Easily Mount an ISO in Mac OS X

Apr 22, 2008 - 78 Comments

If you’re wondering how to mount an ISO image in Mac OS X, it is very easy. For most ISO images you can mount them simply by double-clicking the ISO image file, and it will go through the auto-mounter app within OS X putting it on your desktop.

If for whatever reason that doesn’t work there are other methods to mount ISO’s within Mac OS X, and we’ll cover ways to do this with the built-in Disk Utility and a more advanced option of using the command line.

Mount ISO on Mac with Disk Utility

mount iso mac

You can mount ISO images in Mac OS X by using Disk Utility, located in the /Applications/Utilities/ directory. After you have launched Disk Utility, navigate from the Disk Utility menu down to “Open Image File” and select your ISO file. The ISO should now appear mounted on the Mac OS desktop. Yes, this works for other disk image files too (dmg, img, etc).

Mount ISO with Mac OS X command line

In the Terminal type the following command: hdiutil mount sample.iso with sample.iso being the path to the image you want to mount. After the checksum is completet, your ISO will appear mounted on your Mac OS X desktop – that’s it. You you can actually mount virtually any other disk image type with hdiutil as well, so give .dmg .img a try too.

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Posted by: Bill Ellis in Command Line, How to, Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks

78 Comments

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  1. James Nevara says:

    easy enough, is it really any harder than that in the desktop gui view?

  2. uxp says:

    @ James: This is a whole lot easier than trying to use the GUI when you’re logged in remotely via SSH. :)

  3. @ngel says:

    I tried it with an .img file and it doesn’t really work…

    • Flemming says:

      hdiutil mount filename.img
      worked just fine for me. I’m on Snow Leopard (10.6.5)

      My .img was a dvd-image and after mounting it played just fine in DVD Player

  4. paulc says:

    It worked.. but now what? the image is mounted but when i click on it it just does the same thing… which is nothing lol.. please help

  5. Beforez says:

    Dude, read the title.
    “Easily mount an” – and then comes the important part – “ISO” – got it? .. “in Mac OS X”.

    Okay, *sigh* I will explain…
    I.S.O
    ISO.
    ISO is _not_ an IMG.
    got it?

    ———————
    Comment from @ngel
    Time: January 23, 2009, 4:39 pm

    I tried it with an .img file and it doesn’t really work…

    • BeforeA says:

      An ISO is an image, dimwit.

      • Stephen says:

        A JPEG is an image as well but you can’t double click to mount those in Mac OS X either.

        See what I did there?

        • James says:

          ISO and IMG are much the same thing; they’re both filesystems in a distributable/ loopback form- an ISO is usually an iso9660 image (Which is where we get the name from) though of course because OSX relies on magic numbers and not suffixes it could be anything:

          bash-3.2$ file centos-5.5.img
          centos-5.5.img: ISO 9660 CD-ROM filesystem data ‘CentOS_5.5_Final’ (bootable)

          Now; hdiutil is essentially a wrapper around the mount command to do the Mac specifics; you can see this with strings /usr/bin/hdiutil|less.

          I know it is tempting to jump on the perceived “I’m a Mac user, that must mean I can be a dick” bandwagon but seriously? Use your brain a little more.

    • Seminato says:

      XD

    • Ange says:

      Didnt it say that it works with img files the article? -_- its a bit proof eh?

  6. cory says:

    @Beforez

    Maybe you should read the whole post before making impolite and condescending comments.

  7. Shane says:

    I can’t get my .iso to mount… Can I get some assitance? The iso’s on the desktop, but it’s not mounting correctly for some reason.

  8. sprale says:

    Mounting an ISO of Ubuntu 8.10 fails on my 10.5.6 Mac.

  9. sprale says:

    Toast 10 mounted the ISO fine for me, though.

  10. Kesr says:

    If your iso is on the desktop, simply type ”Cd desktop” in terminal before typing ”hdiutil mount sample.iso”

    • uyen says:

      guys,
      Iso file mounted, then what? Can I actually install the software to Mac?
      I ccouldn’t do anything with Unix Executable file on MAC.

