My wife and I became hooked on the TV show "Lost" recently. As we were way behind we caught up by renting seasons 1-4. But then we ran out and fell behind again because the current season was halfway through...and had yet to be released on DVD yet. My only recourse was to torrent the current episodes of Lost and then burn them onto DVD. Of course I use Linux so I knew this might be a bit tricky. At first it was because there were few howtos out there that completed the process without using an infinite amount of command line tools. Not that I might command line tools...but I knew I would want to report the process here on gHacks. So I set out to find the easiest, most reliable way to create playable DVDs with as few commands as possible.
What I wound up with is a combination of three tools - only one of which was a command. It's not as simple as creating them in Windows, but it's free and it's reliable (and will also up your geek "cred" - which we all could use.)
This first tool started out to be the most promising - until it came time to actually burn the DVD. Unfortunately DeVeDe stinks at the process of burning. So what I wound up using this tool for is to create the DVD structure which consists of a directory VIDEO_TS and all necessary files (.IFO, .VOB, and .BUP to be precise.)
Getting and installing DeVeDe is simple because it is found in most common repositories. Fire up your Add/Remove Software utility, do a search for "devede" (no quotes) and install the results of the search.
Once it is installed fire it up. The opening window will ask what disk type you want to create. Click "Video DVD". the new window (shown on the left) is where you add your files and configure your options. You can really get creative with creating menus, etc. For the sake of simplicity we will stick with the basics.
Click the Add button under the Files Pane. This is where you will locate the .avi file you want to add to your movie. In the resulting window you can also switch from PAl to NTSC, add audio tracks (if there isn't already one), add subtitles, and a number of advanced options.
Once you have added your file click the OK button to come back to the main window. Now, click the Advanced options drop down to reveal a few more options. In this section you want to select the option "Create Disk Structure". Don't bother with the iso option - DeVeDe is as bad at creating the iso as it is at burning.
Now click the Forward button and the process will begin. Depending upon how many files (and how large they are) you might have a long wait.
Once the process is complete you can Quit out of DeVeDe. You are done with that application.
Now you need to locate the directory housing the VIDEO_TS directory. You have to run the mkisofs command on that directory like so:
mkisofs -dvd-video -o ~/DVD_NAME.iso /path/to/VIDEO_TS
Where DVD_NAME is the name you want to give the iso file and where /path/to/ is the absolute path to the VIDEO_TS directory (but leave out the VIDEO_TS portion.) So if VIDEO_TS is located in /home/jlwallen/movie and I want to name the iso lost.iso the command would look like:
mkisofs -dvd-video -o /home/jlwallen/lost.iso /home/jlwallen/movie
You will want to make sure there is plenty of space on the drive (or directory) you use for this because it can take up some space (how much depends upon the size of the DVD being created.) The results, once the command is finished, will be DVD_NAME.iso (Again where DVD_NAME is the actual name of the iso you created.)
Now the easy part. Using K3B you will burn this iso image to disk. You can follow the process in my previous article Burn CD and DVD ISO images with K3B. Once K3B finishes you should have a DVD suited for nearly any home DVD player.
Nope...it's not as easy as it should be. But now you can re-create the process fairly quickly with the right tools. Have you found an easier way to create DVDs in Linux? If so let your fellow gHacks readers know.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.