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cdw - man page
19 July 2014
cdw - front-end for cdrecord, mkisofs, growisofs, mkudffs and other tools
cdw [--help] [--version] [--enable-dvd-rp-dl] [--escdelay=X]
cdw is a front-end for command-line tools used for burning data CD and DVD
discs and for related tasks. The tools are: cdrecord/wodim,
mkisofs/genisoimage, growisofs, dvd+rw-mediainfo, dvd+rw-format, xorriso.
You can also use cdw to rip tracks from your audio CD to raw audio files.
Limited support for copying content of CD and DVD discs to image files is
also provided. cdw can utilize md5sum program to verify correctness of
writing ISO image to CD and DVD disc. cdw can be also used to create UDF
image file using mkudffs.
cdw uses ncurses library to build user-friendly interface and it can be
used in UNIX terminal window and in terminal emulator (like konsole,
rxvt or gnome-console) in X environment.
cdw supports ISO9660 file system for optical media: ISO9660 file system
can be written to stand-alone .iso file, or burned to optical disc.
cdw also supports UDF file system: UDF file system can be written to
stand-alone .udf file. Currently there is no support for burning UDF
file system directly to optical disc.
Other filesystem for optical media are not supported nor recognized.
Scope of supported features depends on which tools are installed on end
user's system. Full list of supported media and actions is listed below.
ripping audio tracks to raw audio files
writing files and ISO images (single- and multi-session) with cdrecord/wodim
and xorriso; copying content of first session to image file on your hard disc
writing files and ISO images (single- and multi-session), erasing (erasing only
TOC or blanking whole disc) with cdrecord/wodim and xorriso; copying content of
first session to image file on your hard disc
- DVD-R, DVD+R
writing files and ISO images (multi-session, but without closing disc, or
single-session) with cdrecord/wodim, dvd+rw-tools and xorriso
writing files and ISO images (multi-session or single-session); erasing,
formatting - quick or slow (full) method; dvd+rw-tools only.
WARNING: multiple blanking may quickly render your DVD-RW unusable.
writing files and ISO images (both writing to disc from scratch and appending
data), without closing disc; blanking disc, but takes lots of time, and you
don't need to do it anyway - you can always start writing to the same disc
like you would write to blank disc. DVD+RW can be handled by both
cdrecord/wodim and dvd+rw-tools. Notice that when using wodim you may
- DVD+R DL
there is now partial support for DVD+R DL discs: cdw can burn ISO image and
files in single session. User has to explicitly enable it by passing
"--enable-dvd-rp-dl" command line argument to cdw; cdw can handle DVD+R DL
discs only using dvd+rw-tools; this feature is very incomplete and possibly
Dual-layer media other than DVD+R DL are not yet supported.
DVD-RAM, Blu-ray, HD-DVD discs are not supported.
You can write data discs either by using previously created ISO image file,
or by selecting files from hard drive and writing them directly to disc.
cdw provides UI elements for both actions.
First action before creating new ISO/UDF image or writing files to disc is
selecting files from your hard drive. You can do this by selecting "Add
files" in left-hand menu. You will be presented with simple file selector.
Use Up/Down arrows or Page Up/Page Down keys to move, Enter key to change
current directory, Space key to select files or directories. Selected
items will be added to list displayed in main window. Use Escape key to
close file selector window. The selector window shows you all files and
directories (including hidden files) in current directory. You will
see file size information for every file
on the list. You can also delete previously selected files from list:
select "Delete files" from the menu and use Up/Down arrow keys to move
and Delete key to delete highlighted item. Use Escape key when you
finish deleting files from list of selected files.
Now you can select "Create image" from left-hand menu. cdw will
display a wizard window where you can change most common options for
creating ISO9660 or UDF image, and where you can select path to target
image file on your hard disc.
You can also select "Write files to disc" to write selected files to
optical disc. If you select the option, cdw will display a wizard dialog
window, in which you can adjust most common options related to burning files
to disc (for this function only ISO9660 file system is supported).
If you want to write ISO image file to optical disc, use "Write image to disc"
option in left hand menu. You will be presented with file picker dialog that
allows you to select existing ISO image file from your hard disc. After that
cdw will display a wizard window, where you can modify most common options
available for burning a disc.
cdw allows you to verify correctness of this operation by checking
a digest (e.g. md5 sum) of ISO file and of track written to disc.
