K3b 0.10: DVD Burning for KDE

Well, the basic news is quite short: K3b is now able to burn DVDs. But this would be a little too short. ;) So for all of you who do not know what K3b is (the name does not really mean anything): K3b is (was) a CD burning application for KDE (screenshots). It uses cdrecord and cdrdao for actually burning the CDs but implements its own methods for all CD information retrieval functionality.

Now that this has been clarified I present the list of DVD related features in the new K3b version 0.10:

  • DVD-R(W) and DVD+R(W) support through the dvd+rw-tools by Andy Polyakov which is released under the GPL (yes, no strange security keys or patched cdrecord version for DVD burning anymore).
  • Support for all DVD-R(W) writing modes: DAO, Incremental Sequential (used for multisession), and
    Restricted overwrite (use a DVD-RW just like a DVD+RW)
  • Automatic burning speed selection based on the media's capabilities.
  • DVD-R and DVD+R multisession burning (be aware that most DVD-ROM drives are not able to read multiple sessions)
  • DVD copy. No VideoDVD shrinking yet. That means you may not copy a DVD-9 (most VideoDVDs) to a DVD-4 (4,3 GB DVD
    media). But this is planned and will be implemented in one of the next versions unless some legal stuff stops us.
    Perhaps someone with a better legal background could help me here.... ;)
  • DVD-RW and DVD+RW formatting which can also be done automatically before burning.

Before I get too many mails about this: There is no VideoDVD project yet but it is planned. I am just not
sure yet how to realize it from the users point of view.

So if you own a DVD burner please check out the new K3b Homepage and get the latest
version (as of this writing it's 0.10).

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by Alex (not verified)

Thanks Sebastian, DVD support was really the last thing I needed from K3b, I also have to say that by making K3b you have torn down one of the greatest barriers Linux has.

by NickT (not verified)

I couldn't agree more!!

k3b is THE burning program. Keep up the great work!

by Sergey (not verified)

From my experience, it is not very stable.
I think the problem is in QT library.
Are there any other good CD burning programs ?

by anon (not verified)

I know a lot of people who use Linux but not KDE but use k3b. It's simply the best.

It's a wonder, because two years ago, there was a hodgepodge of different burning apps for KDE-> koncd, kreatecd, k3b, cdbakeoven, etc..

Now, k3b has clearly outdone everything else, because of Sebastian's hard and continuous work. k3b is great!

Hope it moves from kdeextragear to kdeutils for kde 3.3/4 =)

by theorz (not verified)

Heck, move it in for 3.2. Today k3b is easily at a quality level that makes it ready for a general user.

by kidcat (not verified)

I seccond that.. put it in 3.2 guys!

by Paul Eggleton (not verified)

I couldn't agree more with the above. K3b works like a charm and is a pleasure to use. Thanks :)

by Johan Abrahamsson (not verified)

OK - I know this is getting repetetive, but I also need to say it:

k3b is a really, really great app. Bot functionality and user interface are of a very high class.

Thx a lot!


by José (not verified)

Please, be less verbose by default, a dumb user like me is allways offended by the way burning is showed : lines explaining the way cdrecord is going should be hidden by default, with an expert button to show them.
Because I get warnings like "I/O error occured, but it may not be a problem", that just keep K3B away from being a real allday use application.

by Gabriel Gazzán (not verified)

I agree, normal users don't usually want to be "that" informed. :)

A progress bar with just basic information should take care of most users expectations.

by Haakon Nilsen (not verified)

Offended? Reminds me of Lrrr from Futurama: "We are CONFUSED and INFURIATED!!" ;) There's truth in humor.

by Mike (not verified)

When I switched from Windows, K3B was just beginning to be good.
I used CD BakeOven a bit but it had lots of problems. Audio CD were
broken afterwards and so on. Then I switched to K3B and I liked it
a lot more but it had lots of bugs so I kept CD BakeOven just in case.
That's not necessary anymore: K3B is easier than on Windows IMO.
I have never had any problems with this. A big Thank You from me, too.
One improvement perhaps: When I switched from Windows I wanted
to burn CD's right from the start. When I ran K3B Setup the page about
users really confused me a lot. I first thought I had to add "root" by clicking
on "add user" because the text said "need to be run as root". I know how
it its meant of course right now, but perhaps it could be changed to something
easier to understand for novices like:

K3B uses auxiliary applications to burn a CD.Running these auxiliary
applications require root privliges by default. So by default only root
can burn a CD. K3bSetup recommends that you create a dedicated CD burning user group and add all users who want to burn CD's to that group. K3bSetup will
then change permissions to all auxiliary applications automatically so that
they are accessible for this group without root permissions. No other
permissions than CD burning will result from being a member of that group.
All users in the list will afterwards be able to use K3B without ever having to
enter a root password.

by Jepjr (not verified)

Is there, or where is a "How-to" for the root/user/group question? This seems to start the answer, but not completly. I see the same question in many forms but few answers.

by Aurélien Gâteau (not verified)

What does K3b mean?

by Anonymous (not verified)

Did you read the story? "the name does not really lead to anything"

by Aurélien Gâteau (not verified)

Oups, then that really was a stupid question :-)

by Julien Olivier (not verified)

Well he said it doesn't mean anything, so we'll believe him :)

When I first discovered this piece of software, I too wondered what it could mean and my final guess was: "Ku Klux Klan Burner". Knowing how the KKK loves to burn other people's houses, it would make sense.

