Burning a bootable DVD with SystemRescueCd


It is possible to burn SystemRescueCd onto a DVD disc (DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW, DVD+RW), and to copy 4 GB of data files onto this disc. It allows you to make a disc with both your backup files, and the system that allows you to restore it. A simple layer DVD provides 4.3 GB of space. Since SysRescCd uses about 500 MB, you will have about 3.7GB of free space. It allows you to copy quite big image files (you can make an image of your system with partimage, ntfsclone, ghost, DriveImage, …)

This manual explains how to make such a bootable DVD under Linux, but it should be possible to do the same under Windows with Nero.


Of course, you need a DVD burner, a disc. You also need an installed Linux system, with dvd+rw-tools. If you do not have this program, you can download it from the dvd+rw-tools homepage

You need to know the device name of your DVD burner. If you don’t know it, you may find it with dmesg. You should see something like this:

# dmesg | grep DVD 
hdd: ATAPI 32X DVD-ROM DVD-R CD-R/RW drive, 2000kB Cache, UDMA(33)

In this example, the two output lines show us the device name. It’s “/dev/hdd”. This was tested under Linux-2.4.26, with dvd+rw-tools-5.17, on a DVD+RW, and the device was “Pioneer DVR-106D”. It is supposed to work with all kinds of DVD discs, and all DVD burners.

First step: burn the official SysRescCd ISO image

In this first step, we will just burn the official 275 MB image onto the DVD disc.

growisofs -Z /dev/hdd=systemrescuecd-x86-x.y.z.iso

Of course, you have to replace “hdd” with the device name of your burner, and update the path to the ISO file.

Second step: add your own files

Now, we will add files to the disc. All the files you want to add have to be stored in the same directory. In this example, we suppose that files are stored in /home/user/mydvd-data-files/:

growisofs -M /dev/hdd -J -R /home/user/mydvd-data-files/

It should be possible to add files several times by running this command several times.

Manual (EN)
LVM Guide
Disk partitioning
Manual (FR)