How do I create an ISO within Mac OS X?

Updated! Video tutorial is now available on YouTube.

Are you ever in a position where you have two computers in two different locations, and you also have a single CD that you are using and you need it when you need it, on whichever computer you’re using, and Murphy is working with you to ensure that it’s not in the computer you’re using?

Well, I have run into this several times, most recently it’s been with a couple of CD’s that I’m using to study for the Project Management Professional (PMP) exam (mine are from the excellent titles Project Management Professional Study Guide and Review Guide by Kim Heldman and Sybex publishing). Since I won’t be sharing the CDs, and I need to ensure that I have it available when I need it, my solution is to make an ISO copy of it (finding study time during lunch while at work is essential for me).

Since the license permits me to make a copy, I can use this solution. If this is something you want to do, check the license, and/or call the manufacturer of the software to see if you are permitted.

BOTTOM LINE: How to make an ISO?

  1. Open the Terminal application (Option+spacebar for the Spotlight interface, type Terminal and hit return, or open the Applications folder and click on Terminal).
  2. Insert the CD in question
  3. Wait until it is mounted.
  4. Check the mount point by typing in mount.
    • You’ll see something like the below– the mount type cd9660.
      /dev/disk2s0 on /Volumes/MYCDROM (cd9660, local, nodev, nosuid, read-only, noowners)
  5. Unmount the CD by typing in the following:sudo umount /dev/disk2s0
  6. Use the dd command to create your ISOdd if=/dev/disk2s0 of=mycdrom.iso
  7. Once the dd command has completed, you have your own ISO image of the CD in question!
  8. To mount it, simply use Finder and double-click the .ISO image, or use the hdiutil utility if you’re still at the command line (see example below).hdiutil mount mycdrom.iso
  9. When you’re done, just eject it like any other image (such as a DMG image, by dragging the icon that appears on your desktop to the trash.

And that’s it! This also can be used as a CD backup, especially if you have a Time Machine running!

Have fun!


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