How to Format (Erase) DVD+RW / DVD-RW Disks in Linux

This post introduces how to erase / blank / format a DVM+RW media on Linux in the command line.

First, you need to find out the device of the DVD/CD+RW drive on your Linux box. For example, on my box with Linux 3.3.4 kernel, my DVD/CD+RW drive is /dev/sr0. You can also see what the /dev/cdrom links to to find out the device path for the DVD/CD+RW drive. For example:

# ls /dev/cdrom  -l
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 root root 3 Aug  1 17:00 /dev/cdrom -> sr0

To format/erase a DVD+RW disk, we need the dvd+rw-tools tool. Install it if it has not installed yet:

# yum install dvd+rw-tools

Then we can format/erase the DVD+RW (actually no need to blank them explicitly)/DVD-RW disk using the dvd+rw-format tool after inserting it into the drive:

# dvd+rw-format -force /dev/sr0 

BTW: the command to erase a CD+RW disk using cdrecord (provided by wodim):

# cdrecord dev=/dev/sr0 blank=fast

Eric Ma

Eric is a systems guy. Eric is interested in building high-performance and scalable distributed systems and related technologies. The views or opinions expressed here are solely Eric's own and do not necessarily represent those of any third parties.


  1. Thank you for posting this. After all my GUI-based DVD burning software failed to recognise (and therefore not be able to blank) a DVD to which a corrupted ISO was burned, this solved the problem.

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