  11. tc says:

    Hi. I’m trying to mount a wii iso file and even though I follow the above instructions, it simply doesn’t work. It says the iso file cannot be mounted (or something to that effect). Any ideas? I can’t burn it if I cannot mount it properly.

    • Fishcake21 says:

      Wii isos uses a custom proprietary file system that Operating systems do not recognize.

      And if you burned the disc, it will show on windows as unrecognize format, but with OSX it will show as a blank disc when that is not true, and you have to do a raw data dump.

      Of course i don’t expect you to know about this… completely off related topic..

  12. bogglegz says:

    @ Kesr: good point, but as unix commands are case sensitive, make sure to type “cd Desktop”

  13. bogglegz says:

    or better yet, cd ~/Desktop

  14. zer0crew says:

    I used Toast 9
    Select “Convert” tab, then “Image File”, then “Mount”
    Worked great.

  15. bob says:

    what does it mean by ‘…the path to the image you want to mount’? I dont know what to type. please help.

  16. matt says:

    I just tried this as well, but got the error:

    hdiutil: attach: extra image argument “Fantasy” – “Final” already specified
    Usage: hdiutil attach [options]
    hdiutil attach -help

    any suggestions??

  17. triyanto says:

    who can help me to know location this ISO expect torent host

  18. lucky says:

    I got the same thing, Matt. Any suggestions, anyone?

  19. Drago says:

    can one boot mac software .iso image dvd on a mac or does it have to be .toast image extension?

  20. chris says:

    matt, and lucky i think the problem is that your not actually mounting an iso. your most likely trying to mount an .rar, etc. so make sure you DL a program like UnRarX and extract the .rar file then mount the .iso file that pops up.

  21. klm says:

    @matt and lucky, mabye there are spaces in the name of your .iso? if so, you have to do something extra to make the shell delivering the name to the program as a single, unitary item – you need to quote or escape the name.

    for example, use quotes around the name:

    hdiutil mount “Final Fantasy XVLII – Yet More.iso”

    alternately, you can also use backslashes to “escape” the spaces:

    hdiutil mount Final\ Fantasy\ XCVI\ -\ The Epoch.iso

    avoiding this delicacy in expressing special characters is one way a gui can make things easier – but sometimes, at the loss of flexibility.

  22. klm says:

    (shucks – missed a backslash there…)

  23. tmsyed says:

    Great tip … I waisted hours in trying to import home videos from mini DVDs to iMovie. Tried several dvd rippers on a PC (because of MACs slotin dvd drive), several formats …. but wasn’t satisfied.
    Mounting iso image of dvds is recognized as a camera by iMovie and import went flawlessly.
    Thanks again.

  24. […] Berkas image tersebut akan muncul sebagai drive di sistem Mac OSX. Buka Finder untuk menemukan drive tersebut.Berkas-berkas image yang didukung antara lain .iso, .dmg, .img. Saya sendiri belum mencoba semuanya. Jadi selamat mencoba.Sumber: Easily Mount an ISO in Mac OS X […]

  25. Newb says:

    Ok, so I hate to be a newb and post a newb question, I am a very new mac user (in fact got it yesterday), and thus far love it, however I used to mount dvd iso’s on my windows laptop and watch them using powerdvd (to save on the battery). What I am trying to figure out is the exact command string that needs to be entered in Terminal for an iso that is located on the desktop. I tried just opening terminal and entering the details as per the example at the top of the page but it could not find the file (i’m assuming that the example assumes that the iso is in a root directory). In windows it was pretty simple c:/folder/file.iso if anyone can point me in the right direction that would be great. Cheers

  26. Michael says:

    @Newb , you can usually just mount an iso by double clicking on it which will mount it through Disk Utility. If you want to use the command line though just type

    hdiutil mount ~/Desktop/imagefile.iso

    ~ is your home directory, and /Desktop/ is the literal desktop. Alternatively, you can just type hdiutil mount and then drag the file itself into the terminal and the path to it will appear after ‘hdiutil mount’ which works well if your file is in some obscure location

    • uyen says:

      hi,
      all the files are unix executable files after I mount .iso file. How can i install .iso file on Mac? it’s a software.
      thank you.

