Tag Archives: dvd

dares: Qui audet adipiscitur

I don’t have a proper home page for dares, so if you can track it down, let us know where the original is found. Until then, here’s the Linux Mint version and the Debian package page.


dares is a CD recovery tool which apparently can retrieve data even from unmountable discs. As luck would have it, I don’t have any unmountable discs, so my leftover PLOP boot disc will have to suffice.

dares needs little more than a device address (or file name, in the case of a corrupted image, which is also a potential target) and a directory to place its files before it will swing into action.

After reading the disc content, you get a straightforward menu for recovering and saving accessible data. Fairly foolproof, and fairly reminiscent of photorec or a few other data recovery tools.

Beyond that point though, I can’t really vouch for dares any more than I could for foremost or safecopy, just because I don’t have a damaged medium to test. If you do, and you’ve found your way to this page, I can only hope it does the trick for you.

Keeping this — as well as the other three I mentioned — in mind when I do stumble across a damaged drive … well, that’s the other trick. 😉

tuxrip: If I only had a DVD around here somewhere …

Now I find myself in the same odd situation as I did around the beginning of the year, with a potential DVD ripper in hand, and no DVD to test it.

tuxrip is about a decade beyond its last release. But considering it’s just a bash script that works the strings between mencoder, vorbis-tools, libogg and a few other fundamental libraries, I am not surprised that it still seems to work.


The first time you run it you’ll need to configure it for your machine, and the tuxrip --config wizard will guide you through that. If you make a mistake, I would suggest just hand-editing the .tuxriprc file it creates, which will save you time over re-running the setup.

After that though, I’m afraid I can’t be of much assistance. I see by the home page that there are still a few steps beyond what you see in the screenshot and actually ripping a DVD, to include managing quality settings and a bit more.

I have no doubt that it works, although I wonder if between now and 2005, there haven’t been some advances in both DVDs and encoding that might make tuxrip seem quaint. And I fear it might require a little work to bring it into line with, for example, Blu-ray Discs or x265, just to name one or two off the top of my head.

Already some of it is showing its age: the AUR package installs all the dependencies but you’ll still have to add in mencoder, which isn’t part of mplayer now. (I don’t see a Debian version.)

All that is … assuming it works like it still did. You’ll have to run it through to the end and tell me how it goes. I suppose I should hunt down a real DVD, just for times like this. … 🙄

burn-cd: In spite of its age, quite useful

Looking over the Sourceforge page, burn-cd seems to have seen its best days almost six or seven years ago, and if I’m reading that right had its last update in 2009. I know that means it won’t appeal to some people, but bear with me:


Because burn-cd works fine once it’s pointed at your optical drive, and has your files in tow.

It requires no more prodding than the folder or files or ISO you want to write. And it keeps you well informed of its progress, in color and updated constantly. No guessing about what’s happening out there in CD land.

Technically it’s old enough to default to /dev/hdc for your CD burner, so you’ll want to set it to /dev/sr0 or what have you in .burn-cd.conf. While you’re at it, I recommend the verbose = yes setting, which does send a lot more information to the console.

But after that, it’s just burn-cd /home/kmandla/files, and the deed is done. I like that.

Ordinarily I would push for some kind of interface and maybe some push-buttons or a couple of spinny thingies while it’s writing, but the word of the day for burn-cd is “clean and simple.” Nicely done. 😉

burn-cd is in AUR but doesn’t show up on the Debian search pages. Perhaps it was once part of the Debian arsenal but has been sloughed off; if that’s the case, it’s a pity. 😕

simpleburner: Of dubious ability

I’ve got a script on the list named simpleburner, that appears to work for command-line CD burning.


It does seem to make the task of working with cdrkit a little bit easier. It has flags for both ISOs and data CDs, although I don’t see an option for digital-audio-to-audio-CD.

Some issues though:

  1. The dates in the repo suggest it’s a few years beyond attention.
  2. The script comes as a pair, in perl and python versions. The python version wouldn’t work for me.
  3. The perl version seems to work, but also seems to ignore all the flags given to it … which, as you might imagine, makes things a little difficult.
  4. Technically it’s possible to hard-code the name of an ISO and other criteria into the script, but that seems to defeat the purpose.

Aside from that, it spun up my /dev/sr0 with no issue, wodim was happy to play along, and things seemed to be moving in the right direction. Even if it was trying to delete a mysterious ISO that didn’t exist, and so forth.

I only see simpleburner in AUR; I don’t think this ever passed muster for Debian.

I hold no ill will toward simpleburner; I suspect it’s just fallen out of step with its underlying software. If you need a command line CD burner, I think I would recommend any of a few others before this though. 😕

regionset: This I can attest to

It’s funny to think, but I had my first experiences with regionset about six years ago. And believe it or not, I’m still a little bitter.

Not because of regionset, but because of the entire swirling morass around DVD region codes.

kmandla@lv-r1fz6: ~$ regionset -h
regionset version 0.2 -- reads/sets region code on DVD drives
Usage: regionset [device]
       where default device is /dev/dvd

For someone like me, who sometimes lives in a country beyond their “home” region, and with a small collection of DVDs from several regions, it’s absolutely asinine to prevent cross-region use.

And considering it’s tripped me up more than once, and friends to an even greater degree, it’s equally asinine to expect anyone to actually buy the same disc again just to watch a film on a machine of a different region. Or worse, buy a new player to watch specific regions.

