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The Value of K3B: CD/DVD Burning Software January 19, 2007

Posted by Nigel Ajay Kumar (NAyK) in Linux, OpenSUSE, Recommendation, Reviews, Screenshots, Software, Ubuntu, Ubuntu Christian, Windows, Working with Linux.

K3B SplashOf late, in my ‘only-Linux’ binge, I’ve had to rely on Linux-only solutions (using a combination of openSUSE 10.2, Ubuntu 6.10 and Ubuntu CE 6.10) for my work. The latest such attempt has been using K3B for CD/DVD burning.

K3B is a KDE based burning app, and it’s quite a neat software. The last CD I burned was the Dreamlinux 2.2 Linux .iso, and now I’ve just downloaded and burned another Ubuntu derivate (on which I will be writing about later).

The value I have seen in K3B is that it checks the MD5 SUM file before burning… reducing the need for burning and then checking the disk for errors. This is particularly important when you want to burn a bootable .iso linux distribution. There’s nothing worse than reaching the CD-media check and finding errors in Disk # 4! (I’ve had horror stories with Fedora, so I know). This process does not guarantee that errors will never come up, ie, there could be something wrong with the CD itself, K3B at least helps to immediately in checking whether the downloaded file is corrupt or not, before wasting another disk. I wish I had used this programme to burn all my Fedora .iso CDs… but sadly I used Lenovo’s own Multimedia Center, and it doesn’t have this feature.

I must say that I’ve had plenty of negative experiences with Nero (not NeroLinux, which I haven’t used). Nero for Windows is bloated software and it makes doing the simple tasks quite difficult. I feel overwhelmed by its options and wish it had a simpler interface. In fact, I have shifted all my Windows (desktop) based burning onto the Cheetah Burner. (latest update: September 2007. Realising that Cheetah is not free, I have now shifted to InfraRecorder, an opensource CD burner. So far I like it’s simple interface and it has done all the CD Burning I need. I haven’t still tested it with multimedia, but that should be done soon).

Back to K3B, I’ve done both DVD and CD burning through it, and it’s ‘comic’-style interface is fun (in the spirit of Linux) but not overly distracting. I hate the closing trumpet sound though, which invariably is too loud and sudden. I really need to stop that sound!

In comparison to Nero or Cheetah, K3B is miles ahead. In both speed (K3B is adequately fast)! But I find InfraRecorder better in terms of interface. Too many panels open up when trying to burn a CD/DVD in K3B.

Finally, in favour of k3B, this MD5 SUM checking alone is a real value-added service, enough to warrant doing all CD/DVD burnings on Linux rather than on any Windows-based machine. 10 full points to Linux and the open source movement!

Some comments about K3B.

Regarding Top-10 killer apps in Linux… in this list makes number 6.

Windows users would say Nero is way better than K3b in terms of features and I would be forced to agree. But why the hell does a person who just wants to burn some discs also need a media player, an always-on media cataloging software, audio editor and other useless crap bundled ? K3b does what its supposed to do from a good interface and does it perfectly.

Source: here

Also see this review about K3B in softpedia. It also has screenshots.

The Good
There are a lot of things on the good side, the most important being the ease of use and the very good functionality. The DCOP interface allows the control of K3b from other software or from the distribution.

The Bad
K3B doesn’t have an option to burn bootable CDs and I find this a very big inconvenience. Another thing that I don’t like is that it doesn’t warn you to install the appropriate dependencies to convert from mp3 when burning audio CDs.

The Truth
K3B is the best option for every user because it is both easy to use and powerful. The only place where is not suitable is when you need to write files over the network or make bootable CDs.



1. Bob Hunter - January 19, 2007

K3b is the only linux CD burning application that consistently writes CDs without buffer underruns. Being a Gnome fan boy, this irritates me to no end. I hate having to pollute my system with anything from KDE!

But I have no choice. None of the gnome burners really work (graveman, gnomebaker, brasero, etc) and I have tried them all on several different linux distributions and on several different machines with varying processor speeds and amounts of ram. In every case, the “G” apps produce buffer underruns on about 3/4 of attempted burns. No idea why, but I wish gnome would get this figured out.

2. Erythro - January 20, 2007

K3b was brilliant for a while. But just like Bob^ , I too am a Gnome lover and using a QT application was driving me mad. I’ve switched to Brasero since then and it feels quite adequate.

Regarding Nero, yes i know the Nero Burning ROM software is cluttered with way too many options. But if you have the Nero premium suite, there should be another software called Nero Express. This is basically Burning ROM without all the options. Much better and easier to use.

