Disk images are computer files of a disk volume or an entire data storage device, such as a hard drive, optical disk (e.g. DVD, CD, Blu-ray), tape drive, USB flash drive, or floppy disk. A disk image represents the content exactly as it is on the original storage device, including both data and structure information.
Disk image file formats can be open standards, such as the ISO image format for optical disk images, or proprietary to particular software applications. The name “ISO” is taken from the ISO 9660 file system used with CD-ROM media. Converting from a proprietary image format to an open format often crops up as an issue when users migrate to Linux.
Disk images have many different uses such as burning optical media, system backup, data recovery, disk cloning, computer forensics, and operating systems (as Live CD/DVDs).
There are a number of different ways of mounting an ISO image under Linux. The venerable mount command offers an easy solution. But if you need tools that offer more functionality for working with disk images, try some of the following excellent open source tools.
Most of the tools have not seen a recent release, so if you are looking to get involved with a good open source tool, you could pitch in.
|Handy Disk Image Tools|
|FuriusISOMountTool||Simple mounting tool|
|fuseiso||FUSE module to mount ISO filesystem images|
|iat||Iso9660 Analyzer Tool|
|AcetoneISO||Feature-rich graphical application to mount and manage CD/DVD images.|
|ISO Master||Easy to use, graphical CD image editor for Linux and BSD|
Read our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. The collection covers all categories of software.
The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There are hundreds of in-depth reviews, open source alternatives to proprietary software from large corporations like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, IBM, Cisco, Oracle, and Autodesk. There are also fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.