Revision [1884]

This is an old revision of MultiSessionLiveDVD made by coolpup on 2009-10-06 01:51:11.


Creating a disc that is multi-session is desirable when one wishes data to be saved to the same LiveCD/DVD that one has booted from. This means that one can carry an operating system and personal files all on one optical disc.

A multi-session optical disc is only created if it is specifically written to as 'open'. Being 'open' means that future, persistent data can be saved onto the same disc as opposed to some other additional partition. Forum Thread

Using Microsoft Windows

Not all CD/DVD burning programs designed for Microsoft Windows provide the option to burn (write) in multi-session mode. One that does is the free CDBurnerXP∞. It is only available for Windows 2000/XP/2003 Server/Vista operating systems.

Use this program for creating a multi-session LiveCD only. However, it has already been stated that it is recommended to use DVD-R media for the creation of a multi-session disc. Therefore the only circumstances under which one should use CDBurnerXP to burn a CD-R would be if one's optical drive is not a DVD rewriter. The following tutorial is for such a situation.

Tutorial: Download CDBurnerXP download here. Version 3 does not require Microsoft .NET Framework to be installed. Later versions do. Launch CDBurnerXP whereupon a dialogue box opens which is the startup screen (older startup screen, newer startup screen - varies depending on software version); select the option that refers to burning an ISO image;

Do not use CDBurnerXP to create a multi-session LiveDVD. To record to DVD a running Linux distribution is required because one absolutely must use growisofs (combined mkisofs frontend/DVD recording program) to perform the burn. The Burniso2cd program in Puppy Linux uses growisofs.

In summary, for all Microsoft Windows users, the recommended course of action is:

Using Linux

Puppy Linux has been a pioneer of the multi-session LiveCD/DVD. To create a multi-session disc use Burniso2cd within Puppy Linux. An alternative would be to use Pburn. They will only perform the writing function with a blank disc, i.e. the disc is either new, or, as in the case of a re-writable disc, it has been erased first. Only Pburn has erasing capability; either Burniso2cd or Pburn can be used to burn ISO images.

To start Pburn, within Puppy Linux go to: Menu -> Multimedia -> Pburn

To start Burniso2cd, within Puppy Linux go to: Menu -> Multimedia -> Burniso2cd

To erase a disc: start Pburn; go to Burn -> Blank CD/DVD; click Blank disc tab; select type of erasure Fast blank and select type of disc media; click Burner device tab and select your burner device (drive) that contains the disc to be erased, and uncheck Eject disc after burn; click Burn button to commence erasing.

To burn using Burniso2cd: start Burniso2cd; select the disc type, CD or DVD, that has been placed in the drive; then select the optical disc drive that contains the disc; and then navigate to the location of the relevant ISO file so as to select it. The Burniso2cd program will burn (write) the ISO image file to the disc. Leave the disc in the drive and re-start the computer.

Using Burniso2cd a DVD is always burnt open, i.e. the option whether to burn as closed or open is not offered. This DVD can become either a multi-session Puppy LiveCD/DVD or a non-multi-session one. This option is offered when one first boots the newly burned disc and subsequently proceed to shutdown for the first time: one will be asked where one will want one's persistent data to be saved, either on the CD/DVD or on some other partition, wherever that may be. The irreversible decision one makes here is what determines whether the disc is permanently set as multi-session or not. So if one wants a multi-session disc choose that personal data and session settings be saved to the optical disc only, i.e. select Save to CD, and not Save to file (the default option). Subsequently, whenever one proceeds to shutdown at the end of a session, the option to save or discard that session is provided.

For CD-R/RW media the situation is different. The option is offered whether to burn as closed or open; so if one wants a multi-session CD-R/RW then one must choose to burn an 'open' disc. However, using a CD seems to be less reliable at saving sessions at shutdown than using a DVD - another reason not to use CDs for creating a LiveCD/DVD.

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