How To Burn Blu-ray Movies using Linux – via the GUI

One project which I had half-installed on my laptop named ‘Klystron’ some time ago, but which was not working, was software that would make the task straightforward to carry out, to burn Blu-ray movies from a Linux computer. Because I finally wanted to get that working, I spent time on this in-depth today.

One fact which many people understand, but few people know how to manage, is that Blu-ray movies are not supposed to be burned using the ISO9660 File-System, nor, with the .ISO-Files typically associated with that FS, that store its images. Technically, Blu-ray movies are supposed to be burned using a File-System called ‘UDF’, and version 2.50 of that preferably. Under certain circumstances, v2.01 of UDF may have to suffice, since Linux support for v2.50 is still lagging.

I will spare the reader a lengthy account of what did not work. In order for this to work, I needed to have the Debian Multimedia Repository installed in my /etc/apt/sources.list , which should be straightforward for other people to duplicate. And my main purpose in having this repository, was to get the package ‘tsmuxergui’, version 2.6.11 . In addition, I was working with ‘K3b’ , v2.0.2 .

tsmuxer_1

‘tsmuxergui’ is a GUI-front-end for ‘tsMuxer’, which is a program that can be used to set up Chapters and other playback details, as well as the 1920×1080, H.264-compressed video files of course, that are supposed to make up the program on the final Blu-ray.

tsmuxer_2

As my burner, I used the external ‘Pioneer BDR-XD05′, that connects via USB 3.

There is one additional component which I needed, before K3b was willing and able to burn the UDF File System required, which it is not able to do out-of-the-box:

An out-of-tree version of ‘cdrecord’ , v3.02a7

According to its authors, the versions of cdrecord that have been placed in the standard repositories belongs to ‘cdrkit’, not ‘cdrtools’, and cdrkit fails to provide the back-end, which K3b would need to burn UDF. Yet, to try to perform a binary install of the out-of-tree version, would have been very dangerous to my system. So what I did, and what I would urge other people to do, is to use one of the source-code (tarballs) from above.

First, if the reader has ‘wodim’ installed from the package-manager, I would recommend uninstalling that, just to make sure that package-version-binaries are not overwritten by the out-of-tree versions. Then, I used the above source-code, to custom-compile ‘cdrtools’.

The nice feature about this version, is that it does not even install itself to ‘/usr/local/bin’. Instead, it installs its binaries to ‘/opt/schily/bin’ , when we finally give the command ‘make install’ with root privileges, so that the ultimate risk of messing up the system is small.

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Wings 3D Has a GUI Problem on my builds of Linux.

In keeping with my recent theme, of testing various 3D editing applications available under Linux, I next tried out “Wings3D”, which is available in the Debian repositories / package manager.

And one detail which I found frustrating, was that some of the dialog boxes – if not all of them – have problems displaying correctly on the current build of Linux.

I get the impression that Wings3D is actually quite powerful. But unless the Right-Mouse-Button (‘RMB’) clicks reveal their full Context Menus, it can be hard to get started with this application.

There was just a specific exercise which I undertook this evening, which was to try assigning a custom material – and therefore an arbitrary texture image – to an arbitrary 3D model, even in a situation where the texture image made no sense, just to get a feel for how it’s done. While getting started with this, I learned that objects must be U,V-mapped first – which is actually nothing new. And, advanced 3D editors such as Wings3D, do have a semi-automatic U,V-mapping option. The trick is for a person who has never used Wings3D before – actually to find it!

We can select a model to work on, and then we’re supposed to RMB, and from the context-menu, pick the ‘UV-Editor’. The problem with my build of Linux is, that the last entry of the context-menu is actually this option, and it doesn’t display correctly! Instead, in its place, all we get to see is a dot. When I’m looking for a UV-Editor option in a context-menu, to UV-Edit a specific model, I don’t usually think, that the entry which is actually displaying As A Dot – Is It.

wings3d_3

Once I discovered this detail, I was able to make progress by trial-and-error.

