Sunday, July 1, 2007

Ubuntu: Multisession DVDs

At the time of writing this, Gnomebaker supports writing multisession CDs, but not DVDs. This extra functionality is provided by K3b, but this is a KDE application, and installing KDE applications on a GNOME-based distribution is not always desirable.

There is however a very simple-to-use command line utility that can be used to create a multisession DVD disc, append data to it and finalize it (and the disc is fully-readable before finalization). This utility is called growisofs and its functionality can be summarized as follows:

Creating a multisession disc
growisofs -Z /dev/dvd -R -J /path/to/file1 /path/to/file2 ...

The -R and -J options define that the Rock-Ridge and Joliet extension should be used (whatever that means....). /dev/dvd should be substituted with the appropriate value for the DVD device (eg in my case it is /dev/cdrom).

Appending data to a multisession disc
growisofs -M /dev/dvd -R -J /path/to/file1 /path/to/file2 ...

The only point that needs caution here is that, when adding data to a multisession disc, you have to use exactly the same options as with when creating the disc.

Finalizing a multisession disc
growisofs -M /dev/dvd=/dev/zero

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