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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Burn an ISO File using Mac OS X the Easy Way

One common misconception about burning CDs and DVDs is that you need to download additional software to burn certain formats. Some additional software does add some nice features and utilities. However, you can burn just about anything by taking advantage of Mac OS X’s built in capabilities.

os x screen shot

ISO files are a common format that you run into when messing around with operating systems and virtual machines. For example, the popular operating system Linux is distributed via ISO file.

So, if you wanted to have a backup disk of the Linux operating system, you would need to burn the ISO to a DVD. The process of burning a CD or DVD in ISO format is different from just creating a data disc. An ISO must be burned as an ISO so that it has the capability to boot and auto-run.

ubuntu iso

To get started burning your ISO file with OS X, you need to launch the Disk Utility. The Disk Utility can be found at Finder > Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility. You also need to make sure that you have your ISO file saved directly to your computer, preferably on the desktop.

disk utility screen

Click the File button on the OS X top navigation bar and select Open Disk Image. This should open up the Select Image to Attach pop up box. Navigate to the ISO file that you want to burn, select it, and click the open button.

osx disk utility iso

This will automatically mount the disk image into OS X. Now, you should see the ISO file listed in the left hand side drives list within Disk Utility. At this point, insert a blank CD or DVD into your computer if you have not already done so.

Select the ISO file from the left hand side drives list by clicking it once. Select the Burn option from the from the top toolbar within Disk Utility. A drop down menu should pop down, asking you to verify the burn. Click the burn button.

mounted iso file

That’s all there is to it. Now all you have to do is wait for your disc to burn. ISO files tend to be somewhat large in size, so the disc burning process may take up to 15 minutes, depending on the speed of your burner.

This is a great way to create backup discs of software. You can even use this method to create a backup of your OS X install discs. However, you will need dual layer DVDs as burning most operating system ISOs requires quite a bit of space.

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