There is a way for users in general to make out the entries in the Wings3D context menus, that are not being displayed correctly, and that is to hover over those entries, and to observe what the bottom, green bar tells us. It will update, and display information about how to use the menu-entry being hovered over – including what that entry is called ! :-D

Dirk

(Edit 08/24/2017 : )

I solved this problem, by upgrading to the latest version of the application.

For Debian / Jessie, the package manager only offers version 1.5.3 . But we can actually install version 2.1.5 quite well, from the Web-site.

 

wings3d_6

 

wings3d_7

 

Widening Our 3D Graphics Capabilities under FOSS

Just so that I can say that my 3D Graphics / Model Editing capabilities are not strictly limited to “Blender”, I have just installed the following Model Editors on the Linux computer I name ‘Klystron’, that are not available through my package-manager:

I felt that it might help others for me to note the URLs above, since correct and useful URLs can be hard to find.

In addition, I installed the following Ray-Tracing Software-Rendering Engines, which do not come with their own Model Editors:

Finally, the following was always available through my package manager:

  • Blender
  • K-3D
  • MeshLab
  • Wings3D

 

  • PovRay

 

In order to get ‘Ayam’ to run properly – i.e., be able to load its plugins and therefore load ‘Aqsis’ shaders, I needed to create a number of symlinks like so:

( Last Updated on 08/19/2017, 19h55 )

Continue reading Widening Our 3D Graphics Capabilities under FOSS

Where the @ Comes From, In Modern e-mail Addresses

A long, long time ago, individual programmers connected to time-sharing computers using terminals, and each so-called account on the time-sharing computer already had a username. And so a need arose, for people to send messages to each other, on the same computer, because those users were not physically located where the computer was located. The computer would typically be located at a remote, secure location, while the user would be located in a terminal-room, without the ability to speak to the other user face-to-face, but somehow requiring the cooperation of the other user.

If this was taking place on a UNIX system, then we considered ourselves to be privileged, because when UNIX was first developed, it was considered advanced, and we could actually give a command such as:

 


mail dirk

 

To send a message to the user named ‘dirk’.

Eventually, multiple computers got into the act – i.e. computers existed on small networks. And when I open a terminal-session on any of my Linux computers, I get a command-prompt something like this:

 


dirk@Phoenix:~$

 

This command-prompt means that I’m user ‘dirk’ but on the computer named ‘Phoenix’. If each Linux computer on my LAN still had legacy packages installed such as ‘sendmail’ or ‘postfix’, then I could type in the command instead, that would read:

 


mail dirk@Klystron

 

Which would tell the computer, I wanted to send a message to another computer on the same LAN.

The fact that the characters which follow the ‘@’ form a Fully-Qualified Domain Name – an FQDN – only really started to exist, once the Internet had started to spread.

Now, the way it is on modern Linux systems, we no longer have the ‘sendmail’ utility installed by default, so that we can no longer send each other emails from the command-line. Like the rest of the world, we will need to open a full email-client, to do so instead. And for users who don’t like the fancier GUIs, there is also an email client named ‘mutt’, which allows for emails to be sent from an ASCII-representation, even with no X-server running.

Users who do this are considered to be something of an oddity, much like users who use ‘Lynx’ as their non-graphical Web-browser. But because some legacy software still exists, which would like to be installed on legacy UNIX, we have a package named ‘lsb-invalid-mta’, which we can install, and which provides a superficial appearance of the old ‘mail’ utility being available. But if we ever try to send an actual message or email with this, we will just get an error-message every time.

OTOH, If we wanted to expand our configuration to such a degree, that we could send an actual email using ‘mail’, effectively, we need to install ‘postfix’ as an exclusive alternative either to ‘lsb-invalid-mta’ or to ‘sendmail’. But I suspect that many users would consider this to be a security risk, because then, any application on our local machine could start sending emails, even if those just had user-status – i.e. without root – because it was the user in question, who used the ‘mail’ command to begin with. In the case of email, we’d give ‘postfix’ the (secured) login credentials to an actual, external SMTP server, over which all our locally-generated emails would go out. I think that most Linux users are slightly more-at-ease, knowing that their regular, user-applications, do not have the privileges to do this.

Dirk