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” comes from the ISO 9660 file system used with CD-ROM or DVD media, but an ISO image can also contain UDF file system because UDF is backward-compatible to ISO 9660. You can mount an ISO file or images via the loop device under Linux. It is possible to specify transfer functions (for encryption/decryption or other purposes) using loop device.
More about loop devices on Linux
From the man page:
The loop device is a block device that maps its data blocks not to a physical device such as a hard disk or optical disk drive, but to the blocks of a regular file in a filesystem or to another block device. This can be useful for example to provide a block device for a filesystem image stored in a file, so that it can be mounted with the mount command.
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 following Linux commands. So, how do you mount an ISO image file under Linux? You need to use mount command as follows:
Procedure to mount ISO file/images under Linux
1) You must login as a root user, if not root user then switch to root user using the su command:
$ su -
OR use the sudo command:
$ sudo -i
2) Create the directory i.e. mount point using mkdir command:
# mkdir -p /mnt/disk
3) Use mount command as follows to mount iso file called disk1.iso:
# mount -o loop disk1.iso /mnt/disk
# mount -o loop /path/to/disk1.iso /mnt/disk
4) Verify it with the df command or mount command:
$ df -H
5) Change directory to list files stored inside an ISO image:
# cd /mnt/disk
# ls -l
To copy files using the cp command:
$ cp file1 file2 /home/vivek/Downloads
How do I unmount the ISO image on Linux?
Use the following command to unmount the ISO file/image on Linux:
$ sudo umount /mnt/disk/
$ sudo umount /path/to/disk1.iso
$ df -H
How to mount an ISO file using a GUI app on Linux
Not a fan of the CLI? Try image management utility called furiusisomount:
Furius ISO Mount is a simple application for mounting ISO, IMG, BIN, MDF and NG image files even without burning them to disk. It provides the following features:
Automatically Mounts ISO, IMG, BIN, MDF and NRG image files.
Automatically creates a mount point in your home directory.
Automatically Unmounts the Image files.
How to install furiusisomount app
Type the following apt-get command/apt command on a Debian/Ubuntu/Mint Linux:
$ sudo apt install furiusisomount
$ furiusisomount &
Just select an ISO image an click on the mount button. Open your file browser: