Backup Optical Media To .iso

In today’s article, we’re going to learn how to backup optical media to .iso. If you have optical disks you want to backup, this is an easy way to go about it. It will not work with all disks, especially those encumbered with DRM.

This is useful for data disks, for example. It’s also useful for music CDs. It’s less likely to be good for things like game DVDs or movies. Those use various methods to stop you from copying your discs. While there are ways to backup some of them, this article won’t be getting into it.

Instead, we’ll just be using ‘dd’ for this exercise. If you’re unfamiliar with ‘dd’, it stands for:

convert and copy a file

If you’re unfamiliar with the command, you should pay extra attention to the way it is used in this article. It’s a powerful tool and using it with just the slightest error can (and will) make you run for your backups.

So, with all those things in mind, let’s learn how to …

Backup Optical Media To .iso:

This article requires an open terminal, like many other articles on this site. If you don’t know how to open the terminal, you can do so with your keyboard – just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

With your terminal now open, we should probably figure out where your optical disk is. One way to find your optical media drive is with this command:

Inside the results of that command you’ll find something like “[sr0] scsi3-mmc” from which you can glean that /dev/sr0 would be your optical drive. With that information at hand, you’ll fun this command:

Be really sure that the path to save is correct, though this command is less likely to harm you than other ‘dd’ commands.

Anyhow, you can verify the integrity of the file created. That’s an easy enough step to take and looks a bit like this:

That should spit out two numbers. Those numbers should match. If they don’t, then something has gone wrong and you might want to try it again.

Closure:

There you go… Another quick and easy article. This one teaches you how to backup optical media to .iso, a handy skill if you want to preserve the data on the disks before they get worn out, broken, or lost. 

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Convert Disk Image Formats To .ISO

Today’s article will teach you how to convert disk image formats to .iso. It’s a pretty handy tool to have in your toolbox. This is going to be a pretty easy article to follow, so it shouldn’t be all that long.

In case you don’t know, there are all sorts of disk image formats. The .bin and .cue are the two you are most likely to be familiar with (beyond the .iso, which is the most common in the Linux world).

There are .B5I .BIN, CDI, CUE, .MDF, MDE, and .NRG. There may be more, but that’s all the tool we’ll be using handles. As I mentioned, you may well already be familiar with the .BIN and .CUE disk image formats. You see those from time to time and now you no longer have to ignore them – you’ll have just the tool you need to convert them to .ISO (which many programs expect – and work with, while not working with other formats).

The tool we’ll be using is known as iat and it’s actually just a tiny command-line application. The man page defines it as such:

iat – converts many CD-ROM image formats to iso9660

The latter part is probably important to note. That means that it only converts to .ISO format and nothing else. If you want to convert to a different format, or in the opposite direction, this is not the correct tool the job.

So then, let’s take a few minutes to use iat and learn how to …

Convert Disk Image Formats:

This article requires an open terminal, like many other articles on this site. If you don’t know how to open the terminal, you can do so with your keyboard – just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

With your terminal now open, the rest is easy. It’s almost certainly in your default repositories, and unlikely to be installed by default. You can install it in your usual manner – but I’ll show you how to do it in Debian/Ubuntu/Mint derivatives:

It’ll be just as easy to install in any major distro. To use it, it’s REALLY simple… It’s just this easy:

iat <path/to/file_name> <desired_output_name.iso>

Sure, you can check out man iat, but it’s not really all that complicated. This is pretty much the easiest tool you’ll find to convert disk image formats to .iso. Tell it which file you want to convert, tell it what you want to name the output file, and then you just pound the enter button on your keyboard and wait. The output is a handy .iso that you can use just like you would any other .iso.

Closure:

There you have it! You have a new article that teaches you how to convert disk image formats to .iso – which can seriously come in handy when you need to burn a disk image and the software you’re using only accepts .iso as the input.

It’s also the first article I hadn’t obligated myself to do! This is now over a year since the first article was published, and one published every other day. I am absolutely NOT committing to maintaining the same publication schedules, but I just don’t think I can let the site sit here idle. So, we’ll see what happens.

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your own site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

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How To: Mount An .iso In Linux

Today’s article will teach you how to mount an .iso in Linux, a task undertaken seldom but worth knowing. This isn’t something I use often but it’s something you may want. It promises to be a quick and easy article, so read on!

I’m pretty sure the ‘unmount’ is incorrect English and that it’d be ‘dismount’ if you had mounted something like a horse or gym equipment. But, when I look around the web I see ‘unmount’ used with greater frequency. So, I’ll be saying ‘unmount’, even though that seems wrong.

