[CentOS] Please recommend a DVD writer for CentOS 4.1

Aleksandar Milivojevic alex at milivojevic.org
Thu Sep 29 12:31:47 UTC 2005

Morten wrote:
> Hi.
> I need to install DVD writers in a CentOS box as part of a backup setup. 
> I want as little fuss as possible both with HW recognition and 
> functionality. Can any of you recommend a vendor/product ?

Hardware mostly works.  However, there are some problems with the 
software.  See this bug report for details:


Mostly, DVD-R media will work fine, DVD+R is the problematic one.  Also, 
some people experienced kernel panics when attempting to burn any type 
of DVDs (while the same hardware burns CD-ROMs just fine).

Long story short, buy somewhere locally where you can walk in and bring 
it for full refund if you run into trouble (don't lock yourself with 
small store that has restocking fees, or does only exchanges and carries 
maybe two or three different models).  Returning stuff by mail is 
usually too much fuss and usually you need to pay shipping (so, as I 
said, choose some big local store with good return policy).

> Performance of the drive is not an issue. I get confused looking at all 
> the "+/-RW +R double layer yada yada" when skimming the hardware lists..

Get the one that supports media you intend to use.  Most today's models 
support both "+" and "-" standards (the older ones supported only one of 
them).  Newer usually have dual layer support too.  If you need DVD-RAM 
functionality, make sure the box explicitly says so (for example, newer 
models of LG writers will do all currently existing formats, including 
DVD-RAM).  Most writers can't write to DVD-RAM, and not all readers can 
read them (which is shame, DVD-RAM is the ultimate rewritable media).

Said that, at work I have one Sony DRX-710UL burner that simply doesn't 
work with 2.6 kernels.  First I had trouble with DVD+R media only, than 
after couple of kernel updates I started getting kernel panics with any 
type of DVD media.  Well, at least it seems they are working on the 
kernel code ;-)

At home I have LG GSA-5163D.  However, I never attempted connecting it 
to Linux box (my home Linux box has USB1.1 ports only).  It works 
perfectly under Windows (but than, all of them do), and does all current 
DVD formats (+, -, R, RW, DVD-RAM and dual layer).  Very fast, very 
reliable.  The only media I haven't tested it with is dual layer (too 
expensive).  It wrote to R, RW, and RAM media nicely.

Both mentioned models can be connected by either USB or firewire to the 
PC.  Note that by default CentOS kernel does not have support for 
firewire, so that shouldn't be deciding factor (unless the writer has 
only firewire, in which case skip it, not going to work with default 
kernel).  I tested my LG (on Windows box) with both USB and Firewire. 
Worked fine with both.

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