You can request this by checking "Verify write" checkbox that will
appear in write wizard. Please note that this checkbox is visible
only when you are writing ISO file to empty CD or DVD disc. This
function is still experimental. Make sure that a program for calculating
digests is installed on your machine. cdw supports following programs:
md5sum sha1sum sha224sum sha256sum sha384sum sha512sum
Another operation you can perform is erasing optical disc - CD-RW, DVD-RW
(both Sequential Recording and Restricted Overwrite) or DVD+RW. You can do
this by selecting "Erase disc" option in cdw left-hand menu. Please note
that extensive erasing of DVD-RW may render your
disc unusable. In case of CD-RW and DVD-RW you will
be asked what type of blanking you want to perform. You can choose fast mode
or full mode. First one doesn't take too much time (in case of CD-RW it only
erases table of content of your disc), second one can be very time-consuming,
depending on disc size and selected speed.
When you will attempt to blank DVD-RW disc, blanking wizard will display
dropdown that allows you to choose mode (format) of DVD-RW disc: Restricted
Overwrite or Sequential Recording.
cdw can be useful when you want to copy your data CD or DVD to ISO image
on your hard drive. You do this by selecting "Read disc" option from
left-hand menu. This function allows you to copy first track from your data
CD or DVD. Reading second and following tracks from data discs, and reading
discs written in mixed mode (one or more data tracks + audio tracks)
are not supported.
You can also use cdw to copy your audio CD to separate files (each
track will be written to separate file). You do this by selecting "Read
disc" option from menu. cdw can't convert audio tracks to any popular
audio format. The tracks are written to files
in the same format as they appear on CD (2 channels, 44100 samples per
second, 16 bit signed PCM, little endian (intel)). The file names have
following name format: track_xx.raw (where xx is track number). You
can convert raw track file to wav file using e.g. sox command:
sox -c 2 -r 44100 -L -2 -s track_name.raw -t wav track_name.wav
The last operation that cdw offers is verification of data. You can use
it for two purposes:
- calculating a digest of selected file from hard disc;
- comparing selected file with content of first track on optical disc;
The second option also utilizes digest tool (e.g. md5sum), but may not
work correctly, so it is marked in cdw as "Experimental".
cdw has Configuration window, accessed by selecting "Configuration" item in
left-hand menu. The window allows you to set up some options for tools
used by cdw, and for cdw itself. Configuration window has following tabs
(you can access them using keys F2-F6):
- Log and misc - contains options related to log file in which
cdw logs its operations, and to some aspects of behavior of cdw.
- Tools - options in this tab allow you to select tools from your
operating system that will be used to create ISO9660 images,
burn data to disc etc. You can safely leave "Configure tools
manually" checkbox unmarked.
- Audio - contains options related to ripping audio CDs.
- Hardware - probably will be visited only once, when you use cdw
for the first time or when you change your hardware configuration.
Here you can set paths to your devices used by cdw.
- UDF - this tab contains only text information about requirements
for creating UDF file system. There are no options available in
this tab. All options for creating UDF file system can be accessed
through UDF image wizard.
All options available in Configuration window are described below, in
You have to use F9 or F10 key to save any changes made in Configuration
window and close the window. To close Configuration window without saving
changes use Escape key. Values from "Tools" tab are saved only temporarily,
they aren't stored in permanent configuration file.
You can control cdw using application's menu (visible on left side of
screen), or using hotkeys.
Main menu items
- Add files: Select files and directories that you want to write to optical
disc or to ISO image on your hard disc. Press Space to select a file or
directory, use Up and Down arrows to move on the list, press Enter key to
change directory, press Escape key to close file selection dialog.
- Delete files: List of selected files is displayed on the right side of
the screen. If you want to delete files from the list, select this button
and use Delete key to delete a file, Up and Down arrows to move on the list
or press Escape to end deleting.
- Write files to disc: write selected files to optical disc that is currently
in drive. You will be warned if there is no disc in drive, the drive is not
ready or the disc is mounted.
- Create image: write selected files to ISO9660 or UDF image file. The
target image file can be selected in file picker window.
- Write image to disc: write ISO image file to optical disc. The ISO image
file can be selected in file picker window. You will be warned if there
is no disc in drive, the drive is not ready or the disc is mounted.
