DISKS utility: Attach Disk Image

I noticed that the Disks utility has a “hamburger” icon (upper left) and clicked on it to see what was there. One of the menu items is “Attach Disk Image…” I have been unable to find information on what this means, and what it does… just curious … maybe its something I would want to do sometime. I’m hesitant to try it without knowing something about what it does.

I understand your confusion. It’s not exactly an elegant way to describe what it actually does.
It basically means “mount a disk image.”

I think this is the same as what is commonly called a loop mount
See the post Gnome-disk-image-mounter
I did not know there was a button on the Gnome-disk utility… I have been using gnome-disk-image-mounter from the command line.

@jesper.keller @nevj Thank you both for your replies. I tried it with a distro .iso file. It does mount the file and it shows up in the file manager like another disk drive in the left column. It has the word “loop” in its mounted name. You can see all the contents of the .iso. Now my question is – of what utililty is this capability? Is there something clever I might want to use this for? Would one ever want to mount a distro file? Or maybe package a directory tree as .iso and send it to someone else so they could mount it? Or use .iso as a backup format? Thanks for your insight.

Hi @jimofadel ,
I know of two uses for loop mounts

  • you can do as you did and inspect the content of an iso file. When I was making the Voidlumina.iso file, a while ago, I learnt how to do it by studyindg the standard void iso file. Then to make it, I copied out the image of the void OS from the iso file to a normal file, unpacked the squashfs image, changed it to add the lumina desktop, then put it back into the iso file. It was not easy.
  • you can boot directly from an iso file on hdd. It involves setting up grub to loop mount the iso file, and then boot from the loop device.
    That is not easy either, because evey distro has a different structure for its iso files, so what you have to do in grub varies.

What a loop mount does is make linux think the loop mounted file is a disk device. So you can do with it anything you would normally do with a disk, including look at its files and boot from it.


1 Like