[RndTbl] burning DVD on OS/X Panther

Adam Thompson athompso at athompso.net
Tue Oct 18 20:24:33 CDT 2005

millward wrote:

>My question is for OS/X users. I won a Knoppix DVD door prize
>but since I don't have a DVD burner, I took it to my friend who
>has a PowerPC OS/X Panther system. To my surprise, his
>system failed to read the Knoppix DVD, so could not burn a
>copy of it. We think OS/X can't deal with the Linux file system,
>probably ext3. 
While you are correct in assuming that OS X can't read ext3 filesystems 
(although I've seen a driver recently that purports to allow that), the 
problem you are having is much more basic.

DVD filesystems come in two flavors, generally speaking: ISO 9660 (the 
standard CD-ROM filesystem) for data-only DVDs, and UDF (Universal Disk 
Format, I think) for true DVD disks.  Most bootable DVDs (in fact, most 
DVDs other than videos) are actually ISO9660 - a glorified super-sized 
CD-ROM, basically.

The Knoppix DVD in particular should follow the ISO9660 format.  I can't 
remember how the live filesystem image works on the Knoppix disks - but 
the Mac should at least mount the disk and show you _something_.  It may 
not show you anything useful - the Knoppix live filesystem is some funny 
compressed format, I believe, so I think anything other than Knoppix 
itself will only see a handful of large files

If your friend's Mac doesn't even mount the disk and show you _anything_ 
then the physical media simply isn't compatible with the drive.  Go find 
another DVD burner :-)
If it does mount the disk, then it's actually working just fine - and 
you can burn a bit-for-bit copy and it should work fine in a PC.

As for buying a DVD burner, I'm of the opinion that you should get 
neither Blu-ray nor HD at this point, since at the current price point 
DVD burners can be thought of as a consumable - I can buy a 
(single-layer) burner for (a LOT) less money than refilling the ink in 
my printer!  The IDE combo drives tend to be quite reliable by now, no 
matter who's logo is on the outside.  (Much like CD-RW drives, there are 
only a handful of companies manufacturing the internal mechanisms.)


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