You may have many ISO images lying around of various CDs or DVDs. ISO images are an exact copy of an optical disk, and are increasingly popular – with high speed internet being available to many, people are taking advantage of this and instead of spending money on discs and shipping costs, simply making them available online for download.
The advantage of ISO images are that you can either choose to burn your own disc from the image, or, if you prefer, simply mount the image and use it as normal – again, saving a disc!
Mounting an ISO image is simple in Linux, providing you have loopback mount support (which usually is enabled by default in most kernels – if not, it’s time to recompile the kernel with it in!)
The commands below all need root access, so either use sudo <command> or su – to root first!
Firstly we need a mount point. This can be anywhere on the filesystem (in your home directory, in the /mnt directory etc), but lets create one for the purposes of this tip:
Once we have a mount point ready, we can now mount the image. So, say we have an ISO image called debian.iso in a home directory for a user called daz, the command to mount the image debian.iso would be:
mount -o loop /home/daz/debian.iso /mnt/iso
If this completes successfully, and you get no errors, the image will be mounted at /mnt/iso and can be viewed as if it’s on a disc!