growisofs - combined mkisofs frontend/DVD recording program.
growisofs [-dry-run] [-dvd-compat] [-overburn] [-speed=1] -[Z|M]
growisofs was originally designed as a frontend to mkisofs to facili-
tate appending of data to ISO9660 volumes residing on random-access
media such as DVD+RW, DVD-RAM, plain files, hard disk partitions. In
the course of development general purpose DVD recording support was
implemented, and as of now growisofs supports not only random-access
media, but even mastering of multi-session DVD media such as DVD+R and
DVD-R/-RW. In addition growisofs supports first-/single-session record-
ing of arbitrary pre-mastered image (formatted as UDF, ISO9660 or any
other file system, if formatted at all) to all supported DVD media
Burn an initial session to the selected device. A special form
of this option is recognized to support burning of pre-mastered
images. See EXAMPLES section for further details.
Merge a new session to an existing one.
Print version information and invoke mkisofs, also with -version
Provide maximum media compatibility with DVD-ROM/-Video. In
write-once context (DVD+R and DVD-R) this results in unappend-
able recording (closed disk). In DVD+RW context it instructs the
logical unit to explicitly burn [otherwise optional] lead-out.
At dry-run growisofs performs all the steps till, but not
including the first write operation. Most notably check for
"overburn" condition is performed, which implies that mkisofs is
invoked and terminated prematurely.
Normally DVD media can accommodate up to approximately
4.700.000.000 bytes (in marketing speech 4.7GB). In other words
a DVD can contain about 4.377 GiB or 4482 MiB. Growisofs won’t
start without this option, if "overburn" condition appears to be
An option to control recording velocity. Most commonly you’ll
use -speed=1 with "no-name" DVD-R[W] media, if default speed
settings messes up the media. Keep in mind that N essentially
denotes speed closest to N*1385KBps among those offered by unit
for currently mounted media. The list can be found in dvd+rw-
More options can be found in the manpage for mkisofs.
There’re several undocumented options commonly denoted with
-use-the-force-luke prefix. Some of them serve debugging purposes. Some
require certain knowledge about recording process or even OS kernel
internals and as being such can induce confusing behaviour. Some are to
be used in very specific situations better recognized by front-ends or
automated scripts. Rationale behind leaving these options undocumented
is that those few users who would actually need to use them directly
can as well consult the source code or obtain specific instructions
DIFFERENCES WITH RUNNING MKISOFS DIRECTLY
When using growisofs you may not use the -o option for an output file.
growisofs dumps the image directly to the media;
You don’t have to specify the -C option to create a higher level ses-
sion on a multi session disk, growisofs will construct one for you;
Otherwise everything that applies to [multi-session] mastering with
mkisofs applies to growisofs as well. growisofs needs at least mkisofs
version 1.14, version 2.0 is required for multi-session write-once
Actual device names vary from one operating system to another. We use
/dev/dvd as a collective name or as symbolic link to the actual device
if you wish. Under Linux it will most likely be an ide-scsi device
such as "/dev/scd0." Under NetBSD/OpenBSD it has to be a character SCSI
CD-ROM device such as "/dev/rcd0c." Under Solaris it also has to be a
character SCSI/ATAPI CD-ROM device, e.g. "/dev/rdsk/c0t1d0s2" or
"/vol/dev/aliases/cdrom0." And likewise in HP-UX and IRIX...
To master and burn an ISO9660 volume with Joliet and Rock-Ridge exten-
sions on a DVD:
growisofs -Z /dev/dvd -R -J /some/files
To append more data to same DVD:
growisofs -M /dev/dvd -R -J /more/files
Make sure to use the same options for both inital burning and following
To use growisofs to write a pre-mastered ISO-image to a DVD:
growisofs -dvd-compat -Z /dev/dvd=image.iso
where image.iso represents an arbitrary object in the filesystem, such
as file, named pipe or device entry. Nothing is growing here and com-
mand name is not intuitive in this context.
If executed under sudo(8) growisofs refuses to start. This is done for
the following reason. Naturally growisofs has to access the data set to
be recorded to DVD media, either indirectly by letting mkisofs generate
ISO9660 layout on-the-fly or directly if a pre-mastered image is to be
recorded. Being executed under sudo(8), growisofs effectively grants
sudoers read access to any file in the file system. The situation is
intensified by the fact that growisofs parses MKISOFS environment vari-
able in order to determine alternative path to mkisofs executable
image. This means that being executed under sudo(8), growisofs effec-
tively grants sudoers right to execute program of their choice with
elevated privileges. If you for any reason still find the above accept-
able and are willing to take the consequences, then consider running
following wrapper script under sudo(8) in place for real growisofs
exec growisofs "$@"
But note that the recommended alternative to the above "workaround" is
actually to install growisofs set-root-uid, in which case it will drop
privileges prior accessing data or executing mkisofs in order to pre-
clude unauthorized access to the data.
If the media already carries isofs and growisofs is invoked with -Z
option non-interactively, e.g. through cron, it shall fail with "FATAL:
/dev/dvd already carries isofs!" Note that only ISO9660 is recognized,
you can perfectly zap e.g. an UDF filesystem non-interactively.
"Overburn" protection in pre-mastered image context works only with
plain files and ISO9660 formatted volumes. E.g. [given that /dev/root
is an ext2 formatted file system larger than 4.7GB] /dev/dvd=/dev/root
is bound to produce corrupted recording.
Note that DVD+RW re-formatting procedure does not substitute for blank-
ing. If you want to nullify the media, e.g. for privacy reasons, do it
explicitly with ’growisofs -Z /dev/dvd=/dev/zero’.
Playback of re-writable DVD media, both DVD+RW and DVD-RW, might be
limited in legacy DVD-ROM/-Video units. In most cases this is due to
lower reflectivity of such media.
Even though growisofs supports it, playback of multi-session write-once
DVD might be limited to the first session for two reasons:
· not all DVD-ROM players are capable of multi-border DVD-R play-
back, even less are aware of DVD+R multi-sessioning, burner unit
therefore might be the only one in your vicinity capable of
accessing files written at different occasions;
· OS might fail to mount multi-session DVD for various reasons;
The above is not applicable to DVD+RW, DVD-RW Restricted Overwrite or
DVD-RAM, as volumes are grown within a single session.
Most up-to-date information on dvd+rw-tools is available at
The manpage for mkisofs.
Andy Polyakov <firstname.lastname@example.org> stands for programming and on-line
This manpage is currently maintained by Huub Reuver <h_reuver@man-
growisofs is distributed under GNU GPL.
growisofs 5.20 15 July 2004 GROWISOFS(1m)
Man(1) output converted with