Chapter 16. K3b—Burning CDs or DVDs


16.1. Creating a Data CD
16.2. Creating an Audio CD
16.3. Copying a CD or DVD
16.4. Writing ISO Images
16.5. Creating a Multisession CD or DVD
16.6. For More Information


K3b is a comprehensive program for writing data and audio CDs and DVDs. Start the program from the main menu or by entering the command k3b. The following sections brief you on how to start a basic burning process to get your first Linux-made CD or DVD.

16.1. Creating a Data CD

To create a data CD, go to File+New Project+New Data CD Project. The project view appears in the lower part of the window, as shown in Figure 16.1, “Creating a New Data CD” (↑Applications). Drag the desired directories or individual files from your home directory to the project folder and drop them there. Save the project under a name of your choice with File+Save as.

Figure 16.1. Creating a New Data CD

Creating a New Data CD

Then select Burn from the toolbar or hit Ctrl-B. A dialog with six tabs offering various options for writing the CD opens. See Figure 16.2, “Customizing the Burning Process” (↑Applications).

Figure 16.2. Customizing the Burning Process

Customizing the Burning Process

The Writing tab has various settings for the burning device, the speed, and the burning options. The following options are offered here:

Burning Device

The detected writer is displayed under this pop-up menu. You can select the speed here too.

[Warning]Select the Writing Speed with Care

Normally, you should select Auto, which chooses the maximum writing speed possible. However, if you increase this value but your system is not able to send the data fast enough, the likelihood of buffer underruns increases.

Writing Mode

This option determines how the laser writes a CD. In DAO (disk at once) mode, the laser is not deactivated while the CD is written. This mode is recommended for the creation of audio CDs. However, it is not supported by all CD writers. In the TAO mode (track at once), a separate write process is used for each individual track. The RAW mode is not used very often, because the writer does not perform any data corrections. The best setting is Auto, because it allows K3b to use the most suitable settings.


This function can be used to check if your system supports the selected writing speed. The writing is performed with the laser deactivated to test the system.

On the Fly

Burns the desired data without first creating an image file (do not use this feature on low-performance machines). An image file—also known as an ISO image—is a file containing the entire CD content that is subsequently written to the CD exactly as it is.

Only Create Image

This option creates an image file. Set the path for this file under Temporary File. The image file can be written to CD at a later time. To do this, use Tools+CD+Burn CD Image. If this option is used, all other options in this section are deactivated.

Remove Image

Remove the temporary image file from hard disk when finished.

Verify Written Data

Check the integrity of the written data by comparing the MD5 sums of the original and the burned data.

The Image tab is only accessible if the option Only create image from the previous tab is selected. If this is the case, you can determine the file where the ISO is written.

The Settings tab contains two options: Datatrack Mode and Multisession Mode. The Datatrack Mode options contains configuration of how data tracks may be written. In general, auto is considered the best suited method. The Multisession Mode is used to append data to an already written but not finalized CD.

In the Volume Desc tab, enter some general information that can be used to identify this particular data project, its publisher and preparer, and the application and operating system used in the creation of this project. Under File system, specify settings for the file system on the CD (RockRidge, Joliet, UDF). Also determine how symbolic links, file permissions, and blanks are treated. In the Advanced tab, experienced users can make additional settings.

After adjusting all settings to your needs, start the actual burning process using Burn. Alternatively, save these settings for future use and adjustment with Save.