How to Mount and Unmount an ISO Image in Linux

An ISO image or .iso (International Organization for Standardization) file is an archive file that contains a disk image called ISO 9660 file system format.

Every ISO file has .iso an extension has a defined format name taken from the ISO 9660 file system and is specially used with CD/DVD ROMs. In simple words, an iso file is a disk image.

How to mount iso image in linux
mount and unmount iso images in Linux

I have seen most of the Linux operating system images that we download from the internet are .ISO format. Typically an ISO image contains the installation of software such as operating system installation files, games installation files, or any other applications.

Sometimes it happens that we need to access files and view content from these ISO images, but without wasting disk space and time by burning them onto CD/DVD or USB drives using our tools.

This article describes how to mount and unmount an ISO image on a Linux Operating system to access and list the content of files.

How to Mount an ISO Image in Linux

To mount an ISO image on RedHat-based or Debian-based Linux distributions, you must be logged in as a “root” user or switch to “sudo” and run the following commands from a terminal to create a mount point.

# mkdir /mnt/iso
$ sudo mkdir /mnt/iso
Create Linux Mount Directory
Create Linux Mount Directory

Once you created a mount point, use the “mount” command to mount an iso file called “Fedora-Server-dvd-x86_64-36-1.5.iso“.

# mount -t iso9660 -o loop /home/tecmint/Fedora-Server-dvd-x86_64-36-1.5.iso /mnt/iso/
$ sudo mount -t iso9660 -o loop /home/tecmint/Fedora-Server-dvd-x86_64-36-1.5.iso /mnt/iso/
Mount ISO File in Linux
Mount ISO File in Linux
Where Options
  • -t – This argument is used to indicate the given filesystem type.
  • ISO 9660 – It describes the standard and default filesystem structure to be used on CD/DVD ROMs.
  • -o – Options are necessary with a -o argument followed by a separated comma string of options.
  • loop -The loop device is a pseudo-device that is often used for mounting CD/DVD ISO images and makes those files accessible as a block device.

After the ISO image is mounted successfully, go to the mounted directory at /mnt/iso and list the content of an ISO image. It will only mount in read-only mode, so none of the files can be modified.

# cd /mnt/iso
# ls -l

You will see the list of files of an ISO image, that we have mounted in the above command. For example, the directory listing of a Fedora-Server-dvd-x86_64-36-1.5.iso image would look like this.

total 21
dr-xr-xr-x  3 root root 2048 May  5 02:49 EFI
-r--r--r--  1 root root 2574 Apr 12 00:34 Fedora-Legal-README.txt
dr-xr-xr-x  3 root root 2048 May  5 02:49 images
dr-xr-xr-x  2 root root 2048 May  5 02:49 isolinux
-r--r--r--  1 root root 1063 Apr 12 00:32 LICENSE
-r--r--r--  1 root root   95 May  5 02:47 media.repo
dr-xr-xr-x 28 root root 4096 May  5 02:49 Packages
dr-xr-xr-x  2 root root 4096 May  5 02:49 repodata
-r--r--r--  1 root root 1118 May  5 02:49 TRANS.TBL
View ISO Files in Linux
View ISO Files in Linux

How to Unmount an ISO Image in Linux

Simply run the following command from the terminal either “root” or “sudo” to unmount a mounted ISO image.

# umount /mnt/iso
$ sudo umount /mnt/iso
Unmount ISO File in Linux
Unmount ISO File in Linux

[ You might also like: How to Mount Windows Partition in Linux ]

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23 thoughts on “How to Mount and Unmount an ISO Image in Linux”

  1. Unable to mount isos using latest kernel in RHEL6.6 using this method.

    When attempting to enter: mount -t iso9660 -o loop /patch/to/image.iso /mnt/path (with the proper iso name in the proper directory and /mnt/path created), receiving the error message:

    column: invalid option — ‘o’
    usage: column [-tx] [-c columns] [file …]

    Tried in init 1/3, even an older release of the kernel, still nothing. HOWEVER, apparently the -t and -o options _DO_ work with sudo mount.


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