Most CD or DVD burning applications these days seem to want to do it all. In addition to standard burning features, like the ability to create an audio or data disc, they’ll offer the ability to create a DVD from video files (converting the files to the correct format and authoring the disc with menus in the process), or even ripping a video DVD to a file playable on the computer. And all that is great. Except sometimes the sheer complexity of the available features make a program harder to use than it necessarily “needs” to be. To that end, I recently tried out a simple disc-burning application for Linux called FlBurn. Unlike other common burning programs for Linux, like Brasero or K3b, FlBurn doesn’t offer a lot of complexity. Just a few solid features and a very basic interface. Just enough to get the job done.
When you first open FlBurn, you’ll see a fast screen flash by (at least on my computer), almost too fast to read. It reads “scanning for devices,” and as soon as it finds all your available drives, you’ll see the standard interface (as shown in the first screenshot). From here you have five main options: Copy disc to ISO, Burn ISO to disc, Make ISO from files, Burn files to disc, and Erase. A little about each of those below:
Copy disc to ISO – This feature takes a disc already in your disc drive and copies the contents of it to an ISO image, which can then be burned over and over to blank media, resulting in identical discs each and every time. There is a warning in the Help screen that you should not try to turn an audio disc to an ISO file, but other than that, it’s a great option to make perfect back-up copies of all your discs.
Burn ISO to disc – This is the complementary feature to the previous option. With this, you simply need to insert a blank disc into your drive, then choose an ISO file already on your hard drive. Burn, and you’ll end up with a disc that is identical to the one used to create the ISO file in the first place.
Make ISO from files – Sometimes you’re not starting with an existing CD/DVD, but a folder full of files. If you want to take those files and burn them to a CD over and over, creating an ISO file is the way to go. This way you can perform the burning process whenever you want, even if the original files are deleted.
Burn files to disc – Perfect for one-off burning jobs. You simply insert a blank disc into your drive, then choose files from your hard drive, no matter where they’re located, and burn.
Erase – When you have a DVD-RW or CD-RW disc, it can be burned once, erased, then burned again. In order to write to it when it’s already been burned (and the session closed), you’ll need to erase it. Erasing the disc clears the data, and makes it available for burning. This feature should not be used on DVD+RW discs, which can be overwritten without first being erased.
As you can see from the screenshots, FlBurn is not a complicated program. It probably doesn’t fit into the look and feel of your standard desktop environment. I’ve tried it out both in KDE and GNOME Linux, and it looked out-of-place in both. Still, for low-memory environments, or someone just looking for a basic, no-frills burning utility that gets the job done and doesn’t waste time or energy looking flashy, it’s a good option.