Many times you want to see the contents of a cd/dvd image file but you don't have or you don't want to spare a cd/dvd disk to burn it. In those cases a virtual cd/dvd drive is very helpful. Windows users have software such as Daemon Tools or Alcohol 120%. However creating a virtual cd/dvd in Linux is also possible and very easy to do as you will see. By cd/dvd image file I mean all those files with extensions like .iso, .nrg, .img, .bin, .cue, .mdf, etc. Below I will saw you a few different methods to choose the one that you prefer for mounting your cd/dvd image files. I 've used Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex 8.10 for this guide but of course you can use any distro you want.

If you are using the Gnome Desktop Environment and you want to mount an ISO file you can just right click on it and select Open With -> Open with "Archive mounter". Easy eh? However if you have an image file such as .nrg or .img you can't use the Archive Mounter. In this case you need to create a virtual cd/dvd disk in Linux which will take care of the rest. So, let's start.

Mount an ISO image file in Linux through CLI

This is the traditional way for those who like using the command line interface. Fast and easy. Just open a terminal or konsole and type:

su -
mkdir ~/temp
mount -o loop -t iso9660 /path/to/test.iso ~/temp

Now the iso files will be stored in the ~/temp dir. Just remember to change /path/to/test.iso to where you have the .iso file and ~/temp to the directory you want to have it mounted.

To unmount the cd/dvd image type:

su -
umount ~/temp

Note: Ubuntu users should use sudo before the commands. su - command isn't needed in this case.

Create a Virtual CD/DVD Drive in Linux with Furius ISO Mount

Furius ISO Mount an ISO, IMG, BIN, MDF and NRG Image management utility for the Gnome Desktop Environment. Apart from automatically mounting/unmounting image files in your virtual cd/dvd drive, you can also generate md5 and sha1 checksums.

First you need to install the packages from here . 0.11.1 is the latest version at this time. If you are using Ubuntu just click on the furiusisomount_0.11.1.0-1_i386.deb or furiusisomount_0.11.1.0-1_amd64.deb depending on which arch you are using and let GDebi Package Installer do the job.

Now go to Applications -> Sound & Video and run Furius ISO Mount. This is the main program window.


To mount an image file e.g. create a virtual cd/dvd drive you can either use the browse button or drag and drop the image file into the window to mount it quickly. A directory will be created in your home directory automatically. You can use the burn button to burn the image file using Brasero. Finally you can unmount it with the Unmount button.


An easy way to create as many virtual cd/dvd drives in Linux as you want.

Create a Virtual CD/DVD Drive in Linux with CDemu

CDemu is a cd/dvd-rom device emulator for Linux. Supported formats are .B6T, .CCD, .CDI, .CUE, .ISO, .MDS, .NRG, .TOC

To install CDemu, gCDemu and the necessary libraries in Ubuntu you must first add en extra repository. Go to System -> Administration -> Software Sources and in the Third-Party Software tab click the add button. Copy and paste in there the following:

For Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron users

deb hardy main
For Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex users

deb intrepid main

Next click the Add Source, Close and Reload buttons. Next open a terminal and type:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install cdemu-daemon gcdemu
sudo /etc/init.d/cdemu-daemon start

Now reboot. When Ubuntu starts again press Alt-F2 and type:

sudo cdemud-daemon.session
or Logout and Log back in.Finally right click somewhere on the panel and click Add to Panel. Find gCDemu and click the Add button. If you see the applet grey it isn't connected to the daemon. It should be blue-yellow. I had to restart Ubuntu to make gCDemu work properly.

When the applet is active left click on it and select an empty Device. A window will pop up. Browse to the image file and open it. The virtual cd/dvd drive will be created automatically and you will see the contents of the mounted image file. Moreover a cd icon should appear in your screen.


To unmount the device just click on the applet and then select the virtual disk.

You can see some extra options if you left click on the applet and then right click in a virtual cd/dvd. The unload button unmounts the disk.


I hope you liked my Virtual cd/dvd in Linux guide!

Comments (14)

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Never set up the root account
Never switch to root account; never set up the root account. The commands should be:

sudo mkdir ~/test-iso
sudo mount -o loop -t iso9660 /path/to/test.iso ~/test-iso

and to umount:

sudo umount ~/test-iso

Any reason you have for setting up the root account is based on false security.
Shawn , January 14, 2009
Great apps, but CLI is enough for me........ smilies/grin.gif
rotyyu , January 14, 2009
To use sudo has its issues with security as well. Hacked successfully that person have one 'password' to alot of PCs on the internet...
Ratte , January 14, 2009
Hey Shawn,

Which distro are you using? Ubuntu? It's the only one I know that makes everything with sudo. In all the other distros I've used you don't have to set up the root account. su - is there by default.

Of course sudo has its issues as Ratte says. I know people using sudo without even a password..

rottyu I know exactly what you mean. smilies/wink.gif
axel , January 14, 2009
"cdemud-daemon.session" did not work for me
I used "cdemu-daemon.session" and it loaded up.
I still, however, cannot get my CDI to load. It seems as if it will, then
cdemu just quits, and I get no CD image on the desktop.
Dustin , February 01, 2009
HA! Now I got the CDI to mount, but I had to right-click on a device, and then load it. NOW my problem is even though the image has been mounted, I still cannot access it from Brasero to copy the disk. Please help. Thx in advance!
Dustin , February 01, 2009
Why do you want to mount the CDI image? Brasero supports burning of .cdi files as far as I know. You can open it directly with Brasero and burn it.
axel , February 01, 2009
thanks man very much, it's very useful and well designed.
Alaa ElSaman , May 09, 2009
in cdemu:
at the step of:
you have to restart before it And write sudo
Alaa ElSaman , May 09, 2009
Thanks Alaa ElSaman. I've changed this. smilies/smiley.gif
axel , May 09, 2009
Mounting volumes
Mounting volumes: this is how this article should really be titled. That's true that we, Linux users have much better possibilities when it comes to deal with system devices.

However to create a drive, means also be able to write to it. ISOs however by nature are read-only - one cannot write to them once they were created.

Yes I know how to use mkisofs or author an ISO image the other way but what to do if I wanted to write an audio CD? Say, I wanted to use cdrdao and burn a CD using information from cue/toc files - there is no such thing like mkaudioiso or so. Such thing can only be done to a "real" burner.

CDEmu as a virtual drive was very promising when I first learn about it, but still it can only mount prewritten files.

So what you really wrote about is mounting volumes in Linux. You can call it a drive but very limited one.
marko , September 21, 2010

I have a bootable cd (amiga forever) and I want to get it botable from an old laptop hd installed in my pc. My base system is open suse, does is possible to configurate such thing?

Best regards

Pd your activation process doesnt works, I do all process and system tells me no such user.
npinelo , July 22, 2011
Hi npinelo, I didn't quite understand what you want to do. Could you please explain it better?

I just tested the user activation process and it worked. Did you received an email with an activation link and click on the link as mentioned in the email?
axel , July 23, 2011
nice post
Its amazing, looking at the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed information you provide. I'll bookmark your blog and visit it weekly for your new posts.
vipin , December 06, 2013

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