Newbie Install Question - downloading and burning the install CDs, p2p

Tommy Trussell tommy.trussell at
Wed Mar 23 14:34:30 UTC 2005

On Tue, 22 Mar 2005 23:10:05 -0600, Tab Gilbert <tabbox at> wrote:
> So, with all those beaters your first thought is hardware (?).  This
> has been going on for a week and hardware checking is something I can
> do without asking or looking for instructions at every turn.  Thanks
> for the guidance.

Yes, but it might not be DEFECTIVE hardware, it may be a setting that
needs to be different for the particular drive you have. It can't hurt
to Google your exact CD-ROM drive. So for example, if you have a
Biggleplex 4004 Coaster-Maker, then start by putting that text in
Google along with linux, or debian, or Ubuntu. Or go to the Google
linux page to save you having to type one word:

I haven't looked at the other threads this morning, but one reason
nobody jumped in immediately to help with the command line is because
it's cdrecord -- a very strange piece of software. Try "man cdrecord"
at a terminal prompt and you will see that it can do ANYTHING once you
figure it out.

What I've done is puzzle through the settings that work with my (old
SCSI) cd burner, and put those in /etc/default/cdrecord  That way, all
I have to do to burn an iso is:

cdrecord -v filename.iso

the -v tells it to be verbose, so it gives me a little report saying
things like the company that made the CD blank, what chemicals it's
made of, and how much extra space there might be on it plus maybe even
the phase of the moons around Jupiter. I don't know what most of it
means, but what I like best with the -v option is it tells me what's
going on during the burn, and I can see immediately if something
happened to interrupt the burning. (BTW The software also complains
that I didn't specify tao mode, but it will do it anyway, THIS time,
just to be nice, but it warns me that future versions might not be so
nice to me, so I'd better straighten up. But I don't bother.)

The problem with the cdrecord software is the original author became
linux hostile at some point, and stopped supporting it, and I guess
few people in the world understand CD burners like this guy did. So
while the entire world shifted from SCSI CD burners to ATAPI, the
hacks people have put in to keep cdrecord working have been harder to
work with. (Maybe the situation has changed since I last looked this
up, and I'd be glad to be wrong on that.)

I'm not sure about Nautilus, but I think I'm safe in saying that most
linux software calls cdrecord "behind the scenes" when you burn a
disk. So it usually doesn't help much to learn all the nitty gritty --
most of the time it "just works." So that's why people are at a loss
when it doesn't!

Remember to Google your drive and it may be very illuminating.

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