Blanking a rewritable CD/DVD in GNOME

Chances are that your removable media preferences in GNOME are set in a way so that CDs get mounted automatically. There is a usability bug that comes into play whenever you try to blank an already written rewritable CD or DVD with Gnomebaker or directly with the command-line tool (cdrecord). An error message that the volume is already mounted is displayed and the operation cannot continue. Unmounting the volume as a user is not possible because, nowadays, /etc/fstab does not contain any entries about the mounted CDs/DVDs like it used to.

So, in order to blank that rewritable CD, you have to do one of the following:

-1- Eject the medium, set your “removable media preferences” in a way so that CDs do not get mounted automatically, and then load the medium into the drive again and continue on with blanking it.

-2- Use su or sudo to unmount the medium. Although this is the most common solution to such issues, I think that root access should not be required in order to accomplish everyday tasks of such simplicity.

-3- The third way involves using the utility gnome-mount. I found out about this today, while, from the nautilus interface, I was unable to directly unmount the volume as a user without ejecting it. The syntax is very simple. Assuming that /dev/hdc is your writer, then issue the following command as a user:

$ gnome-mount --unmount -d /dev/hdc

The volume gets unmounted, but the CD still remains loaded into the drive. If there is another way to perform this task through a graphical interface, I’d appreciate it if you dropped me a line.

-4- Yes, there is always an extra option :) Use brasero (ex bonfire). This is yet another desktop CD/DVD burning application, but it is smart enough to unmount the written rewritable medium before trying to blank it! And it is good when applications are a bit smart ;)

Blanking a rewritable CD/DVD in GNOME by George Notaras is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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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.