growisofs - combined mkisofs frontend/DVD recording program.
] [ -dvd-compat
] [ -overburn
] -[ Z|M
] /dev/dvd <mkisofs-options>
was originally designed as a frontend to mkisofs
facilitate appending of data to ISO9660 volumes residing on random-access
media such as DVD+RW, DVD-RAM, plain files, hard disk partitions. In the
course of development general purpose DVD recording support was implemented,
and as of now growisofs
supports not only random-access media, but even
mastering of multisession DVD media such as DVD+R and DVD-R/-RW, as well as
Blu-ray Disc. In addition growisofs
recording of arbitrary pre-mastered image
(formatted as UDF, ISO9660 or
any other file system, if formatted at all) to all supported DVD media types.
- -Z /dev/dvd
- Burn an initial session to the selected device. A special form of this
option is recognized to support burning of pre-mastered images. See
EXAMPLES section for further details.
- -M /dev/dvd
- Merge a new session to an existing one.
- Print version information and invoke mkisofs, also with -version
- Provide maximum media compatibility with DVD-ROM/-Video. In write-once
DVD+R or DVD-R context this results in unappendable recording (closed
disk). In DVD+RW context it instructs the logical unit to explicitly burn
[otherwise optional] lead-out.
- At dry-run growisofs performs all the steps till, but not including
the first write operation. Most notably check for "overburn"
condition is performed, which implies that mkisofs is invoked and
- Normally single layer DVD media can accommodate up to approximately
4.700.000.000 bytes (in marketing speech 4.7GB). In other words a DVD can
contain about 4.377 GiB or 4482 MiB. Same kind of arithmetics applies to
Blu-ray Disc capacity of 25.000.000.000 bytes. Anyway, growisofs won't
start without this option, if "overburn" condition appears to be
- An option to control recording velocity. Most commonly you'll use
-speed=1 with "no-name" media, if default speed setting
messes up the media. Keep in mind that N essentially denotes speed
closest to N*1385KBps in DVD or N*4496KBps in Blu-ray Disc case
among those offered by unit for currently mounted media. The list can be
found in dvd+rw-mediainfo output. Note that Blu-ray Disc recordings
are commonly performed at ~1/2 of advertised speed, because of defect
management being in effect.
- More options can be found in the manpage for mkisofs.
There are several undocumented options commonly denoted with
prefix. Some of them serve debugging purposes. Some
require certain knowledge about recording process or even OS kernel internals
and as being such can induce confusing behaviour. Some are to be used in very
specific situations better recognized by front-ends or automated scripts.
Rationale behind leaving these options undocumented is that those few users
who would actually need to use them directly can as well consult the source
code or obtain specific instructions elsewhere.
When using growisofs you may not use the -o
option for an output file.
dumps the image directly to the media;
You don't have to specify the -C
option to create a higher level session
on a multisession disk, growisofs
will construct one for you;
Otherwise everything that applies to [multisession]
applies to growisofs
as well. growisofs
version 1.14, version 2.0 is required for multisession
Actual device names vary from one operating system to another. We use
as a collective name or as symbolic link to the actual device
if you wish. Under Linux it will most likely be an ide-scsi device such as
"/dev/scd0." Under NetBSD/OpenBSD it has to be a character
SCSI CD-ROM device such as "/dev/rcd0c." Under Solaris it also has
to be a character
SCSI/ATAPI CD-ROM device, e.g.
"/dev/rdsk/c0t1d0s2" or "/vol/dev/aliases/cdrom0." And
likewise in HP-UX, IRIX and Mac OS X...
To master and burn an ISO9660 volume with Joliet and Rock-Ridge extensions on a
DVD or Blu-ray Disc:
/dev/dvd -R -J
To append more data to same media:
/dev/dvd -R -J
Make sure to use the same options
for both initial burning and when
To finalize the multisession DVD maintaining maximum compatibility:
To use growisofs
to write a pre-mastered ISO-image to a DVD:
growisofs -dvd-compat -Z /dev/dvd =
where image.iso represents an arbitrary object in the filesystem, such as file,
named pipe or device entry. Nothing is growing here and command name is not
intuitive in this context.
If executed under sudo(8) growisofs refuses to start. This is done for the
following reason. Naturally growisofs has to access the data set to be
recorded to optical media, either indirectly by letting mkisofs generate
ISO9660 layout on-the-fly or directly if a pre-mastered image is to be
recorded. Being executed under sudo(8), growisofs effectively grants sudoers
read access to any
file in the file system. The situation is
intensified by the fact that growisofs parses MKISOFS environment variable in
order to determine alternative path to mkisofs executable image. This means
that being executed under sudo(8), growisofs effectively grants sudoers right
to execute program of their choice with elevated privileges. If you for any
reason still find the above acceptable and are willing to take the
consequences, then consider running following wrapper script under sudo(8) in
place for real growisofs binary.
exec growisofs "$@"
But note that the recommended alternative to the above "workaround" is
actually to install growisofs set-root-uid, in which case it will drop
privileges prior accessing data or executing mkisofs in order to preclude
unauthorized access to the data.
If the media already carries isofs and growisofs
is invoked with
option non-interactively, e.g. through cron, it shall fail with
"FATAL: /dev/dvd already carries isofs!" Note that only ISO9660 is
recognized, you can perfectly zap e.g. an UDF filesystem non-interactively.
Recommendation is to prepare media for unattended usage by re-formatting or
nullifying first 64KB in advance.
"Overburn" protection in pre-mastered image context works only with
plain files and ISO9660 formatted volumes. E.g. [given that /dev/root is an
ext2 formatted file system larger than 4.7GB] /dev/dvd=/dev/root is bound to
produce corrupted recording.
Note that DVD+RW re-formatting procedure does not substitute for blanking. If
you want to nullify the media, e.g. for privacy reasons, do it explicitly with
'growisofs -Z /dev/dvd =/dev/zero
Playback of re-writable DVD media, both DVD+RW and DVD-RW, might be limited in
legacy DVD-ROM/-Video units. In most cases this is due to lower reflectivity
of such media.
Even though growisofs supports it, playback of multisession write-once DVD might
be limited to the first session for two reasons:
- not all DVD-ROM players are capable of multi-border DVD-R playback, even
less are aware of DVD+R multisessioning, burner unit therefore might be
the only one in your vicinity capable of accessing files written at
- OS might fail to mount multisession DVD for various reasons;
The above is not applicable to DVD+RW, DVD-RW Restricted Overwrite, DVD-RAM or
Blu-ray Disc, as volumes are grown within a single session.
When growisofs "runs into" blank Blu-ray Disc media, BD-RE or BD-R, it
gets pre-formatted with minimal spare area size of 256MB.
Most up-to-date information on dvd+rw-tools is available at
The manpage for mkisofs
Andy Polyakov <email@example.com> stands for programming and on-line
This manpage is currently maintained by Huub Reuver
is distributed under GNU GPL.