Idiot-proof burning a live CD from an ISO image for me
June 3, 2013 2:25 PM   Subscribe

I am a Linux noob - I have downloaded an ISO file, extracted it, and now would like to use it to create a live CD. Can someone give me a simple, step-by-step explanation of how to do this?

So far none of the FAQs I've found provide the very rudimentary hand-holding that I apparently need.

The extracted image contains two folders w/multiple files, as well as a number of freestanding files. I'm running Ubuntu 12.04 and have Roxio installed. Thanks for helping someone to whom this stuff doesn't come naturally learn by doing -
posted by ryanshepard to Computers & Internet (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You don't need to extract the image. Roxio should be able to take the ISO file itself as an input (the ISO is the image) to burn the disc with. In fact, I think ISO burning might be built into Windows these days, so my first recommendation would be to simply right-click on the ISO and see if one of the context-menu options is to burn it.
posted by stopgap at 2:29 PM on June 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Probably also built into Ubuntu, but if not, Roxio should have an association with ISO files. Either way, double click it and see what happens!
posted by MoTLD at 2:30 PM on June 3, 2013

Oh wait, you are already running Ubuntu? I was placing you one step earlier in the noob process. Disregard my comment about ISO burning being built into Windows.
posted by stopgap at 2:30 PM on June 3, 2013

How do you install Roxio on Ubuntu? Isn't Roxio a Windows program?

Anyway, you should be able to right-click the .iso file and one of the options should be something like "burn cd".
posted by gjc at 2:43 PM on June 3, 2013 [2 favorites]

Note: you don't want to burn a cd that contains the ISO file, rather, the ISO file is a disk image of what will go onto the CD.
posted by gjc at 2:44 PM on June 3, 2013 [2 favorites]

If you are on a linux system already, there's a good chance all you need is opening a terminal shell, navigating to the folder where the .iso file was downloaded and doing cdrecord filename.iso.
posted by Dr Dracator at 2:54 PM on June 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

I noticed that I had a hard time burning ISO images to DVD with a computer with a slower processor and cheaper disc drive. I had a lot more success when I upgraded to a more powerful computer.
posted by KokuRyu at 3:01 PM on June 3, 2013

If you're running a relatively recent Linux distribution, then there's a graphical tool called "brasero" which will burn an iso image to a CD. Either start a terminal and type brasero (followed by return) at the prompt, or search for it: it'll be in the applications menu somewhere.

Alternatively, the commandline tool wodim will do the job, as jingzuo's link explains.
posted by pharm at 3:07 PM on June 3, 2013

How do you install Roxio on Ubuntu? Isn't Roxio a Windows program?

You can't, and yes - I've got Brasero, as pharm notes. My brain still associates "Roxio" with "CD burner", apparently.
posted by ryanshepard at 3:52 PM on June 3, 2013

The Brasero option you want is "Burn image" - bottom button in the left pane when you start it.
posted by flabdablet at 6:25 PM on June 3, 2013

Do as gjc says. Close the box that opens with "what do you wish to do with this CD" when it pops up after you insert your CD. Right click on the iso image icon. Click burn to CD. Reduce the burn speed to slowest possible in the box that appears (reduces the likelihood of errors). CD will burn, sometimes producing an error message or two at the end (usually safe to ignore). CD will either eject or you press the button as instructed in the error message. Shut down and start, or restart, computer. Slip CD in really quickly on start. Make sure your startup settings are set to CD drive before HDD (either via startup options in boot screen, or via bios boot menu). Test live CD.
posted by Ahab at 7:05 PM on June 3, 2013 [2 favorites]

Thanks all, esp. gjc and Ahab - I was overthinking this!
posted by ryanshepard at 7:13 PM on June 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

For what it's worth, I personally do not follow Ahab's "burn at slowest possible speed" advice. I seem to remember it made a difference for burning audio CDs circa 2003, but these days I just use the default (fastest, I assume) speed and never seem to have a problem. Not that I burn CDs very often any more.
posted by pont at 10:09 PM on June 3, 2013

I'm pretty sure you can get away with just `cat image.iso > /dev/cdrom` these days on a decent system. Some time back the Linux 'treat CD as a SCSI device' driver magic got a lot better. The specialized tools for burning CDs take a bit more care to handle buffers and timing things to make sure that first and only write goes smootly but isn't needed as much these days of more RAM, faster CPUs, better drives... You need them for specialized things like writing audio and track at a time and unfinalized writes and such but the disk at once image writing can be done with `cat` or `dd` just as easily.
posted by zengargoyle at 4:04 AM on June 4, 2013

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