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Fedora 16

Burning ISO images to disc

How to download ISO images and create CD and DVD media


Fedora Documentation Project

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How to download ISO images and create CD and DVD media

1. Introduction
2. Downloading
2.1. Choosing CD or DVD
2.2. Choosing the ISO Files
3. Validating the Files
3.1. Validating in the Windows Graphical Environment
3.2. Validating at the Windows Command Prompt
3.3. Validating in Mac OS X
3.4. Validating in Linux
4. Burning
4.1. Burning discs under Windows operating systems
4.2. Burning discs under Mac OS X
4.3. Burning discs under Linux
5. Next steps
6. We Need Feedback!
A. Revision History

1. Introduction

The Fedora Project distributes Fedora in the form of ISO image files that you can download from the Internet. You can transfer, or burn, these ISO image files to a blank CD or DVD and then use this disc to install Fedora on a computer.
This document shows you how to download these image files and burn them to a disc using a few common tools. This document assumes that you have no experience with Linux.

Third-party software

The Fedora Project only supports software that is part of the Fedora distribution
Other software mentioned in this article is intended to guide you in the right direction. The Fedora Project is not responsible for nor endorses those software packages, and their use is described here merely for your convenience. This is not intended to be a comprehensive guide to burning ISOs under every operating system.

2. Downloading

The ISO files are large, so it might take a long time to download them, especially using a dial-up modem. If you have a slow connection to the Internet, consider using a download manager. Download managers typically enable you to pause and recommence the download at convenient times and to resume a download that was interrupted.

2.1. Choosing CD or DVD

Fedora is distributed on multiple CD-sized ISO image files, or a single DVD-sized ISO image file. You can use the single DVD ISO file if your computer meets the following requirements:
  • It has a DVD-writable or DVD-rewritable drive.
  • It has sufficient storage space available to hold the image file (approximately 3.5 GB).
  • It uses a file system that can store files larger than 2 GB.
To write the DVD ISO file to a disc, your computer needs to have a drive that can write to DVD media. If your computer has a drive that only writes CD media and not DVD media, download the CD-sized files instead.
A file system is a method that your computer uses to organize the files and data on its storage devices. Some file systems cannot store files larger than 2 GB, which would prevent them from storing the Fedora DVD image, which is approximately 3.5 GB. FAT32 is a file system that is still in common use on older computers and which is limited in this way. FAT32 was the default file system for computers that used the Windows 98 and Windows Me operating systems, and was also used on many computers with the Windows 2000 and Windows XP operating systems, although it was not the default choice.
If your computer uses Windows 98 or Windows Me, do not download the DVD image file; download the CD image files instead. If your computer uses Windows 2000 or Windows XP, you can check the format of a drive such as C:. Click the Start button and double-click My Computer. Right-click the drive you want to check, and choose Properties. The resulting dialog displays the format for that file system. Most drives on computers that use Windows 2000 or Windows XP are formatted as NTFS, a file system that can handle large files like DVD images.
Create a new directory where you can download the files that you need. You need approximately 700 MB of free space available for each CD-sized ISO file, or approximately 3.5 GB for the DVD-sized ISO file.

2.2. Choosing the ISO Files

The exact files you need from the download server depend upon your system and the version of Fedora you are downloading. The files you need are named in the form of Fedora-<version>-<arch>-disc<count>.iso, where "<version>" is the version of Fedora you wish to download, "<arch>" is your computer's processor architecture, and "<count>" is the disc number for each of the installation CDs. In the case of an installation DVD, DVD is used in the filename.
The computer processor architecture is usually i386 for 32-bit PCs, including the Pentium and Athlon processor families. The architecture is usually x86_64 for 64-bit PCs, including the Athlon 64 processor family. The architecture is usually ppc for PowerPC computers, including most of Apple's Macintosh offerings before they began using Intel chips in the MacBook. If in doubt, your system probably requires the i386 versions.
For example, if downloading Fedora 16 for a Pentium 4 computer, the correct file is Fedora-i386-DVD.iso. You may also need the CHECKSUM file to verify that the files you have downloaded are complete and correct.
Note that a Fedora Live CD is also available. This disc does not contain all the software packages available on the DVD or set of CDs, but does allow you to try Fedora before you install it to your computer. Refer to the article Fedora Live Images available from to learn more.

