How to burn ISO disc images

Jun 22, '06 07:30:02AM

Contributed by: vocaro

Disc images are a fairly common packaging standard for large software programs. If you want to try out a new Linux distribution, for example, chances are you'll need to download a disc image in ISO format and burn it to a blank CD-ROM or DVD.

But ever since I began using Mac OS X, I've been perpetually confused about how to burn ISO images. I'm used to disc burning utilities that have an obvious, explicit command like "Burn ISO Image to CD." To make life even more confusing, OS X's Disk Utility does have a Burn command, but it becomes disabled when you click on the blank disc you'd like to use for the burn.

The problem here is that most Mac disc utilities, including the built-in Disk Utility, take a different approach when it comes to image burning. Instead of telling the program you want to burn an image, then choosing the file, you're supposed to do the reverse: You choose the file, then tell the program you want to burn it. So, to burn an ISO image to disc, here's what to do:

  1. Insert a blank disc.
  2. Start Disk Utility.
  3. From the File menu, choose Open Disk Image and select the ISO to be burned.
  4. In the list of volumes, you will now see an item representing the ISO file. Select it.
  5. Click the Burn button and follow the instructions.
That's it! Sure, it may seem simple enough, but when you've been using Linux and Windows utilities for years, these steps can be a little perplexing and hard to remember.

[robg adds: Yes, for those who've been on the Mac for a long time, this is an obvious hint. However, I've been confused when trying to use Windows and Nero to burn discs, so it seems the opposite would also be true for those new to our platform of choice.]

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