So, please tell me I'm being totally paranoïd and you're not one of the KKK's fans ! Please ! Or tell me that you want to burn the KKK members :)

by Anonymous (not verified)

There is no Ku Klux Klan in Germany.

by Julien Olivier (not verified)

Yet, there might well be KKK fans anywhere in the world, sadly...

by Sebastian Trueg (not verified)


Not really.... it's 3 bs: bbb. And it's way too annoying to tell what it stands for.... maybe you will get it yourself. :)

by Emmanuel Mwangi (not verified)


KDE big bad burner?

by Sebastian Trueg (not verified)

that's not it.... but it's so much better... so I will probably go for this in the future... ;)

by kidcat (not verified)

3b = Bored Beyond Belief?
Because you were so bored that you just HAD to write a kewl program?

by Aurélien Gâteau (not verified)

I know something like this in French, it's called the "rule of the three B", and it's not really elegant :-) Do I think about the right thing?

by Sebastian Trueg (not verified)

no. :)

by me (not verified)

billen, borst en buik?

That's duch :-)

by Philipp (not verified)

Bastis Burning Bastard ? ;-)

(as Basti is sometimes the nick form of Sebastian)

by Joel Carr (not verified)

Well my guess is 'burn baby burn'! If the bs stand for something non-english, then I have absolutely no idea.

by Sebastian Trueg (not verified)

grmff.... you got me.... ;)

by Anonymous (not verified)

Got you because it's burn baby burn, or because it's not English?

by Sebastian Trueg (not verified)

it is english. :)

by Paul Eggleton (not verified)

Well I always figured it stood for "KDE 3 Burner", but I guess this question has been answered already.

by Kevin Krammer (not verified)

Until I read this story I thought it might be KdE, d and E written backwards :)

by Dieter Nützel (not verified)

Any thoughts?


by Alexander Elbs (not verified)

There is no need for that:
Just try "mkfs.ext2 /dev/dvd" and "mount /dev/dvd /mnt -o noatime" (noatime to minimize writing on disk) and use that thing like a normal hard disk:
You can then use konqueror or rsync or whatever to copy data on that disk.
After that "umount /mnt" and you are done.
Of course you could also create an iso9660 file system, but that's boring ;-)

by Dieter Nützel (not verified)

I know that. But I ask about such things like MR (Mt. Rainier standard).
Would be cool for migrations.


BTW I didn't used ext2 for ages...;-)

by David Stanton (not verified)

I think what we are looking for is the ability to do full system backups/restores via k3d maybe alowing us to make bootable recovery dvd's as well all from a few clicks in k3d? (enabling some kind of archive compression as well?)



But from the list of features and screenshots it looks better than software sold at shops!

by Shonta Harrelson (not verified)

Single parent three kids.Can't even provide christmas.Not looking for hand me down,just trying to be honest.If I had a cd burner I would copy what you want me to copy.

by Dark_Schneider (not verified)

yeah, now k3b is the greatest CD ( and now DVD ) buring prog I see.
Now, if only we could have CD cover ... at least for audio CD ... sniff
Do we have a good one under KDE ?

by Morty (not verified)

Try a serch on appsy. I tried Kover back on KDE 2.x.
It was nice, but I could newer get it to print anything
better than 300dpi, so I gave it up :-). Will try it next
time I need to print a cover.

by Nobody (not verified)

The kover is the best I have personally used, but there is also KCDLabel (check out http://apps.kde.com/) that works too...

Hopefully k3b has _integrated_ CD/DVD cover editor someday, and is included to the base kde distro!

I'll add my vote in for this.

There is Kover which does the job, but is buggy and I'm not sure if it's under active developement. I don't think it would be that hard for some friendly soul to clean it up and integrate it in.

Any takers???


Well, I had some discussion with the maintainer about making the DVD-cover (movie-size case) and to move to use kde.org's cvs...

Didn't hear back from him about it after sending the idea and contact email addresses, so who knows, maybe it's still in the works?

But as all other major CD/DVD burners do have integrated label generator k3b should have one too!

By the way, is there any reason(s) why k3b isn't in any of the feature-plans, not even for kde-3.3?!?

Could there be an voting system for kde-3.3/4.0 to see what packages people would like to see to move from kdenonbeta/kdeextragear(s) to the actual kde distribution?

nero remain the best !!

Nero is excellent, just like Easy CD & DVD Creator, but iDVD has been the best I have personally used!

But on the Linux side, k3b is IMHO the best compared to others usually included on distributions like CDBakeOven, Gnome Toaster, XCDRoast and so on...

by Cartman (not verified)

Well it wont even compile because of cdrom.h but even workarounding it , it wont even recognize and cdrom/cdrw device. Please fix this Sebastian!

by mth (not verified)

This weekend I succesfully burned 4 DVDs with K3b from CVS compiled and running on 2.6.0-test4. However, /usr/src/linux still points to the kernel my distro came with, rather than the kernel I'm running right now. I also had to force some modules to be loaded (ide-scsi and sr_mod, I think).

by Cartman (not verified)

Well first you do not use 2.6.x headers but I do. Second you wont be able to use ide-scsi for cd burning in 2.6.x because its broken and noone yet fixed it.

by anonon (not verified)

I'm using k3b 0.9 (and recently 0.10) with 2.6.0-test6 and cdrtools-2.01_alpha18 (and without SCSI emulation - my CDRW is an ATAPI IDE unit). Works better than ever! :)

Now, to get USB working...