Linux has a few disc burning apps available, but our favourite is undoubtedly the powerful K3b.
- Burn data CDs by dragging files or burning an ISO image
- Burn audio CDs with WAV, MP3, FLAC and Ogg Vorbis files with CD text and volume normalisation
- Automatically rename MP3 and OGG files to fit a common format like "artist - title.mp3"
- Burn video CDs and DVDs
- Support for multisession discs
- Create eMovix CDs and DVDs
- Rip audio discs into nearly any format with CDDB support
- Rip video discs into DivX or XviD encoding
For the full list of features, check out K3b's home page.
K3b is easily the most powerful, free burning program on Linux. Not only can you burn nearly any type of CD or DVD, but it has a pretty loaded preference menu, with advanced features like allowing overburning, forcing "unsafe" operations or even offering you the choice to not eject a disc after it finishes burning. Its interface is fairly easy to use, letting you choose the type of disc you want to burn in the bottom menu then just dragging and dropping files into the bottom pane. If you're doing anything beyond throwing a few files on a disc, K3b is the program to use.
K3b doesn't have a ton of downsides, at least compared to the other apps available on Linux. It can't deal with Blu-rays or HD DVDs like some Windows programs can, and it isn't quite as simple to use for beginners as some alternatives, but overall it's still very powerful without feeling too "advanced". Most users should find its interface pretty straightforward, and those with more advanced needs will find everything they need in its preferences. It is a KDE program, however, meaning if you use any other desktop environment it'll require a good amount of KDE dependencies to install, which some users don't like.
Brasero, the default burning program in most GNOME-based distributions, has a very simple interface, perfect for beginners of Linux and disc burning alike. It's also a GTK app, so those that don't want to install any KDE dependencies or have a KDE app on their system may prefer it. However, people have reported lots of issues with failed discs when using Brasero, so be wary that it could be less reliable than the alternatives. If it is, try one of the alternatives below.
Xfburn is another great GNOME-friendly alternative. Built for XFCE, it's a bit more lightweight than K3b, both resource-wise and feature-wise, but it should be able to handle most simple burning tasks with ease, whether it's burning an image, burning a data disc, or burning an audio CD. It can also burn Video CDs and DVDs, but it isn't obvious how — you just need to burn a data disc with the correct folder layout. It isn't the best for beginners, but it's a good alternative to K3b if you don't want to install the KDE dependencies.
Lastly, there's Nero for Linux. Nero isn't quite as bad on Linux as it is on Windows, but it still isn't our favourite. If you want to burn Blu-rays or need other super advanced features, though, it's the way to go — and at $US19.99 it's a lot more affordable than the Windows version. We'd recommend trying K3b first, but if it doesn't have what you need, Nero might.
Got a favourite that we didn't mention? Let us know about it in the comments.
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