Linux: Burn multi session CDs on Linux

Under Linux you can use tool called cdrecored (use to record audio or data Compact Discs) with mkisofs (use to create an hybrid SO9660/JOLIET/HFS filesystem with optional Rock Ridge attributes ) for this purpose.

Step #1: Create first session as follows

1) Create an iso image first:

# mkisofs -R -o /tmp/cd.iso /backup/06-07-2004/


  • -R : Uses Rock Ridge naming convention/attributes
  • -o : Name of new iso file (cd.iso)
  • /backup/06-07-2004/ : Everything in /backup/06-07-2004/ will be put into cd.iso file

2) Burning the disk (or an ISO image) for first session:

# cdrecord -dev=0,0,0 -multi -data -v -eject -speed=4 /tmp/cd.iso


  • -dev=0,0,0 : device number (tip you can use cdrecord -scanbus command to get this number)
  • -multi : Start multi session disk
  • -data : This option required for HP and Sony CD Writer only.
  • -v : Verbose i.e show info while burning the disk
  • -eject : Ejects the CD when done
  • -speed=4 : Write speed (4x)
  • cd.iso : Name of image being burned

3) Mount cdrom and see the contains:

# mount /mnt/cdrom
# ls /mnt/cdrom
# rm -f /tmp/cd.iso

OR# mount /dev/hda /mnt/cdrom; ls /mnt/cdrom; rm -f /tmp/cd.iso
4) You can also verify that how many sessions written so far:

# umount /mnt/cdrom
# cdrecord -dev=0,0,0 -toc


  • -dev=0,0,0 : Device number
  • -toc : Retrieve and print out the table of content

Step #2: Burning the disk (or ISO image) for next session

Next session is bit tricky. You need to specify last sessions starting and ending sector numbers this information can be obtained from the following command:

# cdrecord -dev=0,0,0 -msinfo



1) Create next session ISO file:

# mkisofs -o /tmp/ses2.iso -R -V session2 -C $(cdrecord -dev=0,0,0 =msinfo)
-M 0,0,0 /backup/07-07-2004


  • -C $(cdrecord -dev=0,0,0 –msinfo) : This option is needed when mkisofs is used to create the image of a second session or a higher level session for a multi session disk
  • -M 0,0,0 : Specifies path to existing iso9660 image to be merged.

2) Burning the disk (or an ISO image) for second session:

# cdrecord -dev=0,0,0 -multi -data -v -eject -speed=4 /tmp/ses2.iso

3) Mount cdrom and see the contains:

# mount /mnt/cdrom; ls /mnt/cdrom; rm -f /tmp/ses2.iso


# mount /dev/hda  /mnt/cdrom; ls /mnt/cdrom; rm -f /tmp/ses2.iso

Note: When you wish to close disk (multi session cd), omit the -multi option for last session.

Online references:

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