How To Convert A DMG File To ISO

The ISO file format is pretty much entranched in the PC world as THE format to use for CD/DVD disk images. The advantages of this format are plenty – It is a standard open format and tools to work with it are readily available for all operating systems, Windows, Unix/Linux and OS X.

While Mac users can use the ISO format on their machines, Most software on OS X is distributed as a DMG file. The DMG file format has a couple of arguable advantages over the ISO format like encryption, compression etc., but the truth is that the rest of the world uses ISO and there is no way easy way to use DMG files in the PC world.

I faced this dilemma at work a couple of days back when I had a DMG file in my hand and had to burn it to a DVD but I was using a Linux machine.

I tried searching online for solution to burn a DMG on Windows but couldn’t find any free utility. So, I searched for the next logical solution. Convert the DMG to ISO and I found a way to do it – and the good thing is that the tool to be used for the conversion comes with Mac OS X and is a simple command line utility.

This method only works on a Mac, so you have to convert the DMG file to an ISO on the Mac itself and then transfer and use the resulting ISO on your PC. The utility to be used for the purpose is hdiutil and the complete command is:

hdiutil convert dmgfilename.dmg -format UDTO -o converted_iso

Below is the screenshot of the command that I used to convert my DMG file to ISO.

Mac Terminal Command

The above command will create a file with a .cdr extension, which stands for a CD/DVD master. If you want, you can rename it with a .ISO extension and it should still work fine. Copy it over to your Windows or Linux/Unix machine and you’re all set.

You can now use Nero, cdrecord/wodim or the OS’s built in ISO burning tools to burn this ISO file to any media.