Why would you want to mount an .iso? Well, there’s software that’s meant to be run from CD/DVD. You could burn your .iso to optical media or you can just mount the .iso and use it from there. Rather than wasting time burning the disk, you might just as well mount it.

You might want to verify that the image works before you burn a copy or upload it to share it. You might want to make edits to an .iso image and mounting the .iso will help with that, as you’d obviously unmount the image between changes.

So, you have a few reasons as to why you might want to mount an .iso. This article will explain how. It might not be a skill you need to day, but it’s one you may want eventually. We might as well get it written down now.

Mount An .iso In Linux:

This article requires an open terminal, like many other articles on this site. If you don’t know how to open the terminal, you can do so with your keyboard – just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

The first command you need to run is to set up the mount’s directory:

With that done, you can navigate to the directory where your .iso is stored or just use the full path. Your command should look a little something like this:

When you’ve done that, the .iso should be mounted and remain mounted until you unmount it or reboot. This is not a permanent mount, so you’ll not have any permanent changes to your system because of this. For permanency, you’d need fstab.

By the way, just cd /mnt/iso to navigate to your newly mounted iso and that should work just fine. If you want to unmount the .iso on your own, you’d just use this command:

You can verify that you mounted and unmounted it with the lsblk. The output from that command should first show the .iso mounted and then show it when it’s unmounted.

Closure:

That’s about it. There’s not much more to say about how you mount an .iso in Linux. It’s a pretty simple activity and one easy to master. In my case, I just do it so infrequently that I never actually remember all the commands. So, it ended up in my notes – which means it turned into an article.

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your own site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

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balenaEtcher: A Tool To Turn Linux .ISO Files Into Bootable USB Drives

balenaEtcher is a free software tool used to write .ISO files to USBs so that you can boot from them and install Linux. balenaEtcher is just one of many tools to do this, but it is both simple and effective. That makes it fit for purpose and is why it is getting its own article.

You’re going to need a blank USB drive, like a thumb drive. Well, it needn’t be blank but it should be. It needs to be large enough to meet the requirements of your distro – usually 4 GB is adequate. Larger is fine.

You’re also going to need the correct .ISO from the distro you’re trying to install. I have no way of knowing what that is, so here’s an article about picking the distro that’s right for you. You should verify the integrity of the .iso to eliminate it as a source of problems.

You’re also going to need to know how to boot to USB. That link will take you to an article that covers that, and includes DVD. It covers booting to something other than your default drive.

Finally, you’re going to need balenaEtcher. Head to this page and scroll down. If you scroll down, you’ll see many download options. It’s available for everything from Linux to MacOS.

Download the correct version for the operating system you’re currently using. If you download the AppImage, be sure to make it executable before trying to run it. Either way, you’ll need to download balenaEtcher (maybe install it) and then run it. That’ll vary depending on your OS, but they even have .deb and .rpm files available.

All set?

Let’s Use balenaEtcher:

With all those pieces in place, balenaEtcher is fairly self-explanatory. I’m going to assume you got it to work properly. If you can’t get it installed or running from the AppImage, just leave a comment and I’ll talk you through it for your system. You can also ask on Linux.org.

It’ll look something like this when you first open it.

balenaEtcher pick a file
In this case, you’ll pick “Flash from file”.

Then, you’ll click ‘Flash from file’ and doing so will let you navigate to and select the .iso you want to use. Do so, being sure to get it correct.

Next, you’ll select the target. The target in this case means the USB drive that you want to write the .iso to. So, that will be the smaller flash drive in most cases and will look something like this:

balenaEtcher in action
Select the right flash drive. Be very careful at this stage! This step can go horribly wrong!

There’s just one step remaining! You need to click the Flash button and wait for it to do its job writing the .ISO to the USB drive. It looks like this:

balenaEtcher in action
Click the ‘flash’ option and wait patiently while it does its job.

That could take a little while, though not all that long if you’re using USB 3.0. On USB 2.0 it takes a bit, so be prepared to wait – but not terribly long. 

When this is all done, just close the program and your new USB device should be ready. You should be able to boot your computer, select the USB drive as the boot device, and then install Linux. Most of the time, it goes just swimmingly. If it doesn’t, ask for help.

Again, don’t forget to verify the integrity of the downloaded .ISO before you do any of this. The process for doing that varies, and the distro will tell you how on their download page. Have fun installing Linux!

I’ll probably eventually take the screenshots of me installing Linux in a virtual machine, but I haven’t done that article yet. It seems like a good future article to write.

Closure:

Well, there’s another article. This is just a nice, quick article. It’s handy for when you need to know how to use balenaEtcher, or when you need to tell someone else how to use it. It’s one of the articles I’d expect to see people linking to on a regular basis. “Hey, this is how you use Etcher!”

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your own site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

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