3. Validating the Files

Errors can occur during the download, even if your download manager reports none. Therefore it is very important to check that the files have not been corrupted in any way. This is the purpose of the CHECKSUM file. It contains one line for each of the available ISO files with a content verification code called a hash computed from the original ISO files.

BitTorrent Automatic Error Checking

BitTorrent automatically performs this error checking during downloads. If your BitTorrent application reports all files have been successfully downloaded, you can safely skip this step.

Third-party software

The Fedora Project and Red Hat, Inc. have no control over external sites such as the ones listed in the sections below, or the programs they provide.

3.1. Validating in the Windows Graphical Environment

There are a number of no-cost products available for file validation and hashing that have point and click interfaces. Here are links to a few of them:
Follow the instructions provided to install the program. When you run the program, use the file selection tools provided to select your downloaded ISO image files. Then select the SHA256 algorithm for calculation, and run the tool. The program takes some time to complete, since it must read the entire ISO file.
Open the file CHECKSUM with a text editor, such as Notepad, to display its contents. Make sure the hash displayed by the hash tool for each of the downloaded ISO files exactly matches the corresponding hash in the CHECKSUM file.
If all of the hashes match, you can burn the ISO file to disc. If a file does not match, download it again.

3.2. Validating at the Windows Command Prompt

To check the files using the command prompt, download the program sha256sum.exe available from
The sha256sum.exe program computes and displays hashes. To use it, save sha256sum.exe to the same directory as the ISO files. Select Run... from the Start menu and then enter cmd for the name of the program to start a Command Prompt window. Then change into the download directory. Run sha256sum with each ISO file like this:
cd "C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\My Documents\My Downloads\Fedora"
sha256sum.exe Fedora-i386-DVD.iso
The program takes some time to complete, since it must read the entire ISO file.
Open the file CHECKSUM with a text editor, such as Notepad, to display its contents. Make sure the hash displayed by sha256sum.exe for each of the downloaded ISO files exactly matches the corresponding hash in the CHECKSUM file.
If all of the hashes match, you can burn the ISO file to disc. If a file does not match, download it again.

3.3. Validating in Mac OS X

To check the files, download the program HashTab available from
Drag each Fedora image file that you want to validate, and drop it to HashTab. Take note of the SHA256 value that HashTab displays.
Open the file CHECKSUM with a text editor, such as TextEdit, to display its contents. Make sure the hash displayed by HashTab for each of the downloaded ISO files exactly matches the corresponding hash in the CHECKSUM file.
If all of the hashes match, you can burn the ISO file to disc. If a file does not match, download it again.

3.4. Validating in Linux

Open a terminal emulator:
  • on the GNOME desktop, click ApplicationsSystem ToolsTerminal to open GNOME Terminal
  • on the KDE desktop, click Kickoff Application LauncherApplicationsSystemTerminal to open Konsole
Change into the directory that holds the ISO image files, then run sha256sum, for example:
$ cd Downloads
$ sha256sum Fedora-i386-DVD.iso
Open the file CHECKSUM with a text editor, such as gedit or kwrite, to display its contents. Make sure the hash displayed by sha256sum for each of the downloaded ISO files exactly matches the corresponding hash in the CHECKSUM file.
If all of the hashes match the hashes found at, you can burn the ISO file to disc. If a file does not match, download it again.

4. Burning

The process of burning ISO images to disc varies according to your operating system and the software that you have available. This section provides a guide to some popular disc burning tools.
If you are burning a set of Fedora CDs, you can test that you are burning the discs correctly and that your computer can boot from these discs as soon as you have burnt the first disc in the set. Refer to Section 5, “Next steps” to learn how to start your computer from a Fedora disc. If you press Enter on the Fedora boot screen, the Fedora installer will offer you a chance to test the disc. If you discover a problem with the first disc before you burn an entire set, you could save time and discs. Note that the disc test option is available when you boot from a Fedora DVD, or CDROM#1 from a Fedora CD set, but not when you boot from a Fedora Live CD.

4.1. Burning discs under Windows operating systems

4.1.1. Burning discs with Windows 7

  1. Insert a blank, writable disc.
  2. Right-click the ISO image file and select Burn disc image.
  3. In the Windows Disc Image Burner window, check that the correct drive is identified in the Disc burner drop-down menu, then click Burn.

