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Linux in a Nutshell

This directory of Linux commands is from Linux in a Nutshell, 5th Edition.

Click on any of the 687 commands below to get a description and list of available options. All links in the command summaries point to the online version of the book on Safari Bookshelf.

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cdrdao command [options] toc-file

Write all content specified in description file toc-file to a CD-R disk drive in one step. This is called disk-at-once (DAO) mode, as opposed to the more commonly used track-at-once (TAO) mode. DAO mode allows you to change the length of gaps between tracks and define data to be written in these gaps (like hidden bonus tracks or track intros). The toc file can be created by hand or generated from an existing CD using cdrdao's read-toc command. A cue file, as generated by other audio programs, can be used instead of a toc file. The file format for toc files is discussed at length in the cdrdao manpage.


The first argument must be a command. Note that not all options are available for all commands.


Print a summary of the CD to be created.


Read from a CD and create a disk image and toc file that will allow creation of duplicates.


Check a CDDB server for data about the CD represented by a given toc file; then write that data to the toc file as CD-TEXT data.


Print out the data that will be written to the CD-R. Useful for checking byte order.


Check the validity of the audio files described in the toc file.


Display information about the CD-R currently in the drive.


Display multisession information. Useful mostly for wrapper scripts.


Scan the system bus for devices.


A dry run: do everything except write the CD.


Unlock the recorder after a failure. Run this command if you cannot eject the CD after using cdrdao.


Write the CD.


Copy the CD. If you use a single drive, you will be prompted to insert the CD-R after reading. An image file will be created unless you use the --on-the-fly flag and two CD drives.


--buffers n

Set the number of seconds of data to be buffered. Default is 32; set to a higher number if your read source is unreliable or is slower than the CD-R.

--cddb-servers server,server

Enter hosts for servers. Servers may include ports, paths, and proxies; you can list multiple servers separated by spaces or commas.

--cddb-timeout s

Set the timeout for CDDB server connections to s seconds.

--cddb-directory localpath

CDDB data that is fetched will be saved in the directory localpath.

--datafile filename

When used with the read-toc command, this option specifies the datafile placed in the toc file. When used with read-cd and copy, it specifies the name of the image file created.

--device bus,id,logicalunit

Set the SCSI address of the CD-R using the bus number, ID number, and logical-unit number.

--driver driver-id:option-flags

Force cdrdao to use the driver you choose with the driver options named, instead of the driver it autodetects.


Eject the disc when done.


Override warnings and perform the action anyway.


Used only with the copy command. Keeps the image file created during the copy process.


Record as a multisession disc.


Do not wait 10 seconds before writing the disc.


Do not create an image file: pipe data directly from source to CD-R.


If you are using a disc with more storage space than cdrdao detects, use this option to keep writing even when cdrdao thinks you're out of space.

--paranoia-mode n

Specify the amount of error correction in the CD read, where n is a value from 0 to 3. 0 is none; 3 is full (see cdparanoia for information about error correction). Set error correction to a lower number to increase read speed. The default is 3.


Used only with the read-cd command. Write raw data to the image file.


Allow the drive to be opened before writing, without interrupting the process. Used with simulation runs.


Save current options to the settings file $HOME/.cdrdao.

--session n

Used only with the read-toc and read-cd commands when working with multisession CDs. Specify the number of the session to be processed.

--source-device bus,id,logicalunit

Used only with the copy command. Set the SCSI address of the source device.

--source-driver driver-id:option-flags

Used only with the copy command. Set the source device driver and flags.

--speed value

Set the write speed to value. The default is the highest available speed; use a lower value if higher values give poor results.


Swap byte order for all samples.

-v verbose-level

Set the amount of information printed to the screen. 0, 1, and 2 are fine for most users; greater numbers are useful for debugging.


Use CDDB to fetch information about the disc and save it as CD-TEXT data. Used with the copy, read-toc, and read-cd commands.


To find devices on the system:

cdrdao scanbus

To copy from a CD device (at 1,1,0) to a CD-R device (at 1,0,0):

cdrdao copy --source 1,1,0 --device 1,0,0 --buffers 64

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