Maintainer: Ram Mallappa
Last Update: Jan 8, 2005
- Screenshots *
- Tutorial *
Varsha is a GUI based DVD authoring tool for Linux. You can make
DVDs from your mpeg files as well as digital still pictures (Slideshow
DVD). You can even combine slideshows with regular video and
make them accessible through menus. Using Varsha, you can also
create menus incorporating backdrop of still pictures as well as moving
Varsha is written in
Java. It uses already available command line programs such as
dvdauthor, dvd+rw-tools, mkisofs, mjpegtools etc., to do various things
background. It is still in early stages of development but is
usable in general. I use it myself to make DVDs of my home
video. It is designed in such a way, if you have underlying
command line tools (dvdauthor, mkisofs etc.,) working in other
operating systems, it can be used outside Linux also.
If you find bugs, please report them to
mallappa|at|users|dot|sourceforge|dot|net. Please remember
that I work on this project only in nights and weekends and may or may
not be able to address your problem immediately. But, I will make
a honest attempt to fix them as soon as I can.
How did I start Varsha?
I wanted to convert my home video (miniDV) tapes to DVDs. DVD
writers were expensive and Linux
only Operating System at home, did not have proper tools at that
time. Then, I found Kino
(DV Video capture/editing/export tool) and started to convert my DV
tapes to VCDs.
Recently, DVD writers
became affordable and I bought one. Wanted to make DVDs of my
home video tapes on Linux. All I could find were command line
tools such as dvdauthor, dvd+rw-tools etc., Installed them and
spent time learning to use them. These tools were powerful and
had all features I needed but it was mind boggling to remember all
those command line options and XML tags. Making even simplest
menus required lot of work. A small mistake somewhere in the
process used to cost me lot of time. I wrote some shell scripts
to help myself. They worked but required frequent tweaking and
ofcourse I used to forget the order of parameters to pass to these
scripts and ended up reading the script everytime I want to make a
DVD. Then I started thinking it would
be nice if I had a GUI tool where I could just drag and drop my mpegs
(generated from Kino) and
click few buttons to burn a DVD. So, being a programmer, my hands
started itching and I wrote a simple GUI tool in Java. After
making couple of
DVDs, decided to share
my little software with others who might be looking for an easier
way. So, spent
many nights and wekeends rewriting the whole thing to make it look
little more nicer than what I had originally created. Now, I
have something that can make your DVD making
more fun. It is free for all, use it if you wish and give
me some feedback if you could.
- Drag-n-drop MPEG-2 (DVD - NTSC - 4:3 compatible) files and
burn a DVD with very little effort.
- Make "Slideshow DVD" by
dragging your digital camera pictures into Varsha.
- Make ISO image file of your DVD for storage, verification
or burning later.
- Format DVD+/- RW disks.
- Create static menus by typing in text for menu items and
choosing font, size, style, position etc.,
- Create menus with background (wallpaper style) using your own
- Create custom motion menus using your own video files.
- Create menu choices (menu items) that have pictures in them
(instead of text).
- Create hollow menu items (just a box) that just highlight
something in backdrop instead of having its own text or image!
- Instant preview of menu. You can see how your menu
looks while editing.
- Built in file browser so that you do not have to keep many
windows open to drag/drop files.
- Preview of Titleset/Title/Chapter arrangements.
- Create your own Titlesets, Titles and drag and drop mpeg-2
files into them to create chapters.
- Naming of Titlesets, Titles etc., is possible for easy
reference while authoring your DVD.
- Save your current work so you can comeback and continue
working on it later.
- Remembers your window location, size etc., so it can show
next time in same location.
- Preferences dialog box lets you set rarely changed options
one time and forget about them.
- Real time logs shown during processnig/burning DVD so that
you know what is going on.
(somepeople may want to look at
logs from dvdauthor/mkisofs etc., )
- Detachable toolbar with icons for frequently used options.
- total size display at the bottom of window that gives a
feel for how full your DVD is going to be.
I have tested with are in parenthesis)
- Working Linux
with a window manager KDE/Gnome or something else.,
- JRE (Java Runtime
For building DVD
menus and DVD file structure. This should be avaialble in your
distribution. Being such a nice tool, I do not see why someone
would not package it.
- mkisofs (2.01a34-unofficial-iconv
from Debian Sid)
For creating ISO
image of the DVD prior to burning. Usually mksiofs comes with all
To burn the actual
DVD on a DVD+/-RW drive. This is also should be part of your
Linux distribution. Atleast I find it on my Debian (Sid)
This is required only if you want to
make slideshows of your digital still pictures.
This is required for doing various
image processing tasks. Many times it gets automatically
installed as a pre-requisite of dvd-slideshow.
- Free harddisk
space (2 times of your DVD files).
Ex: If all your mpeg
files going into a DVD is 2GB, you would need another 4GB free
space while authoring your DVD. Reason is, during processing
dvdauthor creates a DVD filesystem on harddisk which contains copy of
your mpeg files (which uses 2GB)
and mkisofs creates an image of your DVD by making a copy of
dvdauthor's output (that uses another 2GB). I
am working on atleast avoiding second file from mkisofs and directly
send it to DVD for burning. Until I get that to work, you need to
have that much extra free space.
- varsha.jar (latest at this time
I recommend you try
burning on a RW disk first and test if it works. Don't blame me
if you waste DVD blanks :)
- Install all the tools specified in requirements
If you prefer, you can setup an
icon on your desktop to do the above.
- Open preferences dialog, check all the settings there
You need to do this only first
time or only when something changes
- Make sure your DVD writer is recognizeable as /dev/xxx
I use "ide-cd" driver module
(modprobe ide-cd) and it detects my drive at /dev/hdc. For
most people, I would think ide-cd is enabled by default. Anyway,
if you are already burning DVDs from command line using growisofs, then
you know what device you specify there. Specify the same here.
- If you are having trouble, check if you have
space left on "Temp Directory" that is specified on "Preferences" and
check other things on preferences while you are there.
provide this software free of cost with source code and a good
intention of making your DVD authoring job easier on
Linux. Even though I test it to
make sure it works for me, I can not guarantee it would work
for everyone out there. If it does not work, and if someone
provides details on the problem, I will make a honest attempt to
fix it in my spare time but I do not guarantee any timeframe in which
fix will be available. If you want to be notified by email
when new releases of Varsha is out, then register yourself on
sourceforge project page. Use this software at your own
risk. This software generates many intermediate files in the
"temporary directory" that you specify on "Preferences" dialog
box. Make sure you set that properly and remember to cleanup that
directory after you are done to get the space back.