cdrw(1) User Commands cdrw(1)
cdrw - CD read and write
cdrw -i [-vSCO] [-d device] [-p speed] [image-file]
cdrw -a [-vSCO] [-d device] [-p speed] [-T audio-type] audio-file1
cdrw -x [-v] [-d device] [-T audio-type] track-number out-file
cdrw -c [-vSC] [-d device] [-p speed] [-m tmp-dir] [-s src-device]
cdrw -b [-v] [-d device] all | session | fast
cdrw -L [-v] [-d device]
cdrw -M [-v] [-d device]
cdrw -l [-v]
The cdrw command provides the ability to create data and audio CDs.
This command also provides the ability to extract audio tracks from an
audio CD and to create data DVDs. The CD or DVD device must be MMC-com-
pliant to create a CD or DVD with the cdrw command.
cdrw searches for a CD or DVD writer connected to the system, unless
you specify a device with the -d option. If cdrw finds a single such
device, it uses that device as the default CD or DVD writer for the
When more than one CD or DVD writer is connected to the system, use the
-d option to indicate which device is desired. The device name can be
specified in one of the following ways: /dev/rdsk/cNtNdNsN, cNtNdNsN,
cNtNdN, or a name used by volume manager, such as cdrom or cdrom1.
Using the -l option provides a list of CD or DVD writers.
For instructions on adding a USB-mass-storage-class-compliant CD-RW or
DVD-RW device to your system, see scsa2usb(7D).
Creating Data CDs
When creating data CDs, cdrw uses the Track-At-Once mode of writing.
Use the -i option to specify a file that contains the data to write on
CD media. If you don't specify this option, cdrw reads data from stan-
In either case, the data is typically prepared by using the mkisofs(1M)
command to convert the file and file information into the High Sierra
format used on CDs. See the examples that include use of this command.
Creating Data DVDs
cdrw can create single-session data DVDs on DVD+RW or DVD-RW devices
using images generated from mkisofs(1M). These disks can be mounted as
HSFS file systems. When making data DVDs, cdrw uses Disk-At-Once (DAO)
mode of writing, which closes the media when writing is completed and
prevents any further sessions from being added. The image should be
prepared in advance when writing an image to the DVD media since DAO
mode requires that the size of the image be known in advance.
Creating Audio CDs
Use the -a option to create an audio CD. Single or multiple audio files
can be specified with this option. All of the audio files should be in
a supported audio format. Currently approved formats are:
sun Sun .au files with data in Red Book CDDA form
wav RIFF (.wav) files with data in Red Book CDDA form
cda .cda files having raw CD audio data (that is, 16 bit PCM
stereo at 44.1 KHz sample rate in little-endian byte order)
aur .aur files having raw CD data in big-endian byte order
If no audio format is specified, cdrw tries to identify the audio file
format based on the file extension. The case of the characters in the
extension is ignored. If a format is specified using the -T option, it
is assumed to be the audio file type for all the files specified. Also,
using the -c option closes the session after writing the audio tracks.
Therefore, the tracks to be written should be specified in a single
cdrw can also be used for extracting audio data from an audio CD with
the -x option. The CD should have tracks in Red Book CDDA form. By
default, the output format is based on the file extension. A user can
specify a sun, wav, cda, or aur output format with the -T option.
cdrw can be used to copy single session data CD-ROMs and Red Book audio
CDs. When copying a CD, cdrw looks for a specified source device. If no
source device is specified when using the -c option, the current CD
writer is assumed to be the source. cdrw extracts the track or tracks
into a temporary file and looks for a blank writable CD-R/RW media in
the current CD writer. If no media is found, insert a blank writable CD
media in the current CD writer. If the default temporary directory does
not have enough space, an alternate directory can be specified by using
the -m option.
Erasing CD-RW or DVD-RW Media
Users have to erase the CD-RW media before it can be rewritten. With
the -b option, the following flavors of erasing are currently sup-
session Erases the last session.
fast Minimally erases the media.
all Erases the entire media.
If the session erasing type is used, cdrw erases the last session. If
there is only one session recorded on the CD-RW (for example, a data or
audio CD-RW created by this tool), then session erasing only erases the
portion that is recorded, leaving behind a blank disk. This is faster
than erasing the entire media. For DVD media, using the -b session
erases the whole media.
The fast erasing type minimally erases the entire media by removing the
PMA and TOC of the first session. It does not erase the user data and
subsequent tracks on the media, but the media is treated as if it were
a blank disk. If a complete erase is of the media is necessary, use the
The all erasing type should be used if it is a multisession disk, the
last session is not closed, or disk status is unknown, and you want to
erase the disk. With this type of erasing, cdrw erases the entire disk.
DVD+RW media does not support erasing. To re-use DVD+RW media, simply
write a new image onto the media. cdrw formats and overwrites the
existing media automatically.
Checking device-list or media-status
You can list a system's CD or DVD writers by using the -l option. Also,
for a particular media, you can get the blanking status and table of
contents by using the -M option. The -M option also prints information
about the last session's start address and the next writable address.
This information, along with the -O option, can be used to create mul-
tisession CDs. Refer to mkisofs(1M) for more information.
The following options are supported:
-a Creates an audio disk. At least one audio-file name must be
specified. A CD can not have more than 99 audio tracks, so no
more than 99 audio files can be specified. Also, the maximum
audio data that can be written to the media by default is 74
minutes, unless -C is specified.
-b Blanks CD-RW or DVD-RW media. The type of erasing must be
specified by the all, fast, or session argument. DVD+RW media
does not support blanking, but can be rewritten without the
need for blanking.
-c Copies a CD. If no other argument is specified, the default CD
writing device is assumed to be the source device as well. In
this case, the copy operation reads the source media into a
temporary directory and prompts you to place a blank media
into the drive for the copy operation to proceed.
