cdw - ncurses interface for various cd/dvd tools
cdw [help] [version]
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
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
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 from list.
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
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
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 Preferences window).
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 is finished.
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"
· 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
· 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
· 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, e.g.:
· ’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 drive.
· ’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 hard
· ’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 manager.
· 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 checked.
· Disk at once - check this option when you want to write all data
without gaps and then close disc (protect it from further writing).
· 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
· Rock Ridge - generate Rock Ridge directory information.
· Joliet information - generate Joliet directory information.
· Useful RR attributes - generate Joliet directory information.
· Pad - Insert silence between audio tracks. See cdrecord(1) for more
· 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 writing.
· Log file - path to file, in which mkisofs and cdrecord write their
· Boot image
· 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:
· 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
· CD Reader - reading device (if you copy data CDs or creating CD
· 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’
(temporary files) cdw uses some small temporary files to store various
information. They are usually created in /tmp directory.
$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.
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
cdw is currently developed by Kamil Ignacak <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
First developer of cdw was Varkonyi Balazs
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. See 〈http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-
licenses/gpl-2.0.html〉 for details.
wodim(1), mkisofs(1), k3b(1), gnomebaker(1).