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
- 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 encounter problems.
- 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/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
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
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
- 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
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.
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- About: this option displays window with short information
- Quit: close cdw and return to your command line.
- F1, H, ? - Show this help: Display help window with
list of hotkeys.
- 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
- L - Show log of last operation: view file with
record of latest operations.
- 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
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, mkudffs, etc.). Specifying this path is
- 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 size". Value of custom
size can be entered below the dropdown.
- Custom 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.
- a checkbox modifying style of navigation in file system
browser windows. When this field checked, you can use Left/Right keys on
keyboard to move up/down in hierarchy of directories in file system. This
option work similarly to Midnight Commander's "Lynx-like motion"
- 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 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.
"-a" option for rsync is a good starting point. If your version of
rsync supports "--info=progress2" and you enter this option in
rsync options field, cdw will show a better progress indication.
Command line options are following:
- -h, -- help
- displays information about invoking cdw and its options
- -v, --version
- 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/
- 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 $HOME/.cdw/ directory.
- temporary files: cdw uses some small temporary files to
store various information. They are usually created in /tmp directory. If
everything goes well they are very short-lived and are removed as soon as
they are no longer needed.
- HOME - cdw assumes that this variable exists and is set to
valid user directory. If not, then user is asked to select some other
- PATH - cdw reads this environment variable to find
directories with executable files. cdw will search in these directories
for some tools.
cdw uses log file ($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
There are still some bugs related to memory management.
cdw is developed and tested almost exclusively on x64 GNU/Linux, running cdw on
other platforms 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 audio CD.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
cdw is currently developed by Kamil Ignacak (email@example.com). First developer of
cdw was Varkonyi Balazs (http://sourceforge.net/users/vbali/).
Copyright (C) 2002 Varkonyi Balazs, Copyright (C) 2007 - 2016 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 for
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.