An ISO image is a disk image or an archive file of an optical disc that uses the known ISO format. You can identify an ISO file by checking whether the file has a .ISO extension. These types of files are important, especially to those laptops that lack a DVD or CD drives.
All you need to do is create an ISO file and you can later ‘mount’ them using various techniques depending on the operating system you run. In this article, we’ll be looking at how you can mount an ISO file and other image files in Linux.
However, before we dive into the various methods, it is important to note that if you are a Linux user, you must be familiar with the terminal. This is because you’ll use it quite often in this guide.
Mounting an ISO File on Linux
The most used method when mounting an image file is by using the loop device. With this command, you can add more properties to the file such as encryption and decryption.
A loop device is a pseudo-device that acts as a bridge to allow the system to act on the iso file as if it was a block device like a hard drive, CDROM and so on. This strategy provides for elasticity when it comes to filesystem functions.
So, here are the steps you need to follow to successfully mount an ISO file:
- First, you need to log in as the root user. If you aren’t the root user, then you can use the following su command: $su – or $sudo -i
- Next, you’ll need to create a directory. That is, the mounting point. You can do this by using the mkdir command as follows: # mkdir -p /mnt/disk
- After you’ve created a directory, you can now mount your iso file. For the purposes of this guide, we will use disk2.iso: # mount -o loop disk2.iso /mnt/disk here, the -o is used to pass mount options which suggests that we intend on mounting the image using the loopback device Or # mount -o loop /path/to/disk2.iso /mnt/disk
- You can further modify the same with the help of the mount command or df command:
$ df -H Or $mount
- You can also change the location to list files located in the ISO image: #cd /mnt/disk
# ls -l
- If you would like to copy the files, you can use the cp command: $ cp file1 file2 /home/vivek/downloads
Unmounting ISO image Files on Linux
After you’ve extracted the required files from the image you mounted, you’ll have to unmount the same to create space for more.
- To do this use the following command:
$ sudo unmount /mnt/disk/
$ sudo unmount /path/to/disk2.iso
- Verify the same by using the following command:
If you use the above methods, you can mount any type of image files. There are other tools you can employ to achieve the same result including GUIs, but the above is the organic way. Making you look like a genius in front of your friends.
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