  27. Newb says:

    Fantastic, worked like a charm, appreciate it.

  28. Confused says:

    I successfully mounted the disk, but i still cannot open the application because it says there is no disk inserted. It is clearly mounted, though. Any suggestions?

  29. Kerry says:

    Confused, it may just make you more confused, but if you open Teminal and enter man hdiutil you will get the manual page for hdiutil. It’s possible some of the optional tags for the command, like -verbose or -debug might give you a clue.

  30. spamaoararoaa! says:

    type the following command: hdiutil mount sample.iso with sample.iso being the path to the image you want to mount. After the checksum is completet, your ISO will appear mounted on your Mac OS X desktop – that’s it. You you can actually mount virtually any other disk image type with hdiutil as well, so give .dmg .img a try too.

  31. rippsss says:

    i am trying to mount a series of .iso images that work fine on my XP machine. when i try to mount them through the terminal i get the following error:
    hdiutil: mount failed – not recognized
    i receive similar errrors when attempting to mount the image by double-clicking the icon from the desktop and attempting to open the image in disk utility.

    any thoughts on what is going on here? the software on the disc is supposed to be Windows/Mac compatible and, as i mentioned, i have been running the program from images mounted on my XP machine for quite some time now.

  32. […] Easily Mount an ISO in Mac OS X (tags: MacOS ISO drive) […]

  33. Atle says:

    Thanks a lot!! I had a .iso I needed to restore with disk utility, but it wouldn’t recognize the .iso format. This little terminal trick worked like a charm! Awesome!!

  34. […] is that an image of? Give this a read. __________________ "It is beyond a doubt that all our knowledge begins with […]

  35. RCK says:

    So I can mount the .iso but it won’t boot the movie. All it will let me do is open the folder which contains Video and Audio Folders. The same .iso will boot fine on my PC. But who wants to use a PC….

  36. GAHokay says:

    I successfully mounted using the advice here, but then apparently it wasn’t a normal mount…? Apparently it is also an avi. What do I do about that? Aren’t avi’s incompatible with macs?

  37. […] iso mac os x". Oto wynik (pierwszy z brzegu): montowanie obrazu iso jako dysku zewnętrznego: easly Mount an ISO in MAC OS X Jeśli coś ma ikonkę w systemie, to zwykle można to kliknąć i przynajmniej zobaczyć, czy […]

  38. ZVT says:

    Hi, I’m also quite new with Mac, and can’t solve a problem: I would like to create .iso or .dmg images from audio CD, which I cannot using the disk utility (somehow it doesn’t recognize). Then, if I convert it using my Windows into .iso, I cannot mount it — the reason is the same. I tried typing in the terminal as well, but the message is the same: Mount failed – not recognized. (No double click, no disk utility.) Any suggestions? It would be so important… Thanks.

  39. Steve says:

    Hey everyone…I’m trying to unrar a series of files using UnRarX…and in part 1 of the files, the second file is a .iso file giving me this error
    Encrypted file: CRC failed in ISO.File.20/MOUNTME.iso (password incorrect ?)
    Total errors: 1

    I’m assuming this is because I have to mount the .iso?

  40. Bret says:

    My Macbook has Mac OS X 10.6.4 with 4 gigs of RAM. When I used Terminal to mount my 4 gig iso, it said it didn’t mount. What could I be doing wrong.

  41. […] experience” mistake that Microsoft sometimes makes. This seems like a simple thing to me. OS X supports mounting .iso files (they’re even associated to open via double-click), every flavor of Linux under the sun […]

  42. I have install Mac Iatox S2 in My system My system Configuration is i3 processor and 2GB Ram but it not acceptable please explain the reason.