- Read disc: Copy content of your single session data CD/DVD or audio CD to
files on hard drive. In case of data CD/DVD discs cdw will create correct
image file on your hard disc, but only for first track on disc, rest of
tracks won't be read (cdw can't read them correctly). In case of audio CDs
cdw will copy each audio track to separate raw audio file. You will have
to recode the raw audio track files in order to play them in your media
- Erase disc: Erase data (partially or fully) from rewritable disc (CD-RW,
DVD-RW, DVD+RW) that is currently in drive. You can select mode of erasing
CD-RW or DVD-RW: fast or full. You can't select mode of erasing of DVD+RW.
- Verify data: Calculate digest of file selected from hard drive, or compare
any file with first track of optical disc.
- Configuration: Selecting this menu option will display cdw Configuration
window, where you can set various options.
- About: this option displays window with short information about cdw.
- Quit: close cdw and return to your command line.
Keys (hotkeys, available in main cdw window)
- F1, H, ? - Show this help: Display help window with list of hotkeys.
- F9/F10 - Show license of this program: display cdw license.
- C - Show Configuration window
- D - Show information about disc: cdw will run external tool to get
some meta-information about optical disc in your drive and display this
information in text window.
- E - Eject drive tray: open your optical drive tray (will close tray
if it is already open).
- F - Write selected files to disc: Write currently selected files to
- G - Read content of CD: Copy content of your audio or data CD to your
- I - Write ISO image to disc: Write ISO image to optical disc.
- L - Show log of last operation: view file with record of latest
- R - Refresh information about disc: cdw will run external tool to get
some meta-information about optical disc in your drive and will display
short summary in lower-left part of main cdw window.
- V - Verify data: calculate digest of selected file (and of first track
on optical disc).
- Q - Quit: close cdw and return to your command line
This section describes Configuration module available via "Configuration"
button in left-hand menu in main cdw window. You have to press F9/F10 in
Configuration window to save changes made in the window and exit or press
Escape key to close configuration window without saving changes. Please
note that changes made in "Tools" tab are saved only for current session
- Log and misc (first tab):
- Log file path - path to file, in which cdw writes its messages and
messages from external tools (mkisofs, cdrecord, growisofs,
dvd+rw-mediainfo, xorriso, mkudffs, etc.). Specifying this path
- Show log after actions - show the content of log file after some of
actions performed by cdw.
- Volume size - size of ISO/UDF filesystem that you want to
create. Most often it is equal to capacity of optical disc that
you want burn data to. This is a dropdown, from which you can
select one of preselected values, or select "Custom value". This
custom value can be entered below the dropdown.
- Custom volume size - size of ISO/UDF filesystem that you want to
create. This is the place where you can enter nonstandard value
of target ISO/UDF filesystem size.
- a checkbox for following symbolic links in selected files. Read
the text next to the checkbox for more information.
- Tools (second tab):
First thing that you will see in this tab "Configure tools manually"
checkbox, it is unchecked by default, and this is safe default value.
In this state cdw select tools itself. If you check this checkbox you
will be presented with six dropdowns: first three allow you to
select tools or families of tools intended for specific tasks.
Remaining dropdowns allow you to select paths to some tools
used by cdw for some tasks. All these dropdowns are explained below.
- "Tool for creating stand alone ISO9660 file" - here you select a tool
used to create ISO9660 file saved on hard disc (stand-alone file).
Depending on configuration of your software, here you can find mkisofs
(genisoimage) and xorriso.
- "Tools for handling CDs" dropdown - here you select a tool that will
be used to burn data to CD/CD-RW discs and to erase CD-RW discs.
Depending on configuration of your software, here you can find cdrecord
(wodim) and xorriso.
- "Tools for handling DVDs" dropdown - here you select a tool that will
be used to burn data to DVD discs and to erase DVD+/-RW discs.
Depending on configuration of your software, here you can find dvd+rw-tools,
cdrecord (wodim) and xorriso. Note that xorriso can be used only for
- "Path to mkisofs" dropdown - here you can select one of implementations
of mkisofs installed in your system (e.g. if you have mkisofs and genisoimage).
- "Path to cdrecord" dropdown - here you can select one of implementations
of cdrecord installed in your system (e.g. if you have cdrecord and wodim).
