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How to mount UDF DVDs in Ubuntu May 2, 2007

Posted by amazingrando in Linux Tips, Windows-Linux Transition.

Thanks to silverkeys for the image

I’ve been mighty ill recently, so it’s been a while since my last post, but I finally seem to be recovering and it’s time for another post.

Traditionally recordable DVDs or CDs were written with the ISO 9660 file system. This made it work with everything from Linux to Windows to your car’s MP3 player. When DVD movies came out they used a new file system called Universal Disc Format or UDF, which is meant to replace ISO 9660. Ten years later people are still using ISO 9660 most of the time. But, that is changing. One of the biggest reasons for this is that ISO 9660 cannot handle files larger than 4GB. If you want to back up anything bigger than that you either need to split it (which can be a pain to split and recombine later) or you need to go with the UDF file system. I often backup files bigger than 4GB, so I pretty much only use UDF on discs I burn.

Ubuntu (and maybe other Linux distros – Debian?) seem to have a problem mounting UDF formatted discs. The solution to this is as simple as editing your /etc/fstab file and restarting. Here are the steps, from the Terminal:

sudo gedit /etc/fstab

Here you should see a line similar to this:

/dev/scd1 /media/cdrom0 udf,iso9660 user,noauto 0 0

The first part (/dev/scd1) is the device name (could be different with your computer), the second part (/media/cdrom0) is the mount point (where you access the disc in the file system). The third part is the file systems supported. This is where the problem lies. It shows UDF and ISO 9660, but if both are there (which is supposedly ok if comma-separated), then one or the other will not work, depending on the order they are written in the line. So the solution is the change both of those to:


Now the edited line will look something like:

/dev/scd1 /media/cdrom0 auto user,noauto 0 0

Now save the file and restart.

When you restart, UDF and ISO DVDs should work just fine!



1. KrizzE - May 30, 2007

Sweet, thanks for this πŸ™‚

2. Steve - June 1, 2007


Thanks for taking the time to post this. I’ve tried it but it didn’t work for me. Is there anything else i could try?

3. amazingrando - June 1, 2007

No problem KrizzE – just trying to help out.

Steve – does it work with ISO9660 discs? what does your fstab file look like?

4. Loki - June 13, 2007

I tried this, still not able to mount dvds. it seems like i’ve tried everything now.

5. Owen - June 17, 2007

THE BEST!! Thanks, i was struggling with my sony UDF’s for a day until i found this post. Owen from Australia.

6. kane77 - June 21, 2007

yep that works like magic!! thx…

I have some of my dvd’s burned in udf and I didn’t know how to mount them…

7. Varthall - June 26, 2007

Thanks for the tip, I have tried it but unfortunately I still can’t access one single UDF DVD.

8. sam - July 1, 2007

try to burn udf with v 1.02 instead of newer versions; that way compatibility will be fullfilled.

9. sam - July 1, 2007

Or try this on gnome terminal:
“sudo mount -t udf /dev/hdc /media/cdrom”

If it doesn’t work try to make sure your cdrom device is hdc if not use the alternate eg: sdc,…etc

10. sam - July 1, 2007

What worked for me with udf 1.02 was

“mount -t udf /dev/scd0 /media/cdrom”

but becareful and quit any application that can access your Optical Drive.

11. Dave - August 28, 2007

Worked perfectly. I think I tried EVERYTHING else possible to attempt to mount these stupid DVDs. And I really needed this, because all of my backed up data from my Windows switch was on there, and I had no way to recover it if I kept failing to mount the DVD. So, thank you so much, hopefully this problem will just be fixed so we don’t have to do it ourselves with 40 different HOW-TO’s that don’t work.

12. andres - September 2, 2007

It works great! thanks.

13. devastus - September 18, 2007

Good job mate, greets from PT.cya

14. ai - September 21, 2007

Works great, much appreciated, thanks dude :8)

15. roddersg - October 4, 2007

I’ve been posting queries on this in ubuntuforums for ages!
The best solutions are the simplest ones!


16. kuko - October 14, 2007

mount /dev/sr0 /mnt/tmp/ -t iso9660 -o ro

17. kuko - October 14, 2007

ofc u need sudo & existing tmp folder, no need to work with mtab or fstab πŸ™‚ than just umount /dev/sr0 (my case); eject πŸ™‚

18. antispin - April 17, 2008


19. jon - June 17, 2008

without and with terminal commands i get the same message:”You are currently trying to read a disc in the UDF Packetwriting format.

You are seeing this message instead of the contents of the disc because your system currently does not support the UDF format.
To make your System UDF compatible, we have developed a complimentary software tool, the InCD Reader.
To download the latest InCD Reader just visit our website at…”
your Nero

20. amamdispencer - June 30, 2008

Hi got refered to your blog from a reply to my query in the ubuntu forum, after applying your recommendation here’s what my fstab looks like, yet still can’t mount my re-writtable C.D’s.

# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
proc /proc proc defaults 0 0
/host/ubuntu/disks/root.disk / ext3 loop,errors=remount-ro 0 1
/host/ubuntu/disks/boot /boot none bind 0 0
/host/ubuntu/disks/swap.disk none swap loop,sw 0 0
/dev/scd0 /media/cdrom0 auto user,noauto 0 0

Would really appreciate further assitance, totally new to linux and ubuntu

21. ejv - September 9, 2008

Hello everybody

just a question: In my fstab line, after

auto user, no auto

there is also


What does that mean? Should I leave it there?



22. Roelof Andriese - October 4, 2008

Thanks for the tip, I have tried it but unfortunately I still can’t access one single UDF DVD,although i get the right rule now ;

/dev/scd0 /media/cdrom0 auto user,noauto,exec,utf8 0 0

Should I leave it there?


23. Jean-Francois - December 13, 2009

Thanks a lot, I’ll restart and hope it works.
This post helps !

JF from France

24. ryan - March 22, 2010


25. Need to install - April 27, 2010

[…] some of the things mentioned here: How to mount UDF DVDs in Ubuntu Make sure you read the feedbacks as some solutions are given there. No download […]

26. John Wilson - December 21, 2012

My fstab file looks like this:
# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
# Use ‘blkid’ to print the universally unique identifier for a
# device; this may be used with UUID= as a more robust way to name devices
# that works even if disks are added and removed. See fstab(5).
proc /proc proc nodev,noexec,nosuid 0 0
# / was on /dev/sda5 during installation
UUID=19a75790-7e1c-4d68-8948-778b640e5022 / ext4 errors=remount-ro 0 1
# swap was on /dev/sda6 during installation
UUID=4a52f35c-8afe-4348-8a20-5ce32be412de none swap sw 0 0
How do I change it?

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