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1. Introduction

This is the Linux CD-ROM HOWTO. It is intended as a quick reference covering everything you need to know to install and configure CD-ROM hardware under Linux. Frequently asked questions related to CD-ROM are answered, and references are given to other sources of information related to CD-ROM applications and technology.

1.1 Acknowledgments

Much of this information came from the documentation and source files provided with the Linux kernel, the Internet alt.cdrom newsgroup FAQ, and input from Linux users.

Thanks to the SGML Tools package, this HOWTO is available in several formats, all generated from a common source file.

1.2 Revision History

Version 1.0

First version made publicly available

Version 1.1

CDU33A is explicitly supported as of 1.1.20 kernel; notes on Reveal FX; info on reading audio tracks; info on some alpha drivers; added troubleshooting section; a few other minor additions

Version 1.2

ISO-9660 file systems must be mounted read-only starting with 1.1.33 kernel; clarified that SB16 SCSI is supported and newer Aztech drives are not supported; references to photocd and xpcd programs; note on new SBPCD auto eject feature

Version 1.3

Minor change to the way SBPCD eject feature is disabled starting with the 1.1.49 kernel; added info on XA discs and how to identify them

Version 1.4

HOWTO now available in other languages; IBM and Longshine drives now supported by SBPCD; alpha driver for Aztech drives; CDU-33 driver no longer auto-probes, supports PhotoCD and audio; more than 2 SCSI drives are supported; new driver for IDE; reminder to check drive jumpers; can now set SBPCD auto-eject with IOCTL; list drivers with multisession support; question on flashing light on CDU-33

Version 1.5

A long overdue update (I've been busy); document placed under GPL; info on many new kernel drivers; more info on configuration and troubleshooting; lots of HTML links added; many other minor changes

Version 1.6

Added link to eject program; question on file permission patch; link to Creative Labs Web site; reference to ATA/EIDE FAQ and FTP site; note that many Creative Labs and Mitsumi drives are now EIDE; mention Supermount; drives listed as supporting digital data are obsolete, refer to cdda2wav; more info on writing CDs; multi-disc EIDE drive info; a few typos fixed

Version 1.7

new kernel version; most README files moved to /usr/src/linux/Documentation; some drivers are no longer experimental; a few more supported drives; emphasize that most drives are now IDE/ATAPI; added questions on Plug and Play support and identifying drive speed; vger mailing lists being shut down; other miscellaneous minor changes

Version 1.8

question on why CD-ROM stops working after install; aztcd driver now supports two CyCDROM drives; more pleading not to use SBPCD driver with IDE drives; some ATAPI multi-disc changer support; note on (lack of) support for parallel port drives; latest stable kernel is 2.0; other miscellaneous minor changes

Version 1.9

removed some questions that were very old and now obsolete; new e-mail address for author; Chinese translation available; fixed some links to point to latest software packages; more information on multimedia book; minor spelling and grammatical changes

Version 1.10

clarify that new Aztech drives are ATAPI; added CDU31A options for modular driver; mount option for reading hidden files; added six month "best before" date; new URL to web page for book; minor spelling and grammatical changes

Version 1.11

added reference for parallel port drives; added info on bpcd driver; new URL for Chinese version; alternate CR-56x driver; info on bootable CDs; answered question on CD-ROM API; Linux Multimedia Guide is now available in French and Japanese

Version 1.12

added link to Polish translation; CD Writing is no longer a mini-HOWTO; added two questions related to Joliet filesystem

1.3 New Versions Of This Document

New versions of this document will be periodically posted to the comp.os.linux.answers newsgroup. They will also be uploaded to various anonymous ftp sites that archive such information including

Hypertext versions of this and other Linux HOWTOs are available on many World-Wide-Web sites, including Most Linux CD-ROM distributions include the HOWTOs, often under the /usr/doc directory, and you can also buy printed copies from several vendors. Sometimes the HOWTOs available from CD-ROM vendors, ftp sites, and printed format are out of date. If the date on this HOWTO is more than six months in the past, then a newer copy is probably available on the Internet.

A French translation of this document, by Bruno Cornec ( is available at

A Japanese translation by Itsushi Minoura ( is available from

A Chinese translation (BIG-5 encoding) by Yung-kang Wu ( is available from

A Polish translation by Bartosz Maruszewski ( is available from

Most translations of this and other Linux HOWTOs can also be found at and

If you make a translation of this document into another language, let me know and I'll include a reference to it here.

1.4 Feedback

I rely on you, the reader, to make this HOWTO useful. If you have any suggestions, corrections, or comments, please send them to me,, and I will try to incorporate them in the next revision.

I am also willing to answer general questions on CD-ROM under Linux, as best I can. Before doing so, please read all of the information in this HOWTO, and then send me detailed information about the problem. Please do not ask me about using CD-ROM drives under operating systems other than Linux.

If you publish this document on a CD-ROM or in hardcopy form, a complimentary copy would be appreciated; mail me for my postal address. Also consider making a donation to the Linux Documentation Project to help support free documentation for Linux. Contact the Linux HOWTO coordinator, Greg Hankins (, for more information.

1.5 Distribution Policy

Copyright 1995-1997 Jeff Tranter.

This HOWTO is free documentation; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This document is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but without any warranty; without even the implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You can obtain a copy of the GNU General Public License by writing to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 675 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.

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