3. Anonymous - January 20, 2007

“K3B doesn’t have an option to burn bootable CDs”

That’s an inaccurate statement. It’s very simple to burn bootable CD’s in K3B. Use Tools->CD->Burn CD image

4. Sathyajith Bhat - January 27, 2007

I’ve to agree wit ya.. Nero for windows is quite simply bloated! I mean c’mon!! A 100 MB install size for just Nero Burning ROM(v7), no help files, no extra programs, nothin!!! That’s waay too much. ALso, unlike you I’ve also used NeroLINUX, and it is as useless(for a product for which you’ve to pay for) as Nero 7 for WIndows is bloated. K3B is best, I used K3B to burn FC6 iso’s (from same source as you, CHIP MaG) and I had no prob.. I’ve also used K3B to burn CD/DVD images created from CloneCD(.ccd), Nero(*.nrg) besides the usual .iso files and have had no problems. Truly, K3B is the best!!
PS: SUSE 10 Rocks!!

5. Anonymous - February 16, 2007

“That’s an inaccurate statement. It’s very simple to burn bootable CD’s in K3B. Use Tools->CD->Burn CD image”

Wrong… That is for burning a copy of an existing iso that is already marked as bootable. The author is talking about creating a bootable CD from scratch. Although, that also is an option – just a bit tricky.

6. Sasi kiran - February 20, 2007

Yes, K3B is for KDE is very good. Although there is a Nero Burning app for Linux from Ahead (it seems it accepts the same key as in windows), being a gnome fan, I use GnomeBaker.

7. Mark Knight - June 27, 2007

Please someone help before this drives me completely mad!
Ubuntu 7.04(i386), Suse 10.1/2 & Core 6 (both x86_64): k3b is there by default & working.

Have downloaded Fedora-7-x86_64 DVD (dated 5.27.07 -sha1sum=OK),
1. No k3b-not even an option on the DVD?
2. Using yum/apt-get to install – both respond with ‘many missing lib .so
& b*&^# .so files error’ (am using the same 64-bit PC as for Core 6…).
3. Connecting to Web during installation gave K3b install option and
installed both i386/x86_64 versions but k3b doesn’t start – not even a
courtesy error response.
4. Remove k3b & try to reinstall – back to same response as in (2).
*** As my Linux know-how is somewhere in the middle of dumb, any help with installing the k3b rpm would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks in advance.

8. ed - July 14, 2007

i just burned a newly-created bootable cd project in k3b! i created a slipstreamed win32 sp2 disc from scratch and burned it as a bootable disc so it is definately possible. there’s a button to “Edit boot images”.

9. Adam - August 26, 2007

I use Ubuntu 6.06. I just installed K3B 0.12.17 after reading this article and I found options for making bootable discs in the Project menu under Edit Boot Images… for anyone interested.

10. Mike Schlecht - August 29, 2007

Mark Knight, Your using yum install usually that gets all dependences of the program in your case K3B. However trying to install on some of open source distributions (Fedora, SuSe) are part of bigger companies and don’t want to get sued. That’s why they don’t come with somethings you may need to get K3B to work like CODEC and dvd libraries. If you don’t have those Codec installed you will fail on some things especially DVDs. So you have add these other sites to your reps. While Ubuntu just installs the stuff even if it is classified as non-free, copyrighted, or commercial based software you just have to hit YES. Where as it takes about 8 hrs to setup all the correct settings after Fedora is installed because you have to uninstall alot of free incomplete libraries to get the other codec installed. Which makes me wonder why codec like Mpeg1, Mpeg2 and other libraries aren’t considered public domain. Since people can come along 10 years latter decide they now just want to patent someone else’s idea or patent it again with useless modifications. Yet outside the USA you got most codec’s considered public domain without question. Only ones I agree are not public domain are WAV, WMV, MOV. Clearly those have been always associated with Microsoft and Quicktime.

11. Linux Help Desk Software by Furnitures - October 11, 2007

[…] The Value of K3B: CD/DVD Burning Software « Tryst with Linux and other Alternatives Tryst with Linux and other Alternatives Unless we explore, experiment and discover, we will only be following the crowd. Home About Alternatives Which Linux? Installing Linux jump to navigation The Value of K3B: CD/DVD Burning Software January 19, 2007 Po […]

12. Darkness - December 8, 2007

K3B+Mandriva 2008.0+SONY DVD-RW= Ruined DVDs that can not be erased!

13. Richard - February 13, 2008

the best…!el mejor…!

14. peaceaholic - November 15, 2008

K3B+Mandriva 2008.0+SONY DVD-RW= Ruined DVDs that can not be erased! ?????????????
who said that?? you can’t be serious!

15. Anonymous - December 12, 2008

I have two DVD-RWs that can’t be erased also.
Kubuntu 8.04 + K3b.
I tried K3b 1.04 and 1.05.

16. renegade - May 11, 2009

Nero is emperor. All hail Emperor NERO.

17. Anonymous - December 4, 2009

to start k3b i have to starrt from terminal…. : in terminak write
: sudo k3b

enter your password…u = good to go

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