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Mounting .ISO images in Linux (Part 1)

Author: Nick Bembridge | Files under linux

In this tutorial we will cover how to mount ISO files as a virtual drive, this will have pretty much the same effect as if you were using Alcohol 120% or Daemon tools in Windows.

MAC OS-X has a fairly neat feature built into the operating system that I have pretty much fallen in love with recently, and it is this: all you need to do to mount an .ISO is double click the .ISO file and it will automatically mount it for you. Later on in this guide we will cover how to replicate this function within the GNOME desktop environment.

OK lets begin, first things first we need to create a new folder (mount point), open up a terminal and type the following command, this will create the place where we will mount our images.

sudo mkdir /media/virtualcd

Enter your root password when prompted and your new mount point will be ready to use. From within the terminal navigate to the directory where you .ISO images are stored and type the following (replacing fakk2.iso with the name of the .ISO you wish to mount):-

mount -o loop -t iso9660 fakk2.iso /media/virtualcd

Now that your CD image is mounted in the /media/virtualcd directory lets break down the above command and explain the switches and options that we used.

-o : Applies the options that follow.
-t iso9660 : This defines the file system type as iso9660 which is the standard for CD-ROMs
fakk2.iso : The .ISO file you wish to mount.
/media/virtualcd : The mount point we created earlier.

For further details regarding this or any of the options that can be used just type: man mount into the terminal to view the manual for the mount command.

Once you have finished using the mounted .ISO image just type: - umount /media/virtualcd, this will unmount the disc and leave the mount point ready for next time. Right, so that has covered how to handle virtual CD drives via the terminal in the next part of the tutorial we will cover setting up Gnome so that you can mount .ISO images with just the click of the mouse.

2 responses. Wanna say something?

  1. icechen1
    May 13, 2008 at 18:35:36

    There’s a program called Gmountiso what does the same thing in a GUI.

  2. Nick Bembridge
    May 14, 2008 at 20:08:28


    thanks for the comment :) I have used Gmountiso before and whilst it is simple to use I just thought I would show people how to be able to do this via the terminal without extra software. The follow up to this post does practically the same thing but in the GUI (Gnome) and without any extra software (just two shell scripts).

    Thanks again ^__^

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