How to extract files from CD iso images

If you want to extract files from an ISO image file, what you can do is to mount the ISO image file via the loop device. Once an ISO image file is mounted, any file inside the ISO image can be read or updated via file system interface.

Method One

To extract files from an ISO image file from the command line:

$ sudo mount -o loop disk.iso ./mount_iso
$ cp ./mount_iso/file.jpg /tmp

Method Two

Alternatively, you can use a desktop application called Gmount-iso which provides GUI for (un)mounting ISO images. To install and start Gmount-iso on Ubuntu or Debian:

$ sudo apt-get install gmountiso
$ sudo Gmount-iso

The screenshot of Gmount-iso is shown below.

Once you mount an ISO image file, you can not only extract files from it, but also add/modify files in the ISO image as you wish.

Method Three

However, the downside of mounting an ISO image file is that it requires root privilege. If you want to extract files from an ISO image without root privilege, there are several ways to do it.

On Ubuntu Desktop, extracting files from an ISO image is no-brainer, since Nautilus, Ubuntu's default file manager, supports ISO file extraction. Open up Nautilus, and go to the folder where an ISO image is located. Right click the ISO image file, and choose "Extract Here" menu. Then the content in the ISO image will be extracted into a directory created in the current location.

Method Four

If you don't have X11 desktop environment, but only have command-line interface, you can use a command-line utility called 7zip to extract ISO image files.

To install 7zip on Ubuntu or Debian:

$ sudo apt-get install p7zip-full

To install 7zip on CentOS or RHEL, first set up EPEL repository on your system, and then run the following.

$ sudo yum install p7zip p7zip-plugins

To install 7zip on Fedora, simply run:

$ sudo yum install p7zip p7zip-plugins

Once 7zip is installed, you can use 7z command to extract files inside an ISO image file as follows. In this example, the command extracts files and all subdirectories in "disk.iso" into "/home/xmodulo/archive" output directory.

$ 7z e -r -o/home/xmodulo/archive disk.iso

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Dan Nanni is the founder and also a regular contributor of Xmodulo.com. He is a Linux/FOSS enthusiast who loves to get his hands dirty with his Linux box. He likes to procrastinate when he is supposed to be busy and productive. When he is otherwise free, he likes to watch movies and shop for the coolest gadgets.
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2 thoughts on “How to extract files from CD iso images

  1. ...or you may simple open the .iso with most of GUI archive managers.
    AFAIK 7zip and RAR also allow .iso manipulations, at least extracting files in CLI.

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