Considering I have a bunch of files in a directory, I would like to bundle them into an ISO image file. How should I proceed to do that?


6 Answers 6


Few quick steps:

  1. Boot up Linux.

  2. Go to a terminal screen. You can usually right click on the desktop and choose this option from the drop-down menu.

    3A. Type dd if=/dev/cdrom of=~/cdrom_image.iso.


    3B. Type mkisofs -o /tmp/cd.iso /tmp/directory/ To make an ISO from files on your hard drive.

You must have permission to access the drive directly using dd. mount permissions are not necessarily the same as dd permissions! Also... when creating an ISO file, the device must not be mounted. To unmount the cdrom device, use the umount command as follows:

umount /dev/cdrom

You may also use sudo to ensure you have proper permissions, but this also means you must have sudo access on the system. Check the /etc/sudoers file for information.

  • 6
    Step 4 is the correct solution to the original question. sudo should not be required for this. Remember to move cd.iso to whatever folder Wine/PlayonLinux needs for installation!
    – ish
    May 13, 2012 at 7:24
  • 1
    "4 type "mkisofs -o /tmp/cd.iso /tmp/directory/" To make an ISO from files on your hard drive." worked greatly, thanks
    – Zignd
    May 13, 2012 at 13:56
  • 1
    No problems , thanks to approve it as an answer !Glad to help
    – florent
    May 13, 2012 at 15:30
  • 15
    To preserve long file names, mkisofs -r -o /tmp/cd.iso /tmp/directory/ (enables Rock Ridge protocol).
    – ignis
    Nov 8, 2012 at 17:35
  • 1
    To have long file names in Windows, the -r is not enough, and you need to add a -J also (for Joliet), so mkisofs -r -J -o /tmp/cd.iso /tmp/directory/. Feb 12, 2022 at 8:24

It's easy to create ISO in terminal as described in other answers but there are some GUI options too, Like Brasero. If you don't already have it, you can install it using:

sudo apt install brasero

How can I create ISO images with Brasero?

  • Hit the Super key (Windows key) and search for "brasero" and open it.

  • Click on the Data project button.

    enter image description here

  • Click on the green plus button in the upper left corner in the toolbar to start adding files and directories to your image:

enter image description here

  • Enter the name of disc at the bottom to whatever you like.
  • Make sure no empty CD/DVD is in your optical drives and click on Burn.
  • Brasero will ask you for the location where you want to create ISO image, Give your desired location and click on Create Image. That's it!

If you want to burn that image to disc, Just right click on ISO image you just created and select "Open With Brasero Disc Burner". Select your optical drive and click Create Image.

enter image description here

  • 1
    This doesn't create a bootable iso file from a bootable DVD, for example. I tried to create an iso image from a DVD with Windows 7 and tried to load it on Virtual Box, but it didn't work.
    – eKek0
    Oct 11, 2015 at 23:20

Try This:

Go to the Terminal

Type genisoimage -o ~/backup.iso -V BACKUP -R -J ~/Documents

or, for more useful permissions, change -R to -r: genisoimage -o ~/backup.iso -V BACKUP -r -J ~/Documents

In this case Ubuntu will generate a file called "backup.iso" with all the contents in the Documents Folder.


  • 5
    Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference.
    – Mahesh
    May 13, 2012 at 16:49
  • 2
    Might want to mention that -V volid specifies the volume ID / name / label, and how it's apparently randomly called "BACKUP" here, unrelated to the question
    – Xen2050
    Dec 2, 2015 at 8:21
  • 1
    link is dead now
    – evandrix
    Mar 31, 2020 at 15:16
  • 1
    How is this not the accepted answer
    – Mouradif
    Nov 2, 2020 at 22:00
  • The link lives forever in Wayback: web.archive.org/web/20140115063003/https://… Aug 4, 2021 at 0:20

I actually had to do this just today. A really easy way to do it is in the terminal, so type:

cat [device file of external disk] > ~/newfile.iso

To find the device file of the external disk open up the Unity launcher and search for "System Monitor," then go to "File Systems."

So an example would look like:

cat /dev/scd0 > ~/newfile.iso
  • The question was how to create an .iso from files contained in a .zip, not from an actual disc. Jul 31, 2013 at 6:17
  • 1
    +1 The speed of cat astounded me.
    – l4t3nc1
    Mar 18, 2015 at 0:51
  • 1
    this is amazing! I can't believe how easy this is
    – deltree
    Jul 16, 2016 at 19:30

Actually, there is a very simple answer to this question. I have just created Windows 7 ISO file with no problems. Didn't really liked the Brasero method because it keep throwing pop-up windows. It had some compatibility issues with file names and ISO standard. I believe this method is compatible with Mac OS ISO's as well.

This answer is provided by using Archive Manager, the default archive manager in Ubuntu 14.10.

Open your folder with files you want to include in ISO. Then select view/show hidden files, select all files , right click and choose compress...

enter image description here

On new window select ISO option, file name and location. That's it!

  • 3
    This no longer works on Ubuntu 19.10. They have dumbed down the compress options so that you only have 3 choices none of which is .iso. Feb 23, 2020 at 20:01
  • 1
    Is there any way to enable this again ? It was very helpful and one of the most used feature of archive manager. Jun 1, 2021 at 16:19
  • 1
    The ISO option is still available, just not in the simplified context dialog. Read the Archive Manager solution proposed by Ishan Jawade
    – user17254
    Feb 26, 2023 at 13:07

Making ISO file feature is already there in Ubuntu as VRR said in his answer. To elaborate more read this.

Open Archive Manager.

enter image description here

Open the folder to which you wanted to convert an ISO file.

enter image description here

Copy all the content from the folder to Archive Manager including hidden files.

enter image description here

Click on Create Archive and select .iso as an extension.

enter image description here

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