Burn CDs and DVDs

Burn CDs and DVDs

A few click-and-drag operations are all that separates your data from a CD or DVD.

While USB drives seem to be all the rage for transporting data, it's still hard to beat the price of blank CDs or DVDs. Whether you want to create an archive of some files "just in case," or you want to take some larger files with you to another computer, under Ubuntu the process to make a data CD or DVD only takes a couple of clicks.

To copy data to a CD or DVD, first you need a blank CD or DVD. Insert your blank media into your CD/DVD burner and wait a moment as Ubuntu detects that you have inserted blank media into the drive. Figure shows you the default prompt that Ubuntu will present you, where you will be given the choice to make an audio CD [Hack #34]">Figure shows you the default prompt that Ubuntu will present you, where you will be given the choice to make an audio CD [Hack #34], make a data CD, or just ignore the CD. Choose Make Data CD. Ubuntu will now open a special Nautilus window devoted to Data CD and DVD creation.

The prompt that greets you when you insert a blank CD or DVD

The CD/DVD Creator Folder is pretty basic, as Figure illustrates. Essentially, you have an empty directory into which you can drag and drop files you would like to burn. Probably the easiest thing to do is to click the File menu at the top of the screen and open a new Nautilus window, and then drag files or directories from it into the CD/DVD Creator Folder.

The default Nautilus CD/DVD-burning window

Once you have collected all of the files you wish to burn into the folder, click the "Write to Disc" button at the top of the window. A new window will appear that lists some basic CD-burning options in a number of drop-down menus. From here, you can choose between multiple CD burners if your computer has them, assign a name to the disc, view the current size of the disc, and pick the write speed to use.

When you are ready to burn the CD, click the Write button and the CD-burning process will begin. A simple status bar will appear so you can keep track of your disc's progress (see Figure).

The Nautilus Writing Files to CD dialog

If you find the options in the default CD/DVD creator limiting, we recommend checking out the k3b package. It isn't installed by default, so you will need to install it with your preferred package manager. K3b offers a number of advanced features and is featured along with the Serpentine audio CD creator in "Automate Audio CD Burning" [Hack #34].

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