Creating and Burning Disk Images (i.e. ISO, IMG, etc.)

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It is becoming more popular to distribute software in disk image formats. Movies, music, as well as large software distributions can come in these formats. You need a working CD/DVD burner and writable CD/DVD for this. This page explains how you can do it using Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. If the CD writing fails, try writing at a slower burn speed.




  1. Download and install Infra Recorder, a free and open source image burning program.
  2. Insert a blank CD in the drive and select Do nothing or Cancel if an autorun dialog pops up.
  3. Open Infra Recorder, and select the 'Actions' menu, then 'Burn image':


  4. Select the image file, then click 'Open'.
  5. In the dialog, click 'OK'.


Note: To burn most ISOs, you can use Apple's Disk Utility (or Disk Copy, as it is known in older editions).

  1. Launch Disk Utility (Applications → Utilities → Disk Utility)
  2. Drag the ISO to the sidebar of the Disk Utility main window.
  3. Select the ISO where you just dragged it, and choose (Menu → Image → Burn...)
  4. In Disk Utility, ensure that the Verify burn checkbox is ticked (you may need to click on the disclosure triangle to see the checkbox).
  5. Insert a blank CD → Burn.
  6. Check that verification (if available) was successful. If verification was not available, at least make sure that a sample of directories on the CD can be accessed by the finder.




1. Insert a CD/DVD

2. Launch a Terminal or X11 session and figure out which CD/DVD you are interested in by running the following:

$ drutil status
Vendor   Product           Rev 

          Type: DVD-ROM              Name: /dev/disk2
     Cur Write:    3x DVD          Sessions: 1
     Max Write:    3x DVD            Tracks: 1
  Overwritable:   00:00:00         blocks:        0 /   0.00MB /   0.00MiB
    Space Free:   00:00:00         blocks:        0 /   0.00MB /   0.00MiB
    Space Used:  372:52:37         blocks:  1677937 /   3.44GB /   3.20GiB
     Book Type: DVD-ROM

3. Unmount the disk we are going to image:

$ diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk2
Disk /dev/disk2 unmounted

4. Create the ISO file with the dd utility (may take some time):

$ dd if=/dev/disk2 of=out.iso bs=2048

5. Test the ISO image by mounting the new file (or open with Finder), or by comparing the MD5/SHA1 sum:

 $ hdid out.iso

You can now burn the ISO image blank CD/DVD or use it in a VMWare machine, etc.

Converting OS X DMG files to ISO files

"To create an ISO image in OS X, use Disk Utility to burn a new image choosing “CD/DVD Master” as the Image Format. That creates an image with the cdr extension" (thejackol). To convert DMG files to ISO files simply run the following after you have made your DMG file:

$ hdiutil convert in.dmg -format UDTO -o out.iso

In Linux

Note: Use the command cdrecord -scanbus to scan your SCSI bus to determine the device description. (i.e. 0,4,0). This will perform a scan and provide results for real SCSI systems or for the virtual SCSI subsystem Linux uses with IDE CD/DVD's (yolinux).


#  cdrecord -scanbus
Cdrecord 1.8 (i686-pc-linux-gnu) Copyright (C) 1995-2000 J�rg Schilling
Using libscg version 'schily-0.1'
	0,0,0	  0) 'SEAGATE ' 'ST36530W        ' '1498' Disk
	0,1,0	  1) 'SEAGATE ' 'ST39173W        ' '6244' Disk
	0,2,0	  2) *
	0,3,0	  3) *
	0,4,0	  4) 'HP      ' 'CD-Writer+ 9200 ' '1.0c' Removable CD-ROM
	0,5,0	  5) *
	0,6,0	  6) *
	0,7,0	  7) *
# cdrecord -scanbus
Cdrecord-Clone 2.01-dvd (--) Copyright (C) 1995-2004 J�rg Schilling
scsidev: 'ATA'
devname: 'ATA'
scsibus: -2 target: -2 lun: -2
Linux sg driver version: 3.5.27
Using libscg version 'schily-0.8'.
cdrecord: Warning: using unofficial libscg version (schily Red Hat-scsi-linux-sg.c-1.83-RH 
        1,0,0   100) '_NEC    ' 'DVD_RW ND-2510A ' '2.15' Removable CD-ROM
        1,1,0   101) *
        1,2,0   102) *
        1,3,0   103) *
        1,4,0   104) *
        1,5,0   105) *
        1,6,0   106) *
        1,7,0   107) *
Cdrecord 1.10 (i686-pc-linux-gnu) Copyright (C) 1995-2001 J?rg Schilling
cdrecord: Permission denied. Cannot open '/dev/sg0'. Cannot open SCSI driver.
cdrecord: For possible targets try 'cdrecord -scanbus'. Make sure you are root.

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