- "Digest tool" - here you can select a tool used for calculating digest
(checksum) - the tool is used e.g. during verification of burning of ISO9660
file to optical disc. md5sum tool is the default one, if found.
Remember that these settings are saved only for your current session
with cdw, and that the settings will be discarded when you close cdw.
- Audio (third tab):
- Audio output dir - path to directory, into which cdw will write raw
audio tracks, ripped from audio CD.
- Hardware (fourth tab):
- "cdw should use this drive" dropdown - option allowing you to select
one of detected drives, or to use path to drive entered manually
- "Custom path to drive" - field in which you can specify your own
path to a device, to be used when cdw can't autodetect all drives
in your computer.
- SCSI device - parameters describing your SCSI hardware, in following
format: scsibus,target,lun (for a SCSI-emulated IDE CDRW: 0,0,0). It
is used only by cdrecord and you should enter appropriate value only if
cdrecord has problems with device path in form of '/dev/xxx'. Otherwise
this field should be left empty. This option hasn't been tested, so
use it at your own risk.
- UDF (fifth tab):
This tab contains only basic information about what is required
by cdw to create UDF file systems. Options related to UDF file
system are available in UDF image wizard.
Notice that cdw doesn't specify (almost) any default options for
mkudffs or rsync. User has to select himself the best set of
options for these programs that suit his needs.
Command line options are following:
-h, -- help
displays information about invoking cdw and its options
displays cdw version and copyright information
enables very basic support for DVD+R DL discs
modifies delay time between pressing Escape key in cdw window
and reaction to the key
cdw.conf: Configuration file, usually stored in $HOME/.cdw/ directory.
cdw.log: Log file, by default stored in $HOME/.cdw/ directory. Path to this file
can be modified in Configuration window ("Log and misc" tab > 'Log file path' field).
cdw.colors: File with definition of color schemes used to customize interface of cdw.
File is stored in $HOME/.cdw/ directory.
temporary files: cdw uses some small temporary files to store various
information. They are usually created in /tmp directory. If everything goes well
they are very short lived and are removed as soon as they are no longer needed.
- HOME - cdw assumes that this variable exists and is set to valid user
directory. If not, then user is asked to select some other 'base' directory.
- PATH - cdw reads this environment variable to find directories with
executable files. cdw will search in these directories for some tools.
cdw uses log file ($HOME/.cdw/cdw.log by default) to store information about actions
performed. You can access this file using your file manager, or pressing 'L'
key in cdw window. Read this file for any hints if you experience any problems.
There are still some bugs related to memory management.
cdw is developed and tested almost exclusively on x64 GNU/Linux, running cdw
on other configurations may produce some platform-specific bugs. Currently
I can't verify them in any way.
cdw still fails to detect some problems reported by wodim/cdrecord
mkisofs/genisoimage or growisofs, although things have improved in
latest few versions). Support for xorriso is brand new, so there is a lot
error messages printed by xorriso, that cdw is unaware of, and will happily
ignore them. It is recommended to read log file after every operation.
Copying data CDs to ISO image may finish with message "Problems occurred when
copying tracks". This does not have to mean that output ISO file is corrupted:
this be a sign of some low-level problems when reading from optical disc.
Similar message displayed after ripping audio CD may mean that one or more
track files created on your hard disc is corrupted and it is caused by invalid
If you notice any other bugs please let me know. You can do this either using
bug tracker on cdw project site (http://sourceforge.net/projects/cdw/) or by
sending me an e-mail: <acerion (a) wp pl>.
cdw is currently developed by Kamil Ignacak (<acerion (a) wp pl>). First developer
of cdw was Varkonyi Balazs.
Copyright (C) 2002 Varkonyi Balazs, Copyright (C) 2007 - 2014 Kamil Ignacak.
This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it
under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free
Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option)
any later version. See http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/gpl-2.0.html
cdrecord(1), mkisofs(8), growisofs(1), dvd+rw-mediainfo(1), dvd+rw-format(1),
cdrdao, mybashburn, k3b(1), gnomebaker(1), xorriso(1), libisoburn1, libburn4,
mkudffs(1), rsync(1), libcdio.
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Copyright (C) 2007 - 2014 Kamil Ignacak