In Linux, you will frequently come across a file in the .ISO format. Most Linux distributions provide their LiveCD downloads in ISO format, as it is easier to work with in Linux. However, there are times when you come across an IMG file and have no idea how to deal with it. In this article we will show you how you can easily convert an IMG file to ISO format.
What Is IMG Format?
An IMG file can be many things, but usually, the format refers to image copies of CDs and DVDs. Even then, the format has (at least) two different variants (that we know of): the “generic” IMG type of CD and DVD copies and the CloneCD version, which is usually accompanied by two more files with extra info about the optical disc.
Converting IMG to ISO
The primary tool for converting both those types of CD images to ISO format is ccd2iso. Although it’s a command-line tool, it’s pretty straightforward to use. To install ccd2iso on any Ubuntu-based distribution, use:
sudo apt install ccd2iso
Afterward, to convert any IMG file to ISO format, use:
ccd2iso source_file.img destination_file.iso
Yes, it is as simple as that.
After a short time, you will find the converted ISO file next to your original IMG file.
A GUI Tool to Convert IMG to ISO
If you prefer a GUI, you should try acetoneiso. Install it with:
sudo apt install acetoneiso
Continue by launching it and accepting the suggested settings. Don’t try to convert your IMG file to an ISO with it yet – it won’t work, and the program will suggest you visit PowerISO‘s site and Download the “PowerISO Command Line Utility for Linux.”
We downloaded the file to our default Downloads folder. If you save it elsewhere, remember to swap the path.
Open a terminal and move to the acetoneiso folder with:
Extract PowerISO from the file you downloaded with your equivalent of:
tar xvf /home/USERNAME/Downloads/poweriso-X.X.tar.gz
Return to AcetoneISO and from the “Image Conversion” menu, select “Convert Image to ISO.” Choose your original IMG file, enter a path and name for the converted file in the next step, and, after a short wait, your ISO will be available.
Different Tool, Same Process
A newer and more versatile tool,
iat, can read IMG files and many more CD image formats and either convert them to ISO files or directly “burn” them to disk.
We left it for last, though, because it failed in one case while testing it.
To install it, use:
sudo apt install iat
To initiate a conversion, use the following command:
iat input_file.img output_file.iso
Finally, if everything we saw here failed, maybe you should consider the possibility of your IMG file not being a CD or DVD image. As we said at the very beginning, “an IMG file can be many things,” such as a hard disk and partition backups.
A good hint you’re dealing with “that type of IMG file” would be its size: if it’s much larger than 4.5GBs, it’s probably not an optical disc backup. Dual-layer DVDs that can hold double the amount of data of a standard DVD remains relatively rare for the whole optical media era. Hence, files close to or over that size are probably partition backups. And those are a wholly different story.
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