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Burning CDs Over the Network with webCDwriter

Getting and Installing webCDwriter

September 16, 2002

Most home and small offices really don't need more than one CD burner. Even many large companies only need one, or maybe two. Yet it only takes a few frustrating episodes to convince you that a few extra burners would be a good idea, especially if one of them was in your machine. Before you run out to purchase this new equipment, consider taking an older machine and setting it up by itself, with no other purpose than to be a CD burner.

Put it on the network and you don't even have to go to that machine's console to do anything but swap media, thanks to an interesting tool called webCDwriter. All you need is a machine with a CD writer installed within it, and a Linux distribution running kernel 2.2.x or later (type uname -r to see what kernel version you're running).

To obtain webCDwriter, point your web browser to http://wwwhomes.uni-bielefeld.de/jhaeger/webCDwriter/. There you will find the software package that contains the primary components. You only need to install this package on the burn server. The client machines will need different software, which we'll get to in the "Setting Up the Client Machine" section.

When at all possible, try the packaged versions first, unless you really enjoy building programs from source--I've found that the RPMs built for Red Hat 7.2, for example, work fine with the current Red Hat beta (codenamed "Null"). If you want to install the packaged binaries for Mandrake Linux, Red Hat Linux, or SuSE Linux, then:

  1. Click the RPMs link.
  2. Click the Go to the RPMs page to proceed (of course, take one of the side trips offered if you'd like to support the program's author) to the RPMs page.
  3. Select the newest version of the webCDwriter for your distribution.
  4. Type code>rpm q mpg321 to see if you have this package installed on your system. If you do, click the link to download the mpg123 RPM. You'll need to type rpm -e mpg321 to remove the currently installed version and rpm ivh mpg123* to add the new one.
  5. Type rpm -ivh webCDwriter* to install the RPM for the main software. Here you might discover that you are missing key dependencies, so as usual, it may take a moment to resolve them.

That's it for installing the RPMs. All of the necessary components come in that one package. If you need or want to compile from source, then go to http://wwwhomes.uni-bielefeld.de/jhaeger/webCDwriter/ and do the following:

  1. Click the Downloads link.
  2. Click the Go to the download page link (once again, take one of the side trips offered if you'd like to support the program's author) to proceed to the Download page.
  3. Click the latest version of webCDwriter to download.
  4. Once you've downloaded this software, type the following to uncompress the package: bunzip2 webCDwriter*
  5. Type tar xvf webCDwriter* to unpackage the files.
  6. Change to the new webCDwriter directory.
  7. Type ./configure to run the autoconfiguration routine.
  8. Type make to compile the software.
  9. su to root if you need to.
  10. Type make install to place the files where they need to go.
  11. Utilize the security tools that come with your system in order to "open the door" for a client to connect to this server, if this service is blocked. You can wait to perform this step until you see if the connection can properly complete once you've installed the client and try to make the first connection to the server.

When installing from source, you'll need to add the mpg123 software separately if it isn't already installed, but only if you intend to burn MP3s onto audio CDs.

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