How to: Extract files from ISO CD images in Linux

last updated in Categories Debian Linux, File system, Gentoo Linux, Howto, Linux, RedHat/Fedora Linux, Suse Linux, Sys admin, Tips, Ubuntu Linux

Under many situations you may need to get a single file/many files from Linux ISO image.

You can mount ISO images via the loop device. You need to use mount command. First login as a root user:

Extract File(s) Under Linux OS

Let us assume that your ISO image name is disk1.iso.

Step # 1: First you need to create a directory /mnt/iso

# mkdir /mnt/iso
# mount -o loop disk1.iso /mnt/iso

Step # 3: Extract file

Now you can easily copy file called file.txt from iso disk image to /tmp directory :

# cd /mnt/iso
# cp file.txt /tmp

Step # 4: Copy foo.rpm from ISO disk image:

# cd /mnt/iso/RedHat/RPMS
# cp foo.rpm /tmp 

Extract File(s) Under Windows XP or Vista Os

Windows do not have in built capability as provided by Linux to extract file. Luckly many third party software exist my favorite is Winimage Download trial version (I’m sure you will love to registered this tiny utility later):

1) Install Winimage software

2) Just double click on Linux ISO file

3) Select the desired file and hit CTRL + X (or from Image menu select extract)

For more information read man pages:

man cp
man mv
man rpm
man mount
man mkdir

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

12 comment

  1. Hello there,

    some time we can not extract DVD iso using this command such as vista dvd iso. it is never properly extract using this command also we can not properly extract using magiciso or other tool. my point is some iso create using ISO13346 and Linux Kernel 2.4.* not support ISO13346.

    mount -o loop -t iso9660 debian-sid.iso /mnt/isoimage/


    In GUI mount-iso-image-0.9 is best tool for mount iso images

    Linux system administrator

  2. Dear sir,
    I have my Pc install Linux 8 and windows Xp. I have access to windows device. I have write to comment mount d but the erroe “Special device /dev/hda5 does not exist plz. help me.

  3. I need to extract >4gig of files.
    Copying them one at
    a time is no solution. ? How to
    extract all ?


  4. If you want to extract ISOs via command line, use 7zip.


    7z e -r myiso.iso “/path”

    This negates the need for mounting the iso (requires root access) and can be done without using the GUI for scripting purposes. Since 7zip is available on most platforms, MacOS, Windows, and *NIX are all supported.

  5. > mount -o loop file.iso /users/steven/backup/isodir
    mount: only root can do that

    Is there some other way to show the listing of the iso file?

  6. To get Brian’s 7z example to work on my system (Cygwin), I have to do the following:

    7z e my.iso -o/tmp/output-dir

    Consider using x instead of e (see the man page). The man page advises against using the -r flag (without explaining why) – it doesn’t seem to be necessary anyway. The -o flag must have no spaces between it and the argument.

    Despite the flaky UI and documentation, 7z has always worked for me in extracting ISO’s – and I’ve used it a lot.

  7. when I am mounting an ISO getting message.

    # sudo mount -o loop /home/rhel-server-6.4-x86_64-dvd_1.iso /mnt/iso/
    mount: you must specify the filesystem type

    need support

    Have a question? Post it on our forum!