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3-35] How do I make my CD-ROM work on the Mac, WinNT, and UNIX?




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This article is from the CD-Recordable FAQ, by Andy McFadden (fadden@fadden.com) with numerous contributions by others.

3-35] How do I make my CD-ROM work on the Mac, WinNT, and UNIX?

(2006/02/20)

This can be tricky because of issues with long filenames and file
attributes. Mac CD-ROMs are sometimes burned with an HFS or HFS Plus
filesystem, not ISO-9660, and WinNT uses a different scheme for long
filenames (Joliet) than UNIX does (Rock Ridge). Some variants of UNIX will
recognize the Joliet names, but Windows doesn't understand Rock Ridge.
You might be able to use an HFS CD-ROM on a platform other than the Mac,
but if you're distributing software, it's not wise to assume that your
customers will be able to do the same.

The easiest way to create a disc that will work on all platforms is to use
plain level 1 ISO-9660, with 8+3 filenames and no special file attributes.
If you need to include Mac applications as well as data -- or pretty much
anything with a resource fork -- this simple approach won't work. Also,
some older versions of Mac OS and HP/UX might not work as expected unless
you record the disk without the usually-invisible version number (";1").

There is an Apple-defined extension to ISO-9660 that allows the Mac file
and creator types to be present on an ISO-9660 filesystem (see (3-5-3) for
a URL to an Apple tech note with implementation details). This allows most
of the features of the Mac filesystem on an otherwise plain ISO-9660 disc.
It's not clear how many of the software products in section (6-1) take
advantage of this, but "mkisofs" (section (6-1-10), now includes the older
"mkhybrid") can create an ISO-9660 disc with Joliet, Rock Ridge, and HFS
extensions all on the same disc.

A common way to construct a disc for the Mac and PC is as a "hybrid" disc
that has both an ISO-9660 filesystem and an HFS filesystem. To save space,
the data itself is shared by both sections of the disc. This is possible
because the ISO-9660 directory entries use an absolute block offset on the
disc, so they can point at data residing in the HFS filesystem.

There are various applications that will do HFS/ISO-9660 hybrids. The most
easily accessible to Macintosh owners is the Mac OS X Finder. Roxio's Toast
for the Mac and "mkhybrid" for the PC are other examples. Search for
"hybrid" in the list of software in section (6-1) for more examples.

The issue of Joliet vs. Rock Ridge can also be solved, by including both
kinds of extensions on the same disc. Using "mkisofs", you can even have
files appear in only one format and rename files on the fly, allowing you
to have a "readme.txt" with different contents for Mac, UNIX, and Windows.


 

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