Burning a DVD still an adventure on GNU/Linux

Recently, I needed to burn several GBs of data, located on a SAMBA-based fileserver, to DVDs. The Nautilus’ CD/DVD burning extension simply could not burn the data over the network. I decided to try brasero, since it is said to be the most actively developed CD/DVD burning frontend for the GNOME desktop. Despite the fact that it needed to transfer the data locally before burning it, which (taking into account the 40-50 GBs of data I needed to burn) resulted in a significant amount of wasted time, I decided to give it a chance to finish the job. Everything seemed to be running smoothly, until the very last moment of the burning procedure, at which brasero spat one of those error messages I never wish to see: “Error while burning. An unknown error has occured.“. The session log was not helpful either.

As soon as I read that message, I (at the speed of light) booted to an installation of Windows and desperately searched the web for a free DVD burning application that would be able to accomplish the job it is advertised for; that is burning a simple data DVD. Soon, I came across Imgburn, which turned out to be one of the highest quality applications (including commercial solutions like the Nero Burning Rom suite I used to own before switching to the Linux desktop) I have ever used to burn optical media. To be more specific, I couldn’t believe that an application of such quality was released as freeware. I guess I shouldn’t mention that it burned and verified the data across the network without a single error!

My primary desktop has been running GNU/Linux exclusively for 4+ years. During that time, I had the opportunity to use every FOSS graphical CD/DVD burning frontend that has ever been released, but I always ended to the good old command-line tools (mkisofs – now genisoimage-, dvd+rw-tools) to do the job.

Making an exception for K3B, I wouldn’t rate all other FOSS graphical CD/DVD burning frontends higher than “crapware“.

Of course, things would have been better if all those FOSS devs joined forces, had a plan and assembled a team of volunteer beta testers (I would have loved to participate). I am sure that the result would have been an awesome burning application. But, unfortunately, each of those selfish geniuses decided to torture the world by delivering his own version of crap to our desktop, dammit!

Burning a DVD still an adventure on GNU/Linux by George Notaras is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Copyright © 2009 - Some Rights Reserved

George Notaras avatar

About George Notaras

George Notaras is the editor of the G-Loaded Journal, a technical blog about Free and Open-Source Software. George, among other things, is an enthusiast self-taught GNU/Linux system administrator. He has created this web site to share the IT knowledge and experience he has gained over the years with other people. George primarily uses CentOS and Fedora. He has also developed some open-source software projects in his spare time.

6 responses on “Burning a DVD still an adventure on GNU/Linux

  1. George Notaras Post authorPermalink →

    Heh, :-) I feel that I need to write more about how much a more co-ordinated effort to build stable and reliable applications for the so called “Linux Desktop” is needed.

  2. Thomas Slain Permalink →

    Brasero gave me those error before but the result DVD was perfectly okay. So I just ignored it. Newer builds of Brasero seems to have remedied those problems.

  3. krishna Permalink →

    I have always used K3B. Try it.
    It works like a charm!

  4. George Notaras Post authorPermalink →

    @Thomas: At the time of writing it constantly reports failure after every write. I verified the written data manually afterwards and it turned out that despite brasero’s error message, the data has been written accurately. I seriously doubt that a developer/packager/maintainer uses this piece of software.

    @krishna: This is exactly what I use under gnome. But this does not eliminate the issue with brasero and why it has been released as “stable”. BTW, k3b, at least fedora’s version, is not bug-free. It fails to verify the written data.

  5. ds Permalink →

    I’ve had the same experience as George, as exposed in the article.
    My situation is even worse: even K3B creates coasters. At that point, I HAVE to boot in Wind0ze, which I hate to do, and I have to burn my ISO images there… BTW, in Wind0ze I use a free program from Ashampoo, the Free Burn Studio which works flawlessly. I wish – just like George, that Linux developers would unite to make a flawless CD/DVD burner.