  43. JazzyJ says:

    The only program that can mount in the same ways a Daemon Tools etc on a Mac is Roxio Toast.

    If you mount Disk Images using the OSX disk utility you get a white drive icon. If you mount using Roxio Toast you get a silver CD icon.

    If you need to mount CD images for games etc then you have to use Roxio Toast for OSX.

    There is absolutely no other alternative that exists by any company or program for OSX and never has been.

    Google is full of hits for ‘Alternative to Daemon Tools for OSX’ and thre is nothing except for Toast.

  44. fred says:

    thank you!!

  45. yoyo says:

    can we update this?

  46. Vitsk says:

    I’m trying to burn an ISO file using Toast 10 Titanium but keep getting the error “CD-ROM XA / Audio tracks cannot be written to DVD”. Appears to default to CD ROM XA when I drag the ISO file into the Image File window in Toast – can’t change it. Any ideas???

  47. Mahi says:

    Hi guys ,
    i downloaded a .iso file and i am trying to install it in my mac, but i am failed.

    Can anyone help me with the process.

    actually file is cambridge dictionary.
    file size is 688.2 mb

  48. […] half right. An ISO file will open automatically on a Mac without any additional software. (source: Easily Mount an ISO in Mac OS X) Unfortunately, the program contained in this download is an executable (.exe) which will only […]

  49. Simon says:

    I have an .nrg file on a removable disk which contains Mac native software. I believe the file is Nero, which is not Mac compatible. I found out that I needed to convert it to an .iso file. I used two different utilities to do that but when I double click on the new file/s, my Mac says it is an unrecognised format. Everything I read suggests that Macs can read ISO files with no problem but that is not my experience. Any ideas?

  50. loco nino says:

    hi guys. Mac Newb here!

    i need some help. im installing a copy of reason 5, ive mounted with disk utility, dragged the icon to my apps folder, it asked for a serial so i ran a keygen.exe on a different pc to get the code. entered the code and then it keeps asking for the reason 5 disk, i cant get any further than that. ive installed this file on several other pc.s and had no problems. id imagin its cross compatible or esle it wouldnt even recognise it.

    any help would be greatly appriciated

  51. aaron says:

    i’ve got the same problem!

  52. […] disks, as well in Mac OSX. It’s a bit easier in Mac as there is a built in utility called Disk Utility, but you have to go find it in the Utilities section of Applications (or run from a command […]

  53. jake says:

    this works fine, i can browse the dvd, but there is no option (that i can see) to autoplay the dvd so it runs like a real dvd movie

  54. Jim says:

    thank u !!!!!!!!! I needed this info.. And its so simple !

  55. yao says:

    Hi, i got an .iso file, i managed to mount it bt it won’t play, just a whole bunch of files, it appears to be mounted but i can’t play the dvd. Help please…

  56. […] hdiutil tool works to mount .iso and other image files as well as being able to convert them to other disk image formats. […]

  57. JazzyJ says:

    PROBLEM SOLVED!!

    You no longer need to have a 1GB Toast app!!

    Download ToastMount and use this:

    http://toastmount.sourceforge.net/

  58. Mac says:

    hey guys…i just downloaded nfs run from torrentz in iso format….the disk utility shows that the files is mounted but the files did not appear in desktop neither i can open them. whenever i click the disk image it opens and show me some icons those are all images. some help would be highly appreciated. Thanks.

  59. […] than external drives and disk images, which is why this a different technique than what you use to mount an ISO in Mac OS X. You can also access and mount smb shares via the command line which allows for scripting […]

  60. You actually make it seem so easy along with your presentation but I find this topic to be actually something which I believe I’d never understand. It sort of feels too complicated and very huge for me. I’m taking a look ahead for your subsequent submit, I will try to get the grasp of it!

  61. Richard says:

    Very helpful. The double click worked. Thanks!

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