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Released under GNU General Public License version 2 or later.
See COPYING file for details.
Copyright (C) 2008 - 2023 Vreixo Formoso,
Mario Danic,
Vladimir Serbinenko,
Thomas Schmitt
libisofs is part of the libburnia project (
Download, Build and Installation
libisofs code is maintained in a git repository at
( You can download it with:
$ git clone
Our build system is based on autotools. For preparing the build you will need
autotools of at least version 1.7. If you have downloaded the code from the
repository, first of all you need to execute
in the toplevel directory ./libisofs, in order to execute autotools.
Alternatively you may unpack a release tarball for which you do not need
autotools installed. For the most recent release of libisofs see:
To build libisofs go into its toplevel directory and execute
./configure --prefix=/usr
To make the libraries accessible for running and developing applications
make install
On GNU/Linux it will try to run program ldconfig with the library installation
directory as only argument. Failure to do so will not abort installation.
One may disable ldconfig by ./configure option --disable-ldconfig-at-install .
By use of a version script, the library exposes no other function
names but those of the API definitions in <libisofs/libisofs.h>.
If -Wl,--version-script=... makes problems with the local compiler, then
disable this encapsulation feature by
./configure --disable-versioned-libs
make clean ; make
The ./configure script checks for the availability of supporting libraries.
If found, they will become mandatory for the emerging and all
applications which use it. This dependency can be avoided by configure options
--disable-libacl avoid use of ACL functions like acl_to_text()
--disable-xattr avoid use of xattr functions like listxattr()
--disable-zlib avoid use of zlib functions like compress2()
--disable-libjte avoid use of libjte functions
See INSTALL file for general options of ./configure.
libisofs is a library to create an ISO-9660 filesystem, supports extensions
like RockRidge or Joliet, and introduces an own extension AAIP.
It is a full featured ISO-9660 editor which composes and changes the directory
tree of an ISO image. This tree and its newly imported data file contents get
then written as independent single-session image or as add-on session for the
image from where the tree was originally loaded.
- Image creation
- Creates ISO-9660 images from local files.
- Support for RockRidge and Joliet extensions.
- Support for ISO-9660:1999 (version 2).
- Support for El-Torito bootable images. Tested are: PC-BIOS and EFI.
- Support for multi-extent data files up to 400 GB (level 3).
- Full-featured edition of the image files, including: addition of new
files, removing of existent files, moving files, renaming files,
change file attributes (permissions, timestamps...)
- Optional recording per file of non-ISO 9660 features:
ACL, xattr, content MD5, hard link relations.
They do not hamper image readability by operating systems but can be
retrieved only via libisofs.
- Optional zisofs compression, gzip compression, external filter
- Several options to relax ISO-9660 constraints.
- Special options for images intended for distribution (suitable
default modes for files, hiding of real timestamps...).
- Image reading
- Image tree and data heap can be verified by stream reading and
eventually recorded MD5 tags.
- Directory tree and file attributes of ISO 9660 session get loaded
into memory for editing or for extraction into local filesystem.
- File content can be read by applications.
- Automatic zisofs decompression.
- Optional application of gzip decompression or external filter
- Eventually recorded MD5 of data file can be obtained, MD5 of data
stream can be computed and compared.
- Helper functions for restoring ACL and/or xattr to the local
- Multisession
- Support for growing an existing image on multi-session media.
- Support for "emulated multisession" on overwriteable media such as
DVD+RW, USB sticks, regular files.
- Support for blindly prepared add-on sessions (mkisofs style -M -C)
suitable for pipes which lead to an external burn program.
- Image modification
- Creates a completely new image from files out of another image and
eventual editing operations. Suitable for any target medium.
- Others
- Handling of different input and output charset.
- Good integration with libburn for image burning.
- Reliable, good handling of different kind of errors.
- iconv() functions for character set conversion must be available.
Either implicitely as in Linux or by a separate library like libiconv
on FreeBSD.
Know bugs:
Multisession and image growing can lead to undesired results in several cases:
a) Images with unsupported features, such as:
- UDF.
- HSF/HFS+ or other Mac extensions.
- ECMA-119 Extended attributes.
- ...
In all these cases, the resulting new image (or new session) could lack some
features of the original image. Nevertheless, the ECMA-119 System Area with
an eventual Master Boot Record gets preserved by default.
In some cases libisofs will issue warning messages, or even refuse to grow
or modify the image. Others remain undetected. Images created with libisofs
do not have this problems.
b) Bootable El-Torito images may have problems, that result in a new image that
is not bootable, or that boots from an outdated session. In some cases it
might be necessary to add boot info again in a new first session.
- There is no safe way to modify hidden boot images, as the size of the
boot image can't be figured out.
c) Generated images could have different ECMA-119 low level names, due to
different way to mangle names, to new files added that force old files to
be renamed, to different relaxed contraints... This only affect the
ISO-9660 info, not the RR names, so it shouldn't be a problem in most
cases. If your app. relies on low level ISO-9660 names, you will need to
ensure all node names are valid ISO names (maybe together with some
relaxed contraints), otherwise libisofs might arbitrarily change the names.
This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of the GNU General Public License version 2 or later
as published by the Free Software Foundation.
This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
GNU General Public License for more details.
You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software
Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307 USA
Clarification in my name and in the name of Mario Danic, upcoming copyright
holders on toplevel of libburnia. To be fully in effect after the remaining
other copyrighted code has been replaced by ours and by copyright-free
contributions of our friends.
In the particular case of libisofs there is no foreign copyright involved.
As of 2010 foreign copyright is only in component libburn.
We will not raise any legal protest to dynamic linking of our libraries
with applications that are not under GPL, as long as they fulfill
the condition of offering the library source code used, whether
altered or unaltered, under the GPLv2+, along with the application.
Nevertheless, the safest legal position is not to link libburn with
non-GPL compatible programs.
We ask you politely to use our work in open source spirit
and with the due reference to the entire open source community.
If there should really arise the case where above clarification
does not suffice to fulfill a clear and neat request in open source
spirit that would otherwise be declined for mere formal reasons,
only in that case we will duely consider to issue a special license
covering only that special case.
It is the open source idea of responsible freedom which will be
decisive and you will have to prove that you exhausted all own
means to qualify for GPL.
We are firmly committed to allow GPLv2+ now and with future releases.
Signed: Mario Danic, Thomas Schmitt
Agreement joined later by: Vreixo Formoso
Public contact: <>