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How To Create CD ISO Image In Linux

Unlike Windows Vista or XP, Linux doesn’t need to separately install Nero Burning ROM or CD image writer if you plan to create an ISO image to backup a CD-ROM.

The standard dd command available in UNIX and Linux distributions is good enough to do this job!
The dd command used to be a tiny program, which is about 32KB in Red Hat Enterprise Linux! However, it’s certainly able to create or dump an ISO image of a CD-ROM that can be burnt into a blank CD!

You can also mount the ISO image directly in Linux and access the content without installing a CD emulator!

How to create a CD ISO image in Linux using the dd command?

The Linux dd command performs binary data transfer (byte-by-byte or block-by-block) with adjustable block sizes, from the first to the last byte of data.

Don’t be scared by a Linux command, it’s really simple to understand (the dd command syntax) and memorize it (in case you’ll be tested by your interviewer, boss, etc). For example,

dd if=/dev/cdrom of=/tmp/CDImage.iso

where the if= indicates input file (the CD-ROM content) and of= parameter is to specify the output file (the ISO image, i.e. CDImage.iso) that dd command going to write.

In order to improve I/O performance, un-mount the CD-ROM before executing dd command by preventing random access to the mounted file system.

To verify if the CD-ROM is mounted or not, execute


To un-mount the mounted CD-ROM, execute

umount /dev/cdrom

Once the dd command complete successfully, you can execute this command


to eject the CD-ROM from the drive. The Linux eject command will automatically un-mount the CD-ROM (if it’s mounted) before sending eject disc command to the CD-ROM driver.

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