For an introductory explanation of ISO images, instructions for creating and also burning them see IsoImage.
Mounting ISO Files
The mounting of images is a very useful operation. It can allow a user to easily access data on an ISO without the need to burn and waste a disc. It also is much faster when dealing with the need to manage many images at once. These operations can be performed from a graphical user interface (GUI) or from a standard Terminal.
gISOMount is a graphical utility for mounting and managing ISO images with the added ability to calculate md5sums and read volume information. To get gISOMount ensure Universe section of the Ubuntu repositories is enabled in your Software Sources. Then to install this software in Ubuntu, install the following package: gisomount. The program can then be launched from Applications -> System Tools -> gISOMountUsage. Usage is straightforward, simply browse to an ISO image on your hard drive and then either mount, calculate the md5 for comparison with a reference, or burn it to a disc. Additionally, once an image is select, the program can read off volume information in the pane. A favourites functionality allows commonly used images to be pulled up quickly.
The default mount point for Ubuntu is under /media. It is recommended a user create subdirectories to this folder for mounting to keep things organized. There is no physical limitation preventing mounting to any other directory on a drive.
To Mount <
> To mount the image to a directory is a simple two step procedure. Sudo is required because we are working in directories owned by root. First make a directory with a name that identifies the contents of the ISO, usually its name.
sudo mkdir /media/example
Then mount the file with the following command to the newly created directory. In the following example, it is assumed that NameOfISO.iso is in the users working directory, if not replace with the absolute path to the file.
sudo mount -o loop example.iso /media/example
To mount the image so that it can be written to, use the following mount command instead:
sudo mount -o rw,loop example.iso /media/example
To Unmount <
> Umounting media is simply the reverse. First unmount the image, then remove the directory it was mounted to. Unmounting is universal, it doesn't matter what image was mounted it can be unmounted this way.
sudo umount /media/example
sudo rmdir /media/example
Manipulating Other Formats
- cdemu is a kernel module for mounting Cue/Bin files directly. To install it you would have to setup linux headers, compile the module and modprobe it in. This is out of the scope of this page. There is a script under development in the Ubuntu forums for automating the building of cdemu Located Here (Use this at your own risk.)
- "Mount and Unmount ISO images without burning them" has a nice step-by-step explanation (with screen shots) showing how to mount and unmount ISO images.