Linux Mint Desktop: CD/DVD drive tray closes immediately after opening

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Published on September 22nd 2020 - Listed in Hardware Linux


These days using CDs or DVDs has become rare. Very rare. But it eventually happened recently: I needed to read data from an optical disk!

So when I pushed the physical "eject button" on the drive, it opened - but then closed immediately again. Not even giving me enough time to place a CD or DVD into the tray. I filmed this and created an animated gif (how? read Create an animated gif from a video source using ffmpeg, imagemagick and gifsicle to see how to do this) to show this weird behaviour:

Linux Desktop: CD/DVD drive tray opens but then closes immediately again

Although my research led me into reading bug reports on udev, it turned out to be something else: Linux's system controls (sysctl) or Kernel parameters. There are a couple of Kernel parameters related to cdrom:

ck@mintp ~ $ sudo sysctl -a|grep cdrom
dev.cdrom.autoclose = 1
dev.cdrom.autoeject = 0
dev.cdrom.check_media = 0
dev.cdrom.debug = 0
dev.cdrom.info = CD-ROM information, Id: cdrom.c 3.20 2003/12/17
dev.cdrom.info =
dev.cdrom.info = drive name:        sr0
dev.cdrom.info = drive speed:        48
dev.cdrom.info = drive # of slots:    1
dev.cdrom.info = Can close tray:        1
dev.cdrom.info = Can open tray:        1
dev.cdrom.info = Can lock tray:        1
dev.cdrom.info = Can change speed:    1
dev.cdrom.info = Can select disk:    0
dev.cdrom.info = Can read multisession:    1
dev.cdrom.info = Can read MCN:        1
dev.cdrom.info = Reports media changed:    1
dev.cdrom.info = Can play audio:        1
dev.cdrom.info = Can write CD-R:        1
dev.cdrom.info = Can write CD-RW:    1
dev.cdrom.info = Can read DVD:        1
dev.cdrom.info = Can write DVD-R:    1
dev.cdrom.info = Can write DVD-RAM:    0
dev.cdrom.info = Can read MRW:        0
dev.cdrom.info = Can write MRW:        0
dev.cdrom.info = Can write RAM:        1
dev.cdrom.info =
dev.cdrom.info =
dev.cdrom.lock = 0

The relevant parameter: dev.cdrom.autoclose. This is set to 1 (on) by default. At least on my Linux Mint 19.3 (based on Ubuntu 16.04).

After changing the value to 0 (off)...

ck@mintp ~ $ sudo sysctl -w dev.cdrom.autoclose=0

... the DVD tray finally staid open!

To make this Kernel setting survive a reboot, this can be added into /etc/sysctl.d (as root):

ck@mintp ~ $ sudo -i
mintp ~ # echo "dev.cdrom.autoclose=0" > /etc/sysctl.d/99-cdrom.conf


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PCFreak from Bavaria/Germany wrote on Sep 22nd, 2020:

same on Ubuntu 20.04

dev.cdrom.autoclose = 1

Nice finding! - Thank you.