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I use Kubuntu 12.04 with KDE 4.8.3 and wodim / genisoimage 1.1.11, but the problem is on Ubuntu (with Brasero) and occurred in Oneiric as well.

Whenever I try to burn more than 3.8GB (approaching the 4 GB limit) of data onto a DVD, burning fails, aborts, or gives an "error 254."

I have lost more than 50 DVDs this way until I learned about the 3.8GB limit. Anything under 3.8GB burns fine, and DVDs burned with more than 3.8GB have usable data up to 3.8 GB, but then the remaining data is garbled, unaccessible, or the disk is just not recognized.

I'm pretty certain this is related to the replacement of cdrecord / mkisofs with wodim /genioimage (which is a problem that has been described for years). Is there another answer or fix? Re-installing cdrtools/cdrecord/mkisofs in Oneiric and Precise has become a herculean task.

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A single layer DVD can Hold up to 4.7 GB. Can you explain more. –  Mitch Jun 12 '12 at 11:53
    
You could try to use a USB instead, if possible. –  Alvar Jun 12 '12 at 12:25
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2 Answers

  1. Try other programs, i.e. gnomebaker or simpleburn:

    http://simpleburn.tuxfamily.org/ -- https://launchpad.net/~simpleburn/+archive/ppa

    http://sourceforge.net/projects/gnomebaker/ -- https://launchpad.net/~gnomebaker/+archive/stable

  2. There are different types of DVDs that support different capacities. According to the wikipedia article (Capacity and nomenclature of (re)writable discs), there are two versions of DVD-R discs, ~3.68 GiB and ~4.37GiB (Don't look at GB, but GiB, that's the actual data capacity).

    Always look at what's printed on the DVD, they usually mention if they're DVD-R or DVD+R. If they don't mention anything (i.e. no-named), don't buy them, unless you're up for the risk.

    Prefer DVD+R (no specific reason, but if you need one, they don't have 2 versions and are 4.37 GiB in capacity).

    You could also try the dual layered dvds, which provide ~8 GiB in capacity.

    For testing purposes buy 2-3 DVD+RW discs.

  3. Burn at low speeds, 4x recommended.

  4. Devices such as dvd burners die eventually (at least in my case), after 2-3 years they become faulty. For example, burning worked in my case, except that I couldn't boot using any cd/dvd media. I bought a new CD/DVD burner and recycled the old one. Now the new one after 2 years burns only at speeds lower than 10x. Go figure. :)

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I have had numerous problems with the CD burning software on Ubuntu. Only one option eventually satisfied me (but unfortunately it is not open source): Nero Linux 4. Nero offers a free 30 trial before you have to buy. I don't know if Nero will solve the problem you are experiencing or not. But it being propietary might bypass whatever is causing the problem on Ubuntu?

What I would recommend is to try K3B on Ubuntu. You will have to install the KDE libraries to install K3B though. If K3B does not work for you, I would try Nero. Nero for Linux did everything I asked and had all the options I was looking for.

I'm hoping that the poor quality and dearth of features of the open source CD burning options will be addressed at some point for Ubuntu because I don't like having to use closed source stuff. But, unfortunately, I have not found a better alternative for CD burning on Ubuntu.

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