Introduction to K3b

The K3b package contains a KDE-based graphical interface to the Cdrtools and dvd+rw-tools CD/DVD manipulation tools. It also combines the capabilities of many other multimedia packages into one central interface to provide a simple-to-operate application that can be used to handle many of your CD/DVD recording and formatting requirements. This is useful for creating audio, data, video and mixed-mode CDs as well as copying, ripping and burning CDs and DVDs.

Though K3b can be used to copy almost any DVD to similar medium, it does not provide a way to copy, or reproduce a double-layer DVD onto single-layer medium. Of course, there is not a program anywhere on any platform that can make an exact duplicate of a double-layer DVD onto a single-layer disk, there are programs on some platforms that can compress the data on a double-layer DVD to fit on a single-layer DVD producing a duplicate, but compressed, image. If you need to copy the contents of a double-layer DVD to single-layer medium, you may want to look at the RMLCopyDVD package.

Package Information

K3b Dependencies



There are programs from three packages that K3b will look for at runtime: Cdrtools-2.01 (required to burn CD-ROM media), dvd+rw-tools-6.1 (required to burn or format DVD media), and Cdrdao-1.2.1 (required to burn CD-ROM media in DAO (Disk At Once) mode). If you don't need the capability provided by any of the three packages, you don't have to install it. However, a warning message will be generated every time you run the k3b program if any are not installed.



ALSA-1.0.13, CDParanoia-III-9.8, FFmpeg-0.4.9-pre1, FLAC-1.1.2, HAL-, LAME-3.96.1, libmad-0.15.1b, libmusicbrainz-2.1.4, libvorbis-1.1.2, libxml2-2.6.26, Transcode-1.0.2, libsndfile, MoviX, Musepack (libmpcdec), normalize, resmgr, Secret Rabbit Code (libsamplerate), SoX, TagLib, and VCDImager

For an explanation how each package is used by K3b, see the Requirements page at http://k3b.plainblack.com/requirements.

Runtime Requirements for DVD Ripping and Encoding

Transcode-1.0.2, XviD-1.1.0, libdvdread-0.9.6, and libdvdcss-1.2.9

User Notes: http://wiki.linuxfromscratch.org/blfs/wiki/k3b

Installation of K3b

Install K3b by running the following commands:



The --sysconfdir parameter must be the same as the command used in the installation of kdelibs.

./configure --prefix=$(kde-config --prefix) \
            --sysconfdir=/etc/kde \
            --disable-debug \
            --disable-dependency-tracking &&

This package does not come with a test suite.

Now, as the root user:

make install

Command Explanations

--prefix=$(kde-config --prefix): This parameter uses kde-config to establish the prefix of the existing KDE installation and then sets the installation prefix for K3b to the same value.

disable-debug: This option causes the package to be compiled without debugging code.

disable-dependency-tracking: This option speeds up one time builds.

Configuring k3b

Configuration Information

You will need to ensure that any user of K3b has permission to read and write to the CD/DVD/audio hardware device files. The easiest way to do this is by creating groups (audio, video, cdrecord, dvdrecord, etc.,) and then add users to the appropriate groups. You'll also have to ensure that the Udev rules are set up appropriately if you are using a system where the device files are created during the system boot-up sequence.

There is a script installed (k3bsetup) that is a front-end to the k3bsetup2 KControlModule. This script can be accessed as a pull-down menu from the K3b GUI and requires root user privileges (root privileges are acquired through the use of the automatically-launched kdesud program). Though this utility can be used to set the appropriate permissions for the device files, be forewarned that in a Udev environment, where the device files are created during the system boot-up sequence, any changes made by this utility will not be preserved across system boots.


Installed Programs: k3b and k3bsetup
Installed Libraries: libk3b.so, libk3bdevice.so and numerous modules for the installed dependencies
Installed Directories: The following subdirectories of $KDE_PREFIX/share/: applnk/Settings/System, apps/k3b, doc/HTML/en/k3b

Short Descriptions


is the graphical CD/DVD program.


is a script used to launch the k3bsetup2 KControlModule for setting up the CD/DVD hardware and device files in your system.

Last updated on 2007-01-18 13:38:19 -0600