/DVD+RW/

Rhys Morris
Last modified: Tue Jul 4 10:02:14 BST 2006