DIY: Burn multiple CDs at a time on the cheap

Jack Wallen answers the request for directions on how to burn multiple CDs at a time on the cheap.

I have been surprised at how often I have received this request, since the inception of the DIY blog. The primary requester of this topic has been those special IT workers that help keep community churches chugging along. Many of these churches have a special need that requires them to distribute copies of sermons. Because of this, those who are in charge of this task find themselves at a loss for what software can handle the task that won't require any cost.

So, naturally, when "no cost" is required we turn to free, open source software (FOSS). I will preface this by saying if you are working in the Windows environment you can always use NERO which will burn multiple disks at a time. This solution will require the purchase of NERO which will set you back around $129.00 (they offer a $30.00 mail-in rebate of course). You will naturally have to have a working machine with a fully licensed Windows operating system. That setup should work just fine. But...let's get cheap and use Ubuntu Linux for this service.

What you will need

  • PC with working copy of latest release of Ubuntu.
  • CD/DVD Burners (either external USB burners or S-ATA burners).
  • Turbojet2.

What is Turbojet2? Interestingly enough, Turbojet2 (originally just Turbojet) was created by a gentleman in the exact same situation as the readers emailing me for this request. The developer needed to duplicate sermon CDs and the proprietary options were simply too costly.  So Turbojet was created.


The installation of Turbojet2 is not the easiest piece of software you will ever get installed. First off, you have to install all of the dependencies:


cdrecord (wodim)





You will also need to install a few tools in order to run the compilation of Turbojet2. Here are the steps to install the tools:

  1. Open a terminal window.
  2. Issue the command sudo apt-get install libxtst-dev build-essential libqt4-dev qt4-qmake.
  3. Type your sudo password when prompted.
  4. Let the installation complete.

Now that you have the tools installed, let's install the dependencies. NOTE: If you already have the dependencies installed, you can skip this step.

In the same terminal window, issue the command sudo apt-get install libxtst-dev build-essential libqt4-dev qt4-qmake.

That's it for the dependencies. Now, time to download and install Turbojet2. Now, because the tar files are outdated, let's download the latest from CVS. To do this you will need to first install CVS like so:

  1. Open a terminal window.
  2. Issue the command sudo apt-get install cvs.
  3. Type your sudo password and hit Enter.
  4. Allow the installation to complete.

Now, check out the source with the command cvs -z3 co -P turbojet2.  That will create a new directory (from the directory you ran the command) called turbojet2. It is time to install. Follow these steps:

  1. Open up a terminal window.
  2. Change into the directory turbojet2 that was created by CVS.
  3. Issue the command sudo qmake-qt4
  4. Issue the command sudo make.
  5. Issue the command sudo cp bin/turbojet2 /usr/bin.

That's it! Turbojet2 is now installed. You will not, however, find a launcher for Turbojet2 in any of the menus. In order to use Turbojet2 follow these steps:

  1. Hit Alt-F2
  2. In the run dialog type turbojet2 and press RUN.

When Turbojet2 opens you will see a fairly straightforward (if not a bit spartan) GUI (see Figure A).

Figure A

Although the GUI is not fancy, it makes using the software simple.

You have now concluded the challenging portion of Turbojet2. The rest is just a matter of working with the GUI - which is as simple as they come.

Final thoughts

Not a perfect solution, but when you're dealing with DIY the perfect solution is the one you get working. When you or your organization is on a restricted (or zero) budget, the creative solutions are almost always the only ones that will work. I hope you are able to make Turbojet2 work for you. It's worked for plenty of other, similar, organizations so you should enjoy the same results.


Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website


WELL I'm an idiot, after 3 days of this, and just after posting this, as I go to close the window, the menubar for turbojet2 fades to some menus... where "configure" will start to populate the working window.

Geeze... Well if anyone else has this issue, that was my dumb problem :)


This is an older post yes. I am attempting to get this running myself... I followed the directions... installed the dependencies and ran the rest of the commands. After running turbojet2, I get a new window that opens all white, with some division lines and  in a box the word "Notes"

I have no other buttons to push or places for input. I've tried this on versions ubuntu 10.xx to current, all with the same issue. I am running as a VM if that has ANYTHING to do with it.


A cheap/free solution is great but sometimes the effort/results are not worth it. Too many times I've seen customers (read educational institutions usually) take piece meal solutions and throw poeple at it until it sort of works. When something breaks then they have to throw more people at it to fix it. You do need to carefully trade off out of the box (and it works) with research pieces, select those pieces that you think work and then install those pieces. Time and people are also money.


I have used CDBurnerXP for quite a while on Windows. Great Nero or Roxio replacement. It's free and works on XP-Win7. Does multiple copies too. Great no-frills, easy to use, burning program.


I see the "sudo apt-get install libxtst-dev build-essential libqt4-dev qt4-qmake" twice. Shouldn't the second one be something about the dependancies listed? (maybe sudo apt-get install Qt4 wodim cdrdao growisofs mpg123 ogg123 ??)


we already know this works.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I think this solution provides multiple concorent copies. If you have five DVD writers your burning five DVD at a time. Where most disk writing software will burn multiple copies in series; five blank DVD one at a time through the burner.


Yes but the list is long and that doesn't even cover the part about installing Ubuntu which most people DO NOT have installed or even setup to dual boot or a second system to run this standalone. Of course you will still have to spend additional money for multiple burners. Also the statement "I hope you are able to make Turbojet2 work for you", does it mean work for you as in "works well" or get it working period? All I'm saying do not interperate time as being free. If you have time to install ALL parts including the OS, setup dual booting or whatever and make it work well/perfectly, great. However you still must consider the cost of time into the whole project.


Neon, I've never tried it on multiple concurrent copies. That would be interesting to find out. I might just have to try it tonight.

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