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How can I mount a ISO Image CD ?

© July 2004 Tony Lawrence

You have an image of a CD or perhaps of a floppy disk. You may have downloaded it, or created it by reading a real device with "dd". Now you want to mount that image. You could write it back out to media and mount that, but that may not be convenient or even possible at the moment.

If you are using Linux, the "loopback" device is what lets you do this. It can be as simple as:

mount -o loop -t iso9660 filename.iso /mnt/iso

SCO has a "marry" command which serves a similar purpose:

You may also find the "bind" option useful: Linux mount --bind

marry -a /tmp/image
mount /dev/marry/tmp/image /mnt

John Dubois has a "mountfile" script for SCO that hides all the nasty details: ftp://ftp.armory.com/pub/admin/mountfile

Solaris has a "lofiadm" command that is very similar:

 lofiadm -a image
 mount -o ro -F hsfs /dev/lofi/1 /mnt

and BSD has "vnconfig" which again is very similar.

Mac OS X does it a little differently, using "hdid" to associate a device with an image; see an example at Sample Test Creation

Windows? Darned if I know (but see comment below from Marc).

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Thu Sep 6 17:51:03 2007: 3112   Marc

Here's how to mount a .iso on Windows:


Basically, you use a free utility called Virtual Clone Drive ( (link)

Thu Sep 6 18:02:03 2007: 3114   TonyLawrence

Thanks, Marc: that helps!

Sat Jul 10 10:04:02 2010: 8805   dokma


Using this method you will get a good read only mount. If you want to be able to edit the ISO image things get a little bit tricky. It is not possible to mount the ISO writable because the kernel driver does not support it. So you have to resort to a little trick. Full instructions can be found here: (link) - Mount an ISO image in Linux

Sat Jul 10 12:08:11 2010: 8806   TonyLawrence


Warning: the above link doesn't add much of value and was created by some fool who thinks it is a good idea to have audio load with the page. I let it go because I suppose somebody might not understand that they can't directly write to the CD mount.


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