-C Uses stated media capacity. Without this option, cdrw uses a
default value for writable CD media, which is 74 minutes for
an audio CD, 681984000 bytes for a data CD, or 4.7 Gbytes for
-d Specifies the CD or DVD writing device.
-h Help. Prints usage message.
-i Specifies the image file for creating data CDs or DVDs. The
file size should be less than what can be written on the
media. Also, consider having the file locally available
instead of having the file on an NFS-mounted file system. The
CD writing process expects data to be available continuously
-l Lists all the CD or DVD writers available on the system.
-L Closes the disk. If the media was left in an open state after
the last write operation, it will be closed to prevent any
further writing. This operation can only be done on
re-writable CD-RW media.
-m Uses an alternate temporary directory instead of the default
temporary directory for storing track data while copying a CD
or DVD. An alternate temporary directory might be required
because the amount of data on a CD can be huge. For example,
the amount of data can be as much as 800 Mbytes for an 80
minute audio CD and 4.7 Gbytes for a DVD. The default tempo-
rary directory might not have that much space available.
-M Reports media status. cdrw reports if the media is blank or
not, its table of contents, the last session's start address,
and the next writable address if the disk is open. DVD+RW does
not support erasing and always has some content on the media.
-O Keeps the disk open. cdrw closes the session, but it keeps the
disk open so that another session can be added later on to
create a multisession disk.
-p Sets the CD writing speed. For example, -p 4 sets the speed to
4X. If this option is not specified, cdrw uses the default
speed of the CD writer. If this option is specified, cdrw
tries to set the drive write speed to this value, but there is
no guarantee of the actual speed that is used by the drive.
-s Specifies the source device for copying a CD or DVD.
-S Simulation mode. In this mode, cdrw operates with the drive
laser turned off, so nothing is written to the media. Use this
option to verify if the system can provide data at a rate good
enough for CD writing.
-T Audio format to use for extracting audio files or for reading
audio files for audio CD creation. The audio-type can be sun,
wav, cda, or aur.
-v Verbose mode.
-x Extracts audio data from an audio track.
Example 1: Creating a data CD or DVD
example% cdrw -i /local/iso_image
Example 2: Creating a CD or DVD from a directory
This example shows how to create a CD or DVD from the directory tree
example% mkisofs -r /home/foo 2>>/dev/null; cdrw -i -p 1
Example 3: Extracting an audio track number
This example shows how to extract audio track number 1 to
example% cdrw -x -T wav 1 /home/foo/song1.wav
Example 4: Using wav files
This example shows how to create an audio CD from wav files on disk.
example% cdrw -a song1.wav song2.wav song3.wav song4.wav
Example 5: Erasing CD-RW or DVD-RW media
This example shows how to erase rewritable media.
example% cdrw -b all
Example 6: Creating a data CD or DVD with multiple drives
This example shows how to create a data CD or DVD on a system with mul-
tiple CD, DVD-R, or DVD-RW drives.
example% cdrw -d c1t6d0s2 -i /home/foo/iso-image
Example 7: Checking data delivery rate
This example shows how to verify that the system can provide data to a
CD-RW or a DVD drive at a rate sufficient for the write operation.
example% cdrw -S -i /home/foo/iso-image
Example 8: Running at a higher priority
This example shows how to run cdrw at a higher priority (for root user
example# priocntl -e -p 60 cdrw -i /home/foo/iso-image
Example 9: Creating a multi-session disk
This examples shows how to create the first session image by using
mkisofs(1M) and recording it onto the disk without closing the disk.
example% cdrw -O -i /home/foo/iso-image
Additional sessions can be added to an open disk by creating an image
with mkisofs(1M) using the session start and next writable address
reported by cdrw.
example% cdrw -M
Track No. |Type |Start address
1 |Data | 0
Leadout |Data | 166564
Last session start address: 162140
Next writable address: 173464
example% mkisofs -o /tmp/image2 -r -C 0,173464 -M /dev/rdsk/c0t2d0s2 /home/foo
See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attributes:
tab() allbox; cw(2.750000i)| cw(2.750000i) lw(2.750000i)|
lw(2.750000i). ATTRIBUTE TYPEATTRIBUTE VALUE AvailabilitySUNWcdrw
audioconvert(1), mkisofs(1M), priocntl(1), attributes(5), rbac(5),
System Administration Guide: Devices and File Systems
The CD writing process requires data to be supplied at a constant rate
to the drive. Keep I/O activity to a minimum and shut down any related
I/O applications while writing CDs.
When making copies or extracting audio tracks, use an MMC compliant
source CD-ROM drive. The CD writer can be used for this purpose.
Before writing a CD, ensure that the media is blank by using the -M
option. You can use the -S simulation mode to test the system to make
sure it can provide data at the required rate. cdrw turns on buffer
underrun protection for drives that support it and will recover from
most stalls. If the system is not able to provide data at a constant
rate or frequent stalling occurs, you can lower the speed by using the
-p option. You can also try to run cdrw at a higher priority by using
the priocntl(1) command.
If you know that the CD-R/RW drive can operate at different write
speeds, use the -p option. Some commercially available drives handle
the drive speed setting command differently, so use this option judi-
Most commercially available drives allow writing beyond 74 minutes as
long as the media has the capacity (such as 80-minute media). However,
the ability to write beyond 74 minutes might not be supported by the
drive in use. If the drive supports this feature, then use the -C
option to indicate that the tool should rely on the capacity indicated
by the media.
The cdrw command uses rbac(5) to control user access to the devices. By
default, cdrw is accessible to all users but can be restricted to indi-
vidual users. Refer to the System Administration Guide: Devices and
File Systems for more information.
SunOS 5.10 24 Sep 2004 cdrw(1)