Create an ISO Image File in Linux

Before getting started, we suggest you Learn Linux Basics and follow these precautions.

Updated: 2019-03-09
Created: 2010-11-05

Have you ever wanted to create an identical copy of an original CD, DVD, or Blu-ray disc? By using the following commands, contents of an optical disc or local directory can be perfectly represented in a single ISO file.

Create an ISO image from optical media

In this example, we're going to copy the contents of a disk in the CD/DVD drive (/dev/cdrom) to an ISO image file. Open a terminal window and type the following at the command line.

dd if=/dev/cdrom of=/directory/example.iso


  • dd is the program used to convert and copy a file.
  • if defines an input file.
  • of defines an output file.
  • iso is the resulting ISO image file.

Create an ISO image from files in a directory

To create an ISO image from files within a directory is just as simple. State an output directory and name of the ISO to create, along with a source directory. For example:

mkisofs -o /home/linuxlookup/example.iso /source/directory/