Friday, December 26, 2003

Ring, Ring, Ring, Ring of Fire

Burning CDs is essential for backups, and maybe other things (ahem). When I was running Mandrake 9.1, my favorite CD burning tool was K3b. It's not included in the Fedora Core (perhaps because it's at version 0.10.3), but the download section on the K3b site has instructions on updating /etc/yum.conf to check for K3b upgrades. With that in place installation was easy.

One quirk: when you first install K3b, permissions aren't set for a user to create CDs. The solution is to run K3b in GNOME or KDE, and click on Settings ==> K3b Setup. This will prompt you for the root password, and then (hit return) change the permissions on several programs to allow the user to write CDs. IIRC, the Mandrake version was already set up with user permissions enabled.

I tested K3b by doing a backup of my home directory. Under version 0.10(.3), you just click on the "Create Data CD Project" button, then drag the files or directories you want onto the CD image that says "K3b data project". I ran the burn at 24X, which seems to be a little fast for this machine, as the buffer would sometimes go down to 10-20% full. Zero, of course, means that you've created a new coaster. Next time I'll try 16X.

To read data CDs from FVWM, you need to issue an explicit

$ mount /mnt/cdrom

from a shell prompt to be able to read the disk, and then

$ umount /mnt/cdrom

to free the disk. If you don't do the later you can press the eject button or

$ eject

as much as you want and the CD will remain locked in the drive. GNOME and KDE don't have this limitation, they automatically mount and unmount the CD. Point for them.

I tested the CD by reading different files off of it from this computer and from an XP box. Works fine.