Posts Tagged ‘Lightscribe’


Jaunty Lightscribe Labels

23 April, 2009

Well, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, and Xubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope) were released today, amid joyous worldwide celebration [probably].

As we all know, one of the best parts of being a linux user and surely the best part of a new release is handing out liveCDs to hapless onlookers during airplane trips. See someone looking interestedly at your computer? Engage them in conversation! Extoll the virtues of an open source operating system! Convince them that they will surely go to hell unless they repent their proprietary sins and bask in the warm neon glow of a GNOME desktop!

But let’s face it, the average person off the street might be won over by your preaching, but the minute you hand them that memorex cd with sharpie scrawlings on it, they’re thinking “holy hell, these people are cheap!”

Well, we are. And that’s okay, it works for us. But people who are used to flashy microsoft boot disks may have a hard time taking a hand-burned liveCD seriously. Enter LightScribe, a neat bit of hardware that comes with a lot of computers that allows to you burn decorations on your cds. If your cd-rom drive isn’t LightScribe enabled you can get an external drive that is. You also need special media that tend to be a bit more expensive and difficult to find. The result is pretty cool, though.

So, without further ado, the labels I designed for the Jaunty, in Ubuntu, Kubuntu, and Xubuntu flavors. For more information on using lightscribe with Ubuntu, check out my previous post “Lightscribe for Ubuntu.”

Enjoy, and Happy Clicking!


Lightscribe for Ubuntu

5 April, 2009

lightscribe labeled disk
[Photo Courtesy Wikimedia Commons]

My laptop came with a lightscribe enabled CD/DVD-RW drive. After I switched to Ubuntu I set about looking for a program that would allow me to burn labels to my discs. It took a lot of digging and several tries to find a solution that worked, so I’ll share it with you.

First, we need the lightscribe driver that allows your computer to talk with the hardware. Download it and install as you would any other .deb.

Next, we need the labeling software. After trying a few different programs I’ve settled on the LaCie labeler (download). It’s only available in .rpm format, so after it’s downloaded we’re going to need to do a little terminal work.
To convert a .rpm to a .deb, we need a program called alien:
sudo apt-get install alien
Now we can use alien to run the conversion:
cd ~/Desktop
sudo alien -k 4L-1.0-r6.i586.rpm

A .deb package will appear on the desktop and you can install it normally.

Cool, now we have our labeler installed. Just a quick test to insure everything’s ready to go, and you can start burning labels.
Run the labeler:
gksudo 4L-gui
The gksudo is important because printing disks requires root access. Watch your terminal: if, like for me, it starts to whine about, you need to install one more thing:
sudo apt-get install libstdc++5

Finally, we need to add an icon to the applications menu so we can open the labeler easily. Right click on the applications menu and choose “edit menu”. Pick a submenu to place it (I chose graphics but it’s really up to you) then click “new item.” Think up a snappy name and enter “gksudo /usr/4L/4L-gui” in the command box. Hit close and then exit out of the menu editor.

Now you’re ready to start burning labels! A few hints to make your labeling as smooth as possible:

1. Lightscribe discs are specially coded so that they always start burning in the same place. If your label isn’t quite as dark as you want, just burn it again right over the existing label- it will line up perfectly.

2. Don’t leave lightscribe discs out in the sun or in excessive heat or they may fade. Because of the heat generated by computers, it may not be a good idea to use lightscribe for discs that are going to be sitting in your computer for long times, like music cds or dvds: nothing bad will happen to them except fading, though.

3. You can use any picture you want for a label but remember it’s grayscale only and the resolution isn’t great, so it’s best to use as simple an image as possible.

4. Hewlett-Packard (the kind corporate folks who make lightscribe) has a massive amount of disc designs for you to download free of charge in their Ideas and Design Center. Pick a theme pack and download the linux version, which is essentially a collection of image files that fit on a disc perfectly. Très magnifique!

COMING SOON: Lightscribe Labels for your Jaunty Jackalope LiveCDs!

UPDATE: If, after having followed the instructions above your lightscribe drive is not recognized, enter the following into your terminal:
sudo ln -s /usr/lib/ /usr/lib32/
sudo ln -s /usr/lib/ /usr/lib32/
sudo ldconfig