For an introductory explanation of ISO images, instructions for creating and also burning them see IsoImage.

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.

Graphical Interface

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.

From the Command Line (Normal Superuser Mount)

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

From the Command Line (As a Regular User)

The fuseiso program, along with the FUSE package, allows you to mount an ISO image as a regular user. You still need administrator rights to set it up, but you don't need to enter your password every time you use it.

First you must install the fuseiso package (install fuseiso now):

sudo apt-get install fuseiso

See FuseIso for a more detailed explanation of fuseiso. This also describes how to configure the permissions on fuseiso. To make the permissions permanent, you must add your userid to the fuse group, and add fuse to the /etc/modules file (both these actions require sudo access, but this is a one-off).

To Mount
When you use FUSE (via fuseiso in this case) to mount a filesystem, the logged in user must have write access to the directory on which the filesystem is to be mounted. For instance, you could create a new, empty directory in your home directory.

cd ~
mkdir example
fuseiso example.iso example

To Unmount

fusermount -u example

Manipulating Other Formats

See ManageDiscImages.

See Also

  • 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.

MountIso (last edited 2012-11-12 22:05:40 by bobjohnbowles)