Burn Bootable CD

This guide applies to the OS X port of X-CD-Roast (as well any ported to Gnu-Linux. Burning CDs with GNOME’s built in burning facility is easy (nautilus-cd-burner). (But it’s missing a few features with the release of Hoary, burning music being the most obvious.)

What prompted me to write this is that the Panther 10.3.9 Disk Utility still has problems making bootable CDs; It chokes with Ubuntu-PPC .isos. I sent off a bug report to Apple (as I’m sure I have on other occasions too) but I gather they’re too busy fighting off Tiger bugs at the moment, and are probably not interested in enabling their software to burn Gnu-Linux installer CDs. (UPDATE: Tiger was released seemingly months ago and Disk Utility still crashes.)

For those of you who don’t want to pay for Tiger only to get a fix that Apple should have fixed long ago in Panther, considering you expect to get fully operational utilities with OS X, you’ll benefit from X-CD-Roast. This is an intro into powerful software that is just as great as payware app, and it’ll decrease your dependency on proprietary apps and their pushers.

Although, I find it terse, and the manual confusing for burning bootables, it seems a fully fledged counter-point to Toast payware (last time I checked) or the Roxio’s “windoze” equivalent. Just ripping music and making back-ups seems more straight forward, so I’ll not touch that subject. This document concerns itself with burning bootable isos. Technically X-CD-Roast is alpha, but I have never had problems of any sort, nor have I read of any. It seems the developers have very high standards.

First of all, install X-CD-Roast with something like this in Ubuntu:

sudo apt-get install xcdroast

or get the Panther OS X version at:
or the Jaguar OS X version at:

Word of advice: On OS X, throw in the empty CD (and name it) before starting X-CD-Roast because you’ll suspend certain functions when X-CD-Roast starts. I also presume you’ve installed Apple’s hacked X11 (X windows), or some other variety. I’m not going to teach you how to do this. You might have a separate CD, X Tools if I recall with Jaguar. Panther’s installer DVD should allow you to install X11 during install. If you don’t have X11 in Panther/Applications/Utilities, look for it in the install CDs/DVDs. Also look into your friendly mac forum, or the Apple site on how to install X11.

During the first start, answer the questions. On OS X, you have to allow X-CD-Roast to take over CDs from OS X’s native CD software, else you’ll not be able to burn (the pop-up selection says “Stop the autodiskmount-daemon now and continue”). ‘Ok’ the annoying cdrecord-ProDVD key pop-up. (Gee, what’s with DVD keys with expiry dates?)

Next, go through the set-up. Tab through making sure settings are correct, ie., speed of CD-ROM, etc. The defaults are usually fine in my experience. You might want to allow it to ring a bell sound (under the ‘Miscellaneous’ tab [‘Notify-Beeps via DSP-Device’ and test]) when the CD is finished burning. Obviously you want to make sure the CD-ROM is detected in the first place under the first tab. If not rescan. You might want to go through the .pdf manual for the setup. Be sure to create a /Tmp folder under the ‘HD Settings’ tab. Then save the setup settings.

Step One:

  1. Download the iso and store it in the /Tmp folder created during set-up.
  2. Then start X-CD-Roast
  3. On the side tab select ‘Create CD/DVD’

Step Two:

  1. Go to ‘Write Tracks’
  2. Drag the .iso from the right column to the left one.
  3. Select ‘All’
  4. Select ‘Accept Track Layout’
  5. Select ‘Write Tracks’

It’ll ask you to insert CD. If you’re doing this in OS X, you’ve already done this.
Watch the progress in the dialogue window until it finishes 100%.

Congrats, you’re done and you should have a bootable CD.

Maurice Cepeda
a.k.a. Chascon

I’ve read that Panther’s 10.3.9 update takes care of Disk Utility’s bug, it doesn’t, at least not on my early 2004 iBook.

June 22, 2006
I tried Tiger and Tiger’s Disk Utility does NOT fix this bug, at least not on my iBook. I do not recommend buying Tiger solely based on this feature. Overall, I found Tiger exhaustive as a laptop OS; Battery life went down the tubes (No I did not try turning Spot Light off). Stick with Panther on laptops if you want to keep Apple’s OS X.

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