How to Create Iso from Ubuntu? – a Comprehensive Guide


In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the world of ISO creation from Ubuntu. You might be wondering, what exactly is an ISO file, and why would you want to create one from your Ubuntu system? We’ve got all the answers and more as we take you through this exciting journey. So, let’s get started!

What is an ISO File?

An ISO file, often referred to as an ISO image, is an archive file that contains an exact copy of a data storage medium like a CD or DVD. It’s a convenient way to back up your data or distribute software. Creating an ISO from your Ubuntu system allows you to capture the essence of your setup, making it easier to replicate on other machines.

Why Create an ISO from Ubuntu?

There are several reasons why you might want to create an ISO from your Ubuntu installation:

  • Easy Backup: An ISO serves as a snapshot of your system, making it effortless to restore your setup in case of a system crash or hardware upgrade.
  • Distribution: If you’ve customized your Ubuntu setup and want to share it with others, creating an ISO lets you distribute your unique configuration.
  • Reproducibility: Whether you’re setting up multiple machines or creating a consistent development environment, having an ISO simplifies the process.

Getting Started with Ubuntu

Before we dive into the specifics of creating an ISO, let’s make sure you have the right version of Ubuntu and prepare your system accordingly.

Choosing the Right Ubuntu Version

To create an ISO, ensure you have a stable and supported version of Ubuntu installed on your system. We recommend using the LTS (Long Term Support) release for reliability.

Preparing Your System for ISO Creation

Before you proceed, ensure your system meets these prerequisites:

  • Adequate disk space (at least 4 GB) for storing the ISO.
  • A stable internet connection for downloading necessary tools.

Method 1: Using Terminal

If you’re comfortable with the command line, Ubuntu’s terminal is a powerful tool for creating an ISO.

Opening the Terminal

To access the terminal, press Ctrl + Alt + T or search for “Terminal” in the application launcher.

Installing Necessary Tools

Before creating an ISO, you’ll need to install a tool called genisoimage. Open the terminal and enter the following command:

sudo apt-get install genisoimage

Creating an ISO Image

Now that you have the required tool, follow these steps to create an ISO:

  1. Backup important data.
  2. Open the terminal.
  3. Navigate to the directory containing the files you want to include in the ISO.
  4. Run the following command, replacing output.iso with your desired ISO file name:
genisoimage -o output.iso -r -J -l -iso-level 4 -no-emul-boot -boot-load-size 4 -boot-info-table -b isolinux/isolinux.bin -c isolinux/ .

This command will create an ISO file with your selected contents.

Method 2: Using a GUI Tool

If the command line isn’t your preference, you can use a graphical user interface (GUI) tool to create an ISO.

Downloading and Installing a GUI Tool

One popular GUI tool for this purpose is “Brasero.” You can install it by searching for “Brasero” in the Ubuntu Software Center and clicking “Install.”

Creating an ISO with the GUI Tool

Once Brasero is installed, follow these steps to create an ISO:

  1. Launch Brasero from the applications menu.
  2. Select “Data project.”
  3. Add the files and directories you want to include in the ISO.
  4. Click “Burn.”
  5. Choose “File image” as the type and select a destination for your ISO file.
  6. Click “Create image.”

The GUI tool will create the ISO file for you.

Verifying and Testing the ISO

After creating the ISO, it’s essential to verify its integrity and test its functionality.

Checking the Integrity of the ISO

To check the integrity of your ISO, you can use tools like md5sum or sha256sum to compare the checksums of your ISO file and the original data.

Booting from the ISO File

To ensure your ISO is bootable, you can use a virtual machine or burn it to a USB drive and attempt to boot from it on another computer.

Customizing Your Ubuntu ISO

Creating an ISO is just the beginning; you can also customize it to suit your needs.

Adding or Removing Packages

You can add or remove software packages from your ISO using tools like Cubic or Ubuntu Customization Kit (UCK) to create a custom Ubuntu flavor.

Changing the Default Settings

Customize system settings, themes, and default applications to make your ISO truly unique.

Advanced Tips for ISO Creation

For those seeking more advanced customization and optimization, consider these tips:

Creating a Bootable ISO

If you want your ISO to be bootable, you’ll need to set up a bootloader like GRUB during the ISO creation process.

Compressing the ISO File

To save disk space and reduce download times, consider compressing your ISO file using tools like gzip or xz.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to create ISO from Ubuntu?

You can create an ISO from Ubuntu using the “dd” command or a tool like “mkisofs.”

How to make ISO from CD Linux?

You can create an ISO from a Linux CD using the “dd” command or specialized tools like “ddrescue” or “genisoimage.”

How to create ISO from Linux?

You can create an ISO from a Linux system using the “dd” command or utilities like “genisoimage” or “mkisofs.”

Can I create an ISO from any Ubuntu version?

Yes, you can create an ISO from any version of Ubuntu using the appropriate tools and commands.

How long does it take to create an ISO?

The time it takes to create an ISO depends on various factors like system speed, disk size, and the method used, but it typically ranges from a few minutes to an hour.

Can I use the ISO on a different computer?

Yes, you can use the ISO on a different computer to install or run Ubuntu, as long as the hardware is compatible.

What should I do if the ISO creation fails?

If ISO creation fails, check for errors, ensure enough disk space, and try using a different tool or method.

Can I create a custom Ubuntu flavor ISO?

Yes, you can create a custom Ubuntu flavor ISO by using tools like “Ubuntu Customization Kit (UCK)” or remastering techniques.

Is it possible to create a Windows ISO from Ubuntu?

Creating a Windows ISO from Ubuntu is not straightforward, as Windows uses different formats and tools. It’s typically done from a Windows environment.


In this guide, we’ve explored the ins and outs of creating an ISO from Ubuntu. Whether you’re looking to back up your system, distribute your customized setup, or streamline your development environment, you now have the knowledge and tools to do so. Start creating your Ubuntu ISO today and unlock endless possibilities!

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