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cdw - man page
cdw 0.7.1, 1 April 2012
cdw - front-end for cdrecord, mkisofs, growisofs 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 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 only ISO9660 filesystem for optical media. 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
- 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;
WARNING: multiple blanking may quickly render your DVD-RW
- 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.
- 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 buggy.
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 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 cdw
window. Use Escape key to close file selector window. The selector
window shows you all files and directories (including hidden files) in
current directory, in alphabetical order. 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
Now you can select "Create image" from left-hand menu. cdw will
display a wizard window where you can change most common options, and
where you can select path to target ISO9660 image file on your hard
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.
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 if used extensively. 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) discs 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-F5):
- 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"
- 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.
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
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 ISO image file. The ISO
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 player.
- 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.
- 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
- F9/F10 - Show license of this program: display cdw
- 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 optical disc.
- G - Read content of CD: Copy content of your audio or data
CD to your hard drive.
- I - Write ISO image to disc: Write ISO image to optical
- L - Show log of last operation: view file with record of
- 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
- 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 with cdw.
- 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). Specifying this path is obligatory.
- Show log after actions - show the content of log file after
some of actions performed by cdw.
- ISO volume size - size of ISO 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 ISO volume size - size of ISO filesystem that you want
to create. This is the place where you can enter nonstandard
value of target ISO filesystem size.
- 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 DVD+/-R discs.
- "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");
- "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
Command line options are following:
-h, -- help
- displays information about
invoking cdw and its options
- displays cdw version and
- 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
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 $HOME/.cdw/
temporary files: cdw uses some small temporary files
to store various information. They are usually created in /tmp
directory. If everything goes well they are very short lived and are
removed as soon as they are no longer needed.
- HOME - cdw assumes that this variable exists and is set to valid
user directory. If not, then user is asked to select some other
- PATH - cdw reads this environment variable to find directories
with executable files. cdw will search in these directories for some
cdw uses log file ($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
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 audio CD.
If you notice any other bugs please let me know. You can do this
either using bug tracker on cdw project site
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 - 2012 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, libcdio.
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Copyright (C) 2007 - 2012 Kamil Ignacak