Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have this ISO file I should extract on a rather barebones server. However:

  • I am not the root user, and I don't have any sudo-like possibilities, so no mounting
  • I am not on Ubuntu (ArchLinux instead), so no fancy things like file-roller etc
  • I don't have access to a GUI, and no GUI tools have been installed to my knowledge
  • Unfortunately, to make things even worse, I noticed 7-Zip isn't installed either... :( (unrar is, but apparently it can't extract iso files either)

So, and I know this is a pretty hopeless question, how can I extract the files of this iso? Surely some magic dd-like command can be used for this purpose?

share|improve this question
Possible duplicate of this question:… – Bora Apr 12 '12 at 21:13
up vote 7 down vote accepted

Installing p7zip into your own account shouldn't require any extra privileges. Download the p7zip binary tarball from here, extract it, and run 7z from its included bin directory.

From an Ubuntu system of mine where I'm not using root privileges:

user@host:~/Inbox/p7zip_9.20.1/bin$ ./7z

7-Zip 9.20  Copyright (c) 1999-2010 Igor Pavlov  2010-11-18
p7zip Version 9.20 (locale=en_US.UTF-8,Utf16=on,HugeFiles=on,2 CPUs)

Usage: 7z <command> [<switches>...] <archive_name> [<file_names>...]

  a: Add files to archive
  -y: assume Yes on all queries

Full example on a fresh Debian install, just in case (using 7z, not 7za):

renfro@itchy:~$ ls
debian-6.0.4-amd64-netinst.iso  p7zip.tar.bz2
renfro@itchy:~$ tar -jxf p7zip.tar.bz2
renfro@itchy:~$ ls
debian-6.0.4-amd64-netinst.iso  p7zip_9.20.1  p7zip.tar.bz2
renfro@itchy:~$ p7zip_9.20.1/bin/7z x debian-6.0.4-amd64-netinst.iso

7-Zip 9.20  Copyright (c) 1999-2010 Igor Pavlov  2010-11-18
p7zip Version 9.20 (locale=en_US.UTF-8,Utf16=on,HugeFiles=on,1 CPU)

Processing archive: debian-6.0.4-amd64-netinst.iso

Extracting  .disk
Extracting  .disk/base_components
Extracting  .disk/base_installable
Extracting  .disk/cd_type
Extracting  .disk/info
Extracting  .disk/mkisofs
Extracting  .disk/udeb_include
Extracting  README.html
Extracting  README.mirrors.html


Extracting  tools/loadlin.txt
Extracting  win32-loader.ini
Extracting  [BOOT]/Bootable_NoEmulation.img

Everything is Ok

Folders: 282
Files: 520
Size:       174877270
Compressed: 176160768
share|improve this answer
I was hoping some dd magic would exist... but I guess I don't really have a choice but to build my own unzipper or politely ask the sysadmin :( thank you anyway :D – Deatzo Seol Jun 13 '11 at 20:07
Please reread my solution -- I did that on an unprivileged account with write access to its own home directory. p7zip does not have to be installed by root, you can do it yourself. – Mike Renfro Jun 13 '11 at 20:13
I think you misread my comment: either ask the sysadmin to extract the iso himself, or mount it for me; OR build 7z myself... but you're right, i should have made that clearer :) – Deatzo Seol Jun 13 '11 at 20:22
No compiles/builds needed. That tarball has Linux executables included. Just extract the files from it and go. – Mike Renfro Jun 13 '11 at 22:33
7za doesn't seem to extract ISOs. But the OR is not for installing software, it's for mounting the ISO as a loopback device. Basically, if he can't find software that'll do it, or write software that'll do it, you can mount loopback with the admins help. – bobpaul Apr 12 '12 at 15:38

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .