cdw is a ncurses-based front-end for cdrecord/wodim (for blanking CD-RW
discs, writing data to single- or multi-session CD disc and single-session
DVD discs) and mkisofs/genisoimage (for creating ISO images from selected
files). It also allows you to copy your single-session data CDs (but not
DVDs) to ISO image file and your audio CDs to raw track files.
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. There is only one button in cdw UI for writing data to CD (both
directly from files and from ISO image). You have to go to Preferences
window to select default behavior. Information about current
selection (writing from ISO image or directly from files) is displayed
in bottom left corner of cdw window ("Write from image" or "Write direct").
First action before creating new ISO image or writing files to disc is
selecting files from your hard drive. You can do this 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 to change
current directory, Space key to select files - they will be added to
list displayed in cdw window. You will have to press Escape key to close
file selector window. The 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 file. Use Escape key when you finish deleting files
Now you can select "Create image" from left-hand menu to create ISO image
file in location specified in Preferences window. You will be presented with
confirmation dialog if the image file already exists. In this situation
you can change target file or decide to overwrite existing file.
You can also select "Write data CD". If you haven't previously selected
"Write CD from image" option, then selected files will be written to disc
currently in drive. If you want to write some ISO image file to CD, set
"Write CD from image" check-box in Preferences window (this option is
available in first tab of Preferences window). Image file specified in
Preferences ("Default image file" field) will be written to CD.
Another operation you can perform is blanking of CD-RW disc. You can do
this by selecting "Blank CD-RW" option in cdw left-hand menu. 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, as it only erases
table of content of your disc, second one can be very time-consuming,
depending on disc size and selected speed (you can select speed in
cdw can be useful when you want to copy your data CD to ISO image on your
hard drive. You do this by selecting "Copy CD to image" from left-hand
menu. Currently only single-session data Compact Discs (but not DVDs)
are supported. Mixed mode (one or more data tracks + audio tracks)
discs are also not supported.
Finally you can use cdw to copy your audio CD to separate files (each
track will be written to separate file). Currently the tracks are not
converted by cdw and 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
When you choose one of following menu items: "Create image", "Copy CD
to image", "Write data CD", a progress window will appear. The window
will show current status of selected task displaying some numerical
values, a progress bar and status message. When you choose "Blank CD-RW"
option, progress window will only display status message. In either case
the progress window will display some appropriate message when the task
cdw has Preferences window, accessed by selecting "Preferences" in
left-hand menu. The window allows you to set up some options for tools
used by cdw, and for cdw. Preferences window has three tabs: "Session",
"Disc&hardware" and "Audio". You can access them using F1, F2 or
F3 keys respectively. Most often changed options are grouped on tab
one: "Writing speed", "Volume ID", "Default image file", and other.
Second tab probably will be used 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. Third tab contains options
related to ripping audio CDs.
All options available in Preferences window are described below, in
You have to use F10 key to save any changes made in Preferences window
and close the window, or you can use Escape key to close Preferences
window without saving changes.
You can control cdw using application's menu (visible on left side of
screen), or using hotkeys.
The menu items:
Add files: Select files and directories that you want to
write to CD 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 change directory, press ESC
to quit file selection dialog.
Delete files: The select dialog is 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 quit this dialog.
Create image: Write selected files to ISO image file in
location specified in Preferences (option "Default image
file" in "Session" tab).
Copy data CD: Copy content of your single session data CD to
image file on your hard disc. Image file path is specified in
cdw Preferences window in "Session" tab (option "Default
image file"). This function does not work correctly for
multi-session CDs nor for DVD discs. If you want to copy your
audio CD use "Copy audio CD" option in main menu.
Copy audio CD: Copy content of your audio CD to hard drive.
cdw will copy each audio track to separate raw audio file.
Note that you will have to recode the file in order to play
it in your media player.
Write data CD: If the "Write CD from image" option in
"Session" tab is checked cdw will write ISO image that is
in default location ("Default image file" in "Session" tab)
to the CD. If the option is not checked, selected files are
written directly to CD without image creation.
Blank CD-RW: Erase data from CD-RW (rewritable disc). You
can select mode of blanking: fast (only table of content will
be erased) or full (whole content of disc will be erased, this
will take some time).
Preferences: Selecting this menu item will display cdw
Preferences window, where you can set various options.
Quit: close cdw and return to your command line.
Keys (hotkeys, available in main cdw window):
'F1 - Show help': Display help window with list of hotkeys.
'F2 - CD label window': Display and edit "Volume ID": label
of CD, visible in file manager.
