An ISO image is an archive file (disk image) of an optical disc using a conventional ISO (International Organization for Standardization) format. ISO image files typically have a file extension of .ISO. The name "ISO" is taken from the ISO 9660 file system used with CD-ROM media, but an ISO image can also contain UDF file system because UDF is backward-compatible to ISO 9660.
You can mount an ISO images via the loop device under Linux. It is possible to specify transfer functions (for encryption/decryption or other purposes) using loop device.
But, how do you mount an ISO image under Linux? You need to use mount command as follows:
Procedure to mount ISO images under Linux
1) You must login as a root user, if not root user then switch to root user using following command:
$ su -
2) Create the directory i.e. mount point:
# mkdir -p /mnt/disk
3) Use mount command as follows to mount iso file called disk1.iso:
# mount -o loop disk1.iso /mnt/disk
4) Change directory to list files stored inside an ISO image:
# cd /mnt/disk
# ls -l
More about loop device
A loop device is a pseudo-device that makes a file accessible as a block device. Loop devices are often used for CD ISO images and floppy disc images. Mounting a file containing a filesystem via such a loop mount makes the files within that filesystem accessible. They appear in the mount point directory using above commands.