I have a CD-R/RW DVD+/-R/RW drive. How can determine its available burning speeds (e.g. 2x, 4x, etc.) using the command line, so that I can add options such as -speed= to programs such as growisofs?

I've tried dvd+rw-mediainfo /dev/sr0, but it doesn't list the possible speeds.

xorriso -outdev /dev/sr0 -list_speeds

The result depends on the inserted medium.

  • Please can someone explain why this answer has been negatively rated? Does the command not work?
    – EmmaV
    Sep 21 '15 at 17:42
  • I wonder too. Please try and post any bug reports to bug-xorriso@gnu.org. Sep 21 '15 at 18:35

First, growisofs is a program that was maintained between late 2002 and 2007, do not expect to get help with this command today. Growisofs is known to fail with some drives that are picky with interpreting SCSI commands.

There is a way to read the capabilities of the drive using:

cdrecord -prcap (add a dev= parameter only if you have more than one drive)

but this is just what the drive supports

There is a way to read the media information via:

cdrecord -minfoor cdrecord -minfo -v

But this just prints the media specs.

What you get from the drive/media combination is not easily retrievable from the drive. A possible way to go is to is to do a dummy write in verbose mode:

cdrecord -dummy -v xxx.iso

and check the speed you get. WARNING: dummy writes are not implemented in the drive for DVD+ media.

Be sure not to use the fake cdrtools you get on Debian, RedHat and similar but use recent original software. All programs from the original suite support the -version option and print a version >= 3 since 10 years. The current version (summer 2015) is 3.01 with no "a##" added.

  • Thanks for your answer. Can you share your source(s) for the information you gave about Growisofs? If Growisofs is known to fail, why does the latest version of K3b prefer to use it for DVD/BD writing?
    – EmmaV
    Sep 21 '15 at 17:41
  • Are you sure about k3b? The information I received from the k3b maintainers (not sure whether this is still true) is that an unmodified k3b prefers cdrecord before growisofs if the original cdrecord is available on the system. What OS/distro are you using?
    – schily
    Sep 21 '15 at 18:03
  • k3b.org November 4th 2014, Changelog since 2.0.2: "Prefer growisofs to wodim for DVD/BluRay burning." I don't use K3b btw.
    – EmmaV
    Sep 21 '15 at 18:57
  • Well, wodim does not support DVD or BluRay, but cdrecord does. Your statement matches my statement: wodim is intentionally bad, growisofs has several problems while cdrecord has no known problems. As mentioned: make sure that you use a real recent cdrecord.
    – schily
    Sep 21 '15 at 19:08
  • Ok, but what are your sources for "Growisofs is known to fail with some drives" and "growisofs has several problems"? I've searched and can't find anything about this.
    – EmmaV
    Sep 21 '15 at 19:12

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