F3 - Edit additional parameters given to wodim/cdrecord,
'F4 - Select CD size' - select size of disc that you want
to write selected fields to, or size of disc, for which you
prepare ISO image file. This information will be used by cdw
to determine usage of space when you select files from hard
'F5 or L - View last log': view file with record of latest
'F6 - Information about raw disc material': cdw will run
`cdrecord -atip` to get some meta-information about optical
disc in your drive (this operation overwrites last log).
'F10 - View the GPL': display cdw license
'E - Eject tray of CD-RW': open your optical drive's tray
(will close tray if it is already open)
'G - Grab audio CD': Copy content of your audio CD to your
'Q - Quit'
This section describes Preferences module available via "Preferences"
button in left-hand menu in main cdw window.
You have to press F10 in Preferences window to save changes made in
preferences module and exit or press Escape key to close preferences
window without saving changes.
Session (first tab):
Writing speed - speed of writing data to optical disc.
Eject when done - open disc drive tray when finished writing.
Default volume ID - default name of CD, assigned to CD when
you write data to it. The name will be visible in your file
Ask for volume ID - if you check this option, cdw will ask you
for CD's name every time you will be writing data to CD.
Write CD from image - if you check this option, default
behavior when you select 'Write data CD' in main menu will
be writing ISO image file to CD. Otherwise cdw will write
files that you selected from hard drive.
Multi-session - if you check this option you will be able to
add new tracks to a CD that you start writing to. Previously
stored data will not vanish. Important: you can create
multi-session disks only when you write the first track in
multi-session mode! If you leave this option unchecked, then
you will create a disc that will no accept any new data after
writing initial session.
Default image file - location of ISO image file that will be
written to optical disc when you select 'Write data CD' from
main menu and option 'Write CD from image' in Preferences is
Disk at once - check this option when you want to write all
data without gaps and then close disc (protect it from further
Burnproof - Buffer Underrun Proof writing. If your writer
supports this feature, you are suggested to use it and check
this box. In this case the program waits for data if the buffer
is getting empty.
Rock Ridge - generate Rock Ridge directory information.
Joliet information - generate Joliet directory information.
Pad - Insert silence between audio tracks. See cdrecord(1) for
Dummy write - writing in dummy mode
Blank fast - specifies whether cdrecord/wodim should perform
full or fast blanking of CD-RW.
Show log after write - show the content of log file after
Log file - path to file, in which mkisofs and cdrecord write
Other options - other, unlisted here, options passed to
cdrecord/wodim. cdw currently does not allow you to set some
options using it's user interface. You can pass them to
cdrecord/wodim yourself, just put them into this field.
Disc & Hardware (second tab):
SCSI device - parameters describing your SCSI hardware, in
following format: scsibus,target,lun
(for a SCSI-emulated IDE CDRW: 0,0,0).
CD Reader/Writer - path to file in /dev directory,
representing your CD reader/Writer.
CD mountpoint - The "Disk catalog" uses this property.
"Disk catalog" will read the content of disks from this
directory. It is suggested to set up a directory as it
is set in the fstab for the CD-RW device. Important: in
the fstab it must be the CD-RW device, because cdw
will mount the disk under the directory specified there.
CD Reader - reading device (if you copy data CDs or creating
Audio preferences (third tab):
Audio output dir - path to directory, into which cdw will
write raw audio tracks, ripped from audio CD.
Command line options are following:
displays information about invoking cdw and its options
displays cdw version and copyright information
.cdw.conf Configuration file, usually stored in
user's home directory.
cdw.log Log file, usually stored in /tmp directory.
Path to this file can be modified in Preferences window ('Session' tab,
'Log file' field).
(temporary files) cdw uses some small temporary
files to store various information. They are usually created in /tmp
$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'
cdw uses log file (/tmp/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 some bugs related to memory management.
cdw is developed and tested only on i386 GNU/Linux, running cdw on
other configurations may produce some platform-specific bugs.
Currently I can't verify them in any way.
A behavior that is definitely a bug is that cdw not always checks for
current media in drive and happily assumes that given task can be
performed. This includes attempting to write data to read-only or closed
disc and not checking if disc is unmounted. Please check if disc is
unmounted in case of any problems.
cdw fails to detect problems reported by wodim/cdrecord or
mkisofs/genisoimage. For example if wodim detects that a media is not
writable and exits, cdw will display a message
"Writing files to CD finished" although progress bar will be empty, which
means that writing never occurred. This is definitely a bug.
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.
Copyright (C) 2002 Varkonyi Balazs, Copyright (C) 2007 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.