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I have an extracted copy of Ubuntu 13.04 iso (live CD), but if I burn it directly it will not boot. Is there any way to create a bootable iso so that I can burn it to a DVD or USB flash drive?

I tried ISO Master, but it first wanted an iso and allows me to add some more files. Can I use it to create iso only from extracted folders?

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  • check the commands her: askubuntu.com/questions/409607/… The 1st part is about extracting an ISO but at the end it also shows how to create the ISO (and if needed how to create the new checksum).
    – Rinzwind
    Commented Jan 27, 2014 at 12:34
  • you can use uNetBootloader for making pendrive bootable in ubuntu it is available in ubuntu soft Commented Aug 25, 2014 at 4:32

7 Answers 7

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To make an ISO from files on your hard drive, you can use the mkisofs command. To use it, just press Ctrl+Alt+T on your keyboard to open Terminal. When it opens, run the command(s) below:

mkisofs -o /home/user/Desktop/test/Ubuntu.iso /home/user/Desktop/test

(Using the command above, I have a folder called test in the Desktop folder, which will create the ISO in the same test folder, using only the files in the test folder).

Once created, then you can burn it to a DVD.

Note: This will not create a bootable DVD. To create a bootable DVD you need to get ISOLINUX, and you still can use mkisofs.

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  • yes, but i want to make bootable iso. so i can burn it on DVD or make a bootable usb stick. are you sure it make bootable iso. Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 11:45
  • I'm testing right now, and I'll let you know shortly.
    – Mitch
    Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 11:49
  • I'm testing iso in virtual box and it says boot device not found. Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 12:50
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    See the note that I added in the answer.
    – Mitch
    Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 12:52
  • How can we make the ISO bootable for use in VM?
    – Justech
    Commented Apr 6, 2021 at 8:54
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An ISO if extracted, will loose it's capability to boot. Building ISO from this extracted files need to done in a special manner to set booting flag and other parameter

You just point your burning software to ISO (not extracted) , then the dvd/cd will be bootable.

If you want to customize ubuntu ISO, please see How to customize the Ubuntu Live CD?

To rebuilt from folder content, you can do so using powerISO (if on windows). Here is tutorial that may help you.. This option should be available with all standard burning software. Just check the manual.

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  • but i have only extracted folder. Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 9:36
  • and i want to re-create bootable iso for that folder not CD/DVD Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 9:37
  • didn't understand, you want to recreate a boot able ISO from a folder? You are trying to change anything or you have just deleted the ISO after extraction and want to rebuild the ISO
    – Web-E
    Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 9:39
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    yes i only wan't to rebuild extracted iso, without any changes. i have deleted iso by mistake. Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 11:38
  • are you on windows?
    – Web-E
    Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 11:40
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The best option i can think of is to download Poweriso and extract it straight to the dvd. It should already be bootable after that. Did u delete the original iso and all you have is the extracted version? Sorry the only way i know is to have the iso, im not sure how if it is already extracted.

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  • yes i only have an extracted folder of iso. Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 9:03
  • I really doubt that only extracting make it bootable, and the folders are already extracted here, so the user cannot extract anything.
    – Quidam
    Commented Apr 26, 2020 at 16:35
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If your system has grub installed, you do not need a DVD/usb to boot.

Put your iso in the hard disk and modify the grub menu; this also lets you boot from an iso.

Why do you need to extract files from the iso?

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  • I doubt of this answer. Grub doesn't make an unbootable ISO bootable. It makes nothing bootable by itself, it make the action of booting that is bootable, that's all. The bootable/unbootable is a property of the files.
    – Quidam
    Commented Apr 26, 2020 at 16:36
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Web-E already gave a very good answer with the PowerISO tutorial.

As an alternative solution, I've found an interesting answer there:
https://www.nextofwindows.com/how-to-re-create-a-bootable-iso-from-extracted-windows-installation-files

It's for Windows, but as this solution is very easy, it probably worths creating a small Windows booting disk, or use the mini XP Windows included in Hiren's boot live CD. I don't know if it's feasible, it has to be tested to answer this question, but the software used here, imgburn is compatible XP.

Considering you didn't touch anything in your files or folders of your extracted ISO, as it's obvious you cannot create bootable ISO from any kind of files or folder (bootable files that will pass important info to the bootloader are needed).

In the example, they use ImgBurn (Windows) with "create image files from files or folders". Ignore the parts regarding Windows files (like ei.cfg) as we aren't trying to make a bootable Windows.

They turned a bunch of .dll files and other formats, to an ISO file, and checked “Make Image Bootable“ in the section called Advanced → Bootable Disc.

So, it's exactly what you want to do, turning a bunch of files and folders, with any formats, to an ISO, and giving the ISO the instrinsic "bootable" property.

Once again, it won't be bootable if the ISO from which you extracted the files wasn't already a bootable OS type.

There are other software able to do the same: Winiso (their tuto is badly explained, but we see on the image that they used files and folders to construct their bootable ISO),

Additional hints:

Alternatively, if everything fails, software like AnytoISO to create an ISO from any kind of files, and using another sofware to make the ISO bootable, it can be made from the command line, or from a software.

One way to check if your extracted folders are able to boot is to extract the bootable file from it. They use UltraISO for that here, “Bootable > Extract Boot File from CD/DVD”.
I didn't test, but I imagine that if there's not boot-file in your folders, it may return an error message.

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I use (http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/) - been using it for years to burn iso's to usb. To create an ISO file:

Open Terminal. Navigate to the directory you want to create the ISO in. then:

mkisofs –o thefilename.iso /home/thepath/2/thefolder/ofthe/extractedfiles
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  • The files are already extracted! It's not an ISO, the user wants to create an ISO!
    – Quidam
    Commented Apr 26, 2020 at 16:37
  • ISO master is a great tool, but, as far as I know, knows only how to deal with .nrg eand mdf. files. I doubt there is only that kind of files in their extracted ISO.
    – Quidam
    Commented Apr 26, 2020 at 16:38
  • good point @Quidam - let me edit my answer to a more native solution
    – gingamann
    Commented Jun 10, 2020 at 1:02
  • though i believe it may be a redundant answer.. haha
    – gingamann
    Commented Jun 10, 2020 at 1:13
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I think the best way is to use Linux Live USB Creator to boot your USB from ubuntu .iso file.
you can download the .exe file from here and if you want to use it in ubuntu, I thimk you can run it with wine

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  • I think it's out of topic, it's files, not an ISO.
    – Quidam
    Commented Apr 26, 2020 at 16:39

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