All of which is really just a syndrome of the larger industry myopia that has been around since the late 1980s, at least. It took forever for the music industry to realize the potential in online music sales, and now it’s completely eclipsed the traditional album model.

How long before the movie industry wakes up? Like I could care. Truth be told, there’s no reason for me, as a multi-region customer, to bother buying their product any longer. Six years ago, I was better off downloading a pirated copy than dumping more money into a corrupted sales model. I daresay that hasn’t changed.

But I wander from the purpose of this post. If, in this day and age, you find you can’t use a particular DVD, and you’re fairly certain it’s because of region settings, I can attest to regionset as a potential solution.

If I recall correctly, you only get to change the region five times before the drive is fixed upon the last setting. After that, it won’t let you change it again.

After that, if you’re still not sure what region you want, then I think you really should move away from DVDs. 😕

mybashburn: Much the same animal

Back in September, when I was wading through the B section, I stepped across bashburn. Here’s its derivative, mybashburn.


To read the home page for mybashburn, it sounds very much like a viable offshoot of the original project, and I can see some similarities here and there.

As for which holds the higher ground, I don’t have an answer. I’m still sitting in that loop I mentioned earlier, where I only rarely need to burn a CD (and oddly, it’s usually to test something for this site 😕 ).

So if you prefer one or the other, that is your decision.

mybashburn is not in Debian (bashburn is, and both are in Arch/AUR), which surprises me in a way. I could swear this was one of the earliest console-only CD writers I ran across, years ago, when I was using Ubuntu.

This is another program where I feel obligated to mention that the last update was nearly six years ago. Ordinarily that’s not an issue, but for CD support software and access protocol, I have a fear that it might be.

Now go forth, and etch tiny lines in lacquer-coated circles of polycarbonate. 😉

lxdvdrip: If I only had a DVD around here somewhere …

lxdvdrip starts out in German, so make sure you copy the configuration file from /etc/lxdvdrip.conf to ~/.lxdvdrip.conf, so you get the language you need.


This is the other program that I needed to show a few weeks ago, but I didn’t have a DVD drive at the time; I left it at home when I undocked this X61.

Now I find I have a similar problem — a drive, but no disc to rip. This is what we call an error in logistics. 😕

lxdvdrip looks pretty good though. It comes with a smattering of ripping and encoding tools, some of which are way over my head.

If I had a collection of DVDs I’d probably want lxdvdrip for backup purposes. As it is, I only have data DVDs. I daresay lxdvdrip could try and rip them, but to what end, I wonder. … 🙄

No matter. I can see it’s working and it looks pretty good. If it ends up being useful for you, let me know. 😉

dvdauthor: Also available to you

I have to mention dvdauthor as a solution for creating DVDs — like the kind you put in an actual DVD player — at the command line.


I also have to be honest though, and admit that I have never used the console to create a DVD and — thought it pains me to say it — I doubt I ever would. Just looking at the help flags for dvdauthor is daunting.

To be clear though, dvdauthor — with which I can find no faults — is an option which is available to you.

Like a lot of the “tools” I run into, dvdauthor is actually a suite of utilities, all revolving around the creation of a DVD, without a graphical interface.

At this point though, I have to admit that I lack experience with creating machine-compatible DVDs altogether, so you may have to experiment with this one.

But like I have mentioned for some other applications … purpose aside, it exists, apparently it works, and it’s available. More than that, I can’t say. 😐

cdrtools, cdrkit and cdrskin: Untying the knot

Let me see if I have this straight.

In the beginning, there was cdrtools. Most everybody used it, and nobody had any complaints.

Then in 2006, the programmer changed the license from the GPL to the CDDL, although I don’t know why.

All is well except for Debian, whose grand poo-bahs say, “Hey, that there ain’t in line with our philosophies.” Although I don’t know why.

So in what could only be called a coup d’état, the Debian masterminds scalp the last GPL-licensed release of cdrtools, dub it cdrkit, and promise to keep stride with whatever happens in the original. Although I get the general idea why.

So now there were two symmetric projects, and sometimes one is available in your distribution. Sometimes the other. Sometimes … both! Although I don’t know why.

Here’s where things get even more blurry for me. Along comes cdrskin, which is part of a separate project, but is designed as a drop-in replacement for cdrtools’ original cdrecord program.

So there’s a CD burner project, plus another that mimics it but is licensed differently, and yet a third that pretends to be the original, but actually comes from a completely different direction. And I don’t know why.

Now there is a strong possibility that some or all of this little drama has been misunderstood on my part. If so, my sincerest apologies.

But in short, if I’m right, all three should look roughly the same.


And this time … maybe I know why. 😐

burn: An aptly named script

burn took me a long time to find, and then when I did find it, I found I had to twist myself around to take a look at it.


For one thing, the AUR version doesn’t seem to build for me — it required python-eye3d, which must have been in AUR at some point, but isn’t now.

Luckily Debian has it in its repositories; the downside being that I have something else installed on the D600 right now, and couldn’t get to it right away.

All that is immaterial. What little I can show of burn is above. Best I can tell, it works, although what you see there is Mint on the x86_64, and I don’t have a USB CD player for the Acer.

A lot of entanglements here, don’t you think?

Please don’t let that color your opinion of burn. I didn’t go all the way to burning a CD with it, but the preliminary runs seemed fine.

It has a configuration system, and the readme files have lots of examples. If the standard command-line flags for CD burning are too configured or you just want something simpler, this might be the answer. 😉