Making an iso in mac os x leopard

The other day I desperately wanted/needed to install Ubuntu 8.04 Server as a virtual machine using VirtualBox. I could either install Ubuntu directly from the installation disc or install from a mounted ISO. I figured an ISO would be faster and more reliable. I looked all over Mac’s applications folder for a GUI utility but the for the life of me couldn’t find one to create an iso. I really thought Disk Utility would have that feature, it doesn’t right?

In *nix when the GUI fails you can always go old skool.

Open Terminal

qbook:~ quinton$ drutil status
Vendor Product Rev

Type: CD-ROM Name: /dev/disk3
Sessions: 1 Tracks: 1
Overwritable: 00:00:00 blocks: 0 / 0.00MB / 0.00MiB
Space Free: 00:00:00 blocks: 0 / 0.00MB / 0.00MiB
Space Used: 59:42:17 blocks: 268667 / 550.23MB / 524.74MiB

Assuming you’ve already inserted the disc for copying. This command tells you where its been mounted.

Unmount the disk to be iso’d

qbook:~ quinton$ diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk3
Unmount of all volumes on disk3 was successful

Using the location derived from the previous command. In my case the CD-ROM is /dev/disk3. Yours may differ

Make the iso

qbook:~ quinton$ dd if=/dev/disk3s0 of=ubuntu_8.04_lts_server.iso bs=2048
268667+0 records in
268667+0 records out
550230016 bytes transferred in 308.685634 secs (1782493 bytes/sec)

The real magic happens here. If you’re curious about progress you can watch the size of the newly created iso file “grow” in size using Finder or another terminal tab/window. Shouldn’t take longer than 10mins or so (for a 700mb cd)

Mount the ISO

qbook:~ quinton$ hdid ubuntu_8.04_lts_server.iso
/dev/disk1 /Volumes/Ubuntu-Server 8.

And to confirm the ISO is working. This command will mount the ISO as a readable volume. Should be viewable in Finder alongside all your other mounted devices.

Published in: on February 15, 2009 at 4:09 pm
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  1. In Disk Utility, File|New|Disk image from ,
    then select “DVD/CD master” as image format.

    This gives you an “ISO” file, even if the default filename will be *.cdr. Feel free to rename it to .iso - OS X won’t mind.

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