I have a large ISO file on a server, and I need to access the file in it, without having root access. Thus, I can't simply mount it. What should I do to be able to extract an ISO on LInux without root access?

8 Answers 8


If 7zip is installed this one is really easy:

7z x Your.iso -oWhere/You/Want/It/Extracted/To

to extract the whole iso.

  • 6
    Since the OP's question has a "linux" tag it's important to state this won't work with 7za (CentOS); 7za does not support ISO archives. You can check supported formats with 7za i.
    – Jongosi
    Aug 5, 2015 at 23:18
  • 1
    FYI 7z seems smart enough to extract directly off media: 7z x /dev/cdrom. I have very stupid issue, that my files show up 0 bytes when mounted. So extracting was a workaround. May 2, 2016 at 11:54
  • 2
    Just to enforce, -o should be without space
    – PYK
    Jan 20, 2020 at 4:55

Many of the GUI tools like file roller will use isoinfo in the background.

You can extract a single file from an ISO like so:

isoinfo -i image.iso -x /isolinux/initrd.img > initrd.img

The redirection is required as -x extracts to stdout.

If you'd like to list contents of a folder in the ISO:

isoinfo -i image.iso -l

example output:

Directory listing of /
d---------   0    0    0            2048      0 1900 [     26 02]  .
d---------   0    0    0            2048      0 1900 [     26 02]  ..
d---------   0    0    0            2048 Feb  6 2010 [     27 02]  i386
  • To use isoread to extract all the files, try this script: github.com/goblinhack/isoread
    – Goblinhack
    Sep 29, 2014 at 15:22
  • @NeilMcGill Doesn't work here. Lots of errors.
    – MewX
    Feb 20, 2017 at 6:15
  • ISO with Rock Ridge extensions will require uppercase filenames with ";1" appended at the end. Use -Rl to list the files in this form.
    – lzap
    Jun 4, 2018 at 8:53

I found a new best way: using xorriso!

No need to have root access. I've tried 7z and file-roller, both of them don't work here.

xorriso is an open-source program, so you can download the source codes if you don't have it installed by default.

If you haven't installed it, please download the source codes here: https://www.gnu.org/software/xorriso/

The steps are:

tar zxvf xorriso-1.4.6.tar.gz
cd xorriso-1.4.6
cd xorriso

Add the output directory into environment variable PATH.

Then, you can use it to extract an iso file:

xorriso -osirrox on -indev image.iso -extract / extracted_path

You just need to modify image.iso and extracted_path to make it work on your system.

Referred: https://blog.sleeplessbeastie.eu/2014/08/26/how-to-extract-an-iso-image/


If you have GUI access, right click the iso, and choose "Open with Archive Manager..." or simply run:

file-roller -e /path/to/extract/to /path/to/iso

Most of the above solutions make you extract the iso content, but if the content is large it will take lot of space.

A better solution would be to do the actual mounting of the iso image, and thanks to FuseISO that is possible without root access (but you would still need to ask the admin to install FuseISO if it is not already installed, in ubuntu sudo apt-get install fuseiso)

Once you have FuseISO installed in the machine you can:

# For user to mount an iso file:
mkdir ~/iso
fuseiso ~/my_iso.iso ~/iso
# For user to unmount an iso file:
fusermount -u ~/iso

If you have 7-zip or unrar installed you can use to either extract iso's.

  • What's the syntax for unrar? I think that's for Winrar only
    – golimar
    Mar 17, 2016 at 14:21

If you can mount FUSE filesystems, FuseISO is an option for mounting the image.


You don't need to mount it. ISO is just like any other storage file, like a .zip. There are a lot of iso specific tools to do the trick which you should be able to compile as a user, but the easiest way should be to do:

file-roller -h filename.iso

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