There are several Open Source applications that can be used to burn a CD or DVD. The term “burning a CD” refers to the act of recording a single file or files or complete directory structures onto a CD or DVD. For this task we will use the program, K3B which is fairly simple on the surface and can be used easily by anyone while also having the depth of features required for very advanced users.
The K3B interface consists of three primary panels with which to locate files and create one or more “projects.” The two top windows provide a file manager style interface which you can use to locate and select files and directories that you want to burn to the CD or DVD. The bottom panel is where you will create and build the project. Notice that the upper left hand panel shows that there is no medium present in the DVD burner. The bottom panel is known as the Quickstart area.
Creating a New Project
To create a new project choose one of the options in the Quickstart panel and click on it. For this example we will create a data CD, i.e., a CD that will contain data files rather than a playable audio CD. So click on the large button, New Data CD Project. This creates a Project tab that now appears in the Quickstart Panel as shown in Figure 2.
Adding Files to the Project
To add new files and directories (folders) to the project locate them in the top two panels and drag folders or individual files to the bottom panel in the correct tab, in this case the DataCD1 tab. Figure 3 shows the project tab with several directories and files added.
Notice also in Figure 3 that the DVD drive now has an empty CD-R medium inserted. This indicator changes automatically when a blank CD or DVD is inserted into the drive.
Note also in Figure 3 that I have named the CD “DavesBackupCD.” Simply right click on the CD icon in your project tab and choose the Rename option.
There is also a status bar at the bottom of the K3B window to indicate the amount of space that will be consumed on the CD or DVD by the files and folders you have selected. In Figure 3, the space used is 536.2MB and there is 165.8MB of space still available. If you had already selected more files than the CD could hold, a portion of the status bar would be colored red to indicate the proportion of the files that are over the capacity of the CD.
When you have selected all of the files and folders that you want to burn onto the disk you are ready to burn the CD.
Burning the CD
To burn the CD click on the Burn button directly above the DavesBackupCD icon. This opens the Burn Dialog window which allows you to do some additional configuration.For example you can choose to burn more than one copy of the data.
For the most part you should not have to make any changes to the selections in this dialog, with the possible exception of the number of copies you want to burn. Simply click the Burn button to initiate the burn.
After burning the CD, K3B can also verify the data. The CD tray will eject and then immediately retract. If you have a laptop, most CD or DVD trays do not automatically retract so you will have to close the tray manually. Be sure to read the dialogs to see if that is what the program is waiting to do.
When the burn is complete the tray will eject and remain ejected and an audible notification will sound. The default audible warning is a trumpet playing “Charge.”
After the CD or DVD has been ejected, if you have additional copies to burn, insert another blank medium and close the tray. The next burn will start automatically.