Easy Ways to create ISOs for use in VMware

I use ISOs all day long and am still surprised when I run into clients that aren’t as familiar.  With VMware, it is so easy and efficient to mount an ISO into a Virtual Machine.  When dealing with ESX and multiple Virtual machines, it becomes necessary to have ISO images of CDs accessible. This allows an administrator to assign the CD image to the Guest Virtual Machine rather than having to place an actual CD in the HOST’s drive.

There are various ways to create ISO images and link them to Virtual Machines.

Administrators can use Windows programs such as WINISO to create ISO files on their Windows workstations and then copy them to Administrative Network Shares.

From the ESX server console, you can insert the CDROM into the HOSTS CD drive and use the following command to create the ISO directly on the server.

cat /dev/cdrom > /tmp/NameofFile.iso


dd if=/dev/cdrom of=/tmp/NameofFile.iso

DD is a Linux copy command. if [input file] represents the device and of [Output file] represents the Output file.

Here are some links to Windows programs that can get you started with your ISO creation process.


Free ISO Creator https://www.minidvdsoft.com/isocreator/index.html

You can also use my batch file method to create ISOs.

I also make it a practice to configure all Virtual Machines with CDrom and Floppies as Client Devices for ease of use and maximum machine portability.


What tools do you use to create ISOs and Floppy Images for VMware?