libburn is a library by which preformatted data get onto optical media: CD, DVD, BD (Blu-Ray). On Linux it uses either /dev/sgN (on kernel 2.4 with ide-scsi) or /dev/srM , /dev/hdX ( on kernel 2.6). On FreeBSD it uses /dev/cdN, eventually via atapicam. On Solaris addresses look like /dev/rdsk/cXtYd0s2.

libburn also offers a facility for reading data blocks from its drives without using the normal block device i/o, which has its advantages and disadvantages. It seems appropriate, nevertheless, to do writing and reading via the same channel. On several Linux systems, the block device driver needs reloading of the drive tray in order to make available freshly written data. The libburn read function does not need such a reload.

Audio CD can be written and read.

The code of libburn is independent of cdrecord. Its CD SAO capabilities are inherited from  old libburn. Its CD TAO capabilities are learned from MMC-1. Its DVD and BD capabilities are learned from studying the code of dvd+rw-tools and MMC-5 specs. No code but only the pure SCSI knowledge has been taken from dvd+rw-tools, though.

The underlying knowledge about drive control and media types is collected in doc/cookbook.txt. But it should by no means be necessary to study this in order to understand the API and the usage of libburn.


For an overview of the drive/media models see "General information paragraphs" in  man cdrskin. The API of libburn is documented in libburn/libburn.h.

A small demo application named libburner is shown with clickable links into the API specs at  libburn doxygen page.

On base of libburn there is a cdrecord emulation named cdrskin which is integral part of the libburn SVN and its releases.

GUI application  xfburn makes use of libburn.

libburn is also used by libisoburn and its application xorriso.

libburn shares an interface object definition (struct burn_source) with libisofs by which a filesystem image stream can be received and written to media. libisoburn uses the read function of libburn to create a data input object for libisofs.

It is advised to use the most recent release version as published on release page.