I wrote earlier
about problems with the Linux UDF driver. This driver is used
to access DVD-RWs and CD-RWs that are formated in Windows using,
for example, Roxio or Adaptec’s UDF drivers for multiple
read/write operations. In other words, the disc has been formated
in Windows to operate like a very, very large floppy. So, you can
read, write, add, delete, edit and just about do everything you
could do with a floppy disc.
At first, I thought I had to either re-compile the kernel,
upgrade to the 2.6.11-1x kernel (see more below), or just forget
about ever accessing the gigabytes of backed up data that I
created while using Windows and wrote to CD-RW discs. But this is
not the case.
By reading the CD-ROM
How-To and especially the linux.faqts
article on Linux: UDF: Windows Roxio I am now able to at
least read my CD-RW backup discs. I can’t write to them, but I
can at least read them.
Here’s what I had to do in Xandros Linux. I emphasize that the
commands below may be specific to Xandros and you may need to use
First, I needed to create a directory to mount the CD-RW to.
To do this, I began by opening a console window to get to the
command line. Note, you could do a lot of what needs to be done
from within KDE or Gnome but it’s easier to go to the command
line. You need to be root when issuing these changes so you may
was well as type in, su, hit the
enter key, and then type in the password for root (if you didn’t
log in as root, which as a security precaution you shouldn’t be
doing) now. Then type in mkdir
/mnt/cdrw and hit the enter key. Note, what you
call the directory you are creating is up to you, as long as it
isn’t already being used or is a system reserved word. Otherwise,
you can call it whatever you want.
The second thing to do is load the UDF driver. You do this by
typing modprobe udf and hitting the
enter key. To confirm whether the driver loaded, you can type in
cat /proc/filesystems and hit enter.
This should list a load of drivers, one of which should be
Lastly, you need to mount the CD-RW by typing in
mount -t udf -o ro /dev/cdrom
/mnt/cdrw and hit the enter key. If all went well,
you can now change to the directory /mnt/cdrw and browse the
files on your CD. Note, the part of the command -o
ro sets the system to read only. You can change it
to -o rw but so far, when I do, I get
the following message:mount: block device /dev/cdrom is
write protected, mounting read-only. I need to figure
out why this is happening and what, if anything, I can do about
it. The how-tos are kind of vague about this and say you may or
may not be able to get this to work.
Before removing the disc, you should probably unmount it by
typing the command umount -a -t
udf.Once unmounted, feel free to eject the
In any case, I now have read access to the data, even if it’s
not as functional as in Windows. Oh, one other thing, Windows
long file names may be displayed as a truncated 8.3 name. There
is apparently a way of enabling long file name support but I
haven’t found out how to do that yet.
Now, in my earlier post, I had talked about upgrading to the
2.6.11 kernel. I thought I would have to download the more than
30MBs of source code and compile it myself. This was based on my
search of the Xandros Network repository using the search term
kernel. This search turned up only
the source code. Little did I know I needed to search on
xandros-kernel to find the 2.6.11
kernel image. Once I found that, installing the new kernel was
just a matter of clicking on the install link and Bob’s your
Uncle, I had the 2.6.11 kernel installed. How cool is that?
Now if I could only get write access to the drive…YMMV.
Use at your own risk. Insert disclaimer here.
[UPDATE] I need to add instructions for DVDs. As you might
expect, they are very simialr to CD-RW so I won’t go into an
mount -t udf -o ro /dev/dvd
umount -a -t