4.1.2. Burning discs with older Windows operating systems

The CD burning feature built into Windows XP and Windows Vista cannot burn CDs from images and Windows operating systems before Windows XP did not have any built-in CD burning capability at all. Therefore, to turn an ISO image files into a CD or DVD on Windows operating systems prior to Windows 7, you need separate disc burning software that can handle ISO image files. Although this is true of most disc burning software, exceptions exist.
Examples of popular CD burning software for Windows that you might already have on your computer include InfraRecorder, Nero Burning ROM, and Roxio Creator. If you use a Windows operating system on your computer and do not have disc burning software installed (or you are not sure that the software can burn discs from image files) InfraRecorder is a suitable solution available from, and is free and open-source.
The steps required to burn ISO images to disks with several popular CD burning applications are listed below. Using InfraRecorder
Obtain and install InfraRecorder from the web site.
  1. Start InfraRecorder.
  2. Select Actions.
  3. Select Burn Image.
  4. Choose the Fedora ISO file and select open.
  5. Select 4X as the write speed.
  6. Select OK. Using The ISO Recorder V2 Power Toy
Obtain and install the ISO Recorder power toy from the web site.
  1. In the file manager Explorer, right click on the first Fedora ISO file.
  2. In the context menu, select Copy image to CD.
  3. Follow the steps given by the CD Recording Wizard pop-up.
  4. Repeat for the remaining ISO files. Using Roxio Easy Media Creator 7
  1. Start Creator Classic.
  2. Select Other Tasks.
  3. Select Burn from Disc Image File.
  4. Choose the Fedora ISO file and burn it. Using Nero Burning ROM 5
  1. Start the program.
  2. Open the File menu.
  3. Select Burn Image.
  4. Choose the Fedora ISO file and burn it.
  5. Repeat the above steps for each of the other ISO files. Using Nero Express 6
  1. Start the program.
  2. Select Disc Image or Saved Project.
  3. An Open dialog appears. Select the first Fedora ISO file. Click Open.
  4. Set the writing speed for your disc recorder. The optimal setting depends on your specific hardware.
  5. Click Next to burn.
  6. Repeat the steps above for the other ISO files.

4.2. Burning discs under Mac OS X

  1. Right or Control-click on the ISO file. A contextual menu appears.
  2. Click Open WithDisk Utility.
  3. In the Disk Utility window, click the ISO file, then click the Burn icon in the toolbar. A Burn Disc In sheet slides down from the toolbar.
  4. Insert a blank, writable disc.
  5. Click Burn. When burning is complete, your computer ejects the now ready-to-use disc.

4.3. Burning discs under Linux

4.3.1. Burning discs on the GNOME desktop

CD/DVD Creator is disc burning software integrated with the GNOME desktop.
  1. Right-click on the ISO image file that you downloaded and select Write to disk. The Write to Disc dialog box appears.
  2. Click the Write button. CD/DVD Creator prompts you to insert a disc, then burns the image file to the disc.

4.3.2. Burning discs with K3b

K3b is the default disc burning software for the KDE desktop.
  1. Click Kickoff Application Launcher ApplicationsMultimediaCD & DVD Burning to launch K3b.
  2. Click ToolsBurn CD Image to burn a CD, or ToolsBurn DVD ISO Image to burn a DVD. The Burn CD Image or Burn Iso1660 Image to DVD dialog box appears.
  3. Use the button beside the Image to burn box to browse to the ISO image file.
  4. Insert a blank disc, then click the Start button. K3b burns the image file to the disc.

4.3.3. Burning discs with Brasero

Brasero is disc burning software included with many Linux distributions, on a variety of desktops.
  1. Launch Brasero.
  2. Click Burn image.
  3. Click Click here to select a disc image and browse to the ISO image file you downloaded.
  4. Insert a blank disc, then click the Burn button. Brasero burns the image file to the disc.

4.3.4. Burning discs with wodim from the command line

wodim is a command line tool that makes burning iso files to disc easy. These instructions will help you to burn a disc when a Graphical User Interface is not available.
  1. Install wodim with the command su -c 'yum install wodim'
  2. Locate your cdrom drives location with wodim --devices. This should give something like the following:
    [zoglesby@zlaptop ~]$ wodim --devices 
    wodim: Overview of accessible drives (1 found) :
    0  dev='/dev/scd0'	rwrw-- : 'TSSTcorp' 'DVD+-RW TS-T633C'
  3. Using the output from above identify your drive location. In this example it would be /dev/scd0, and issue the following command to burn the cd.
    wodim -v dev=/dev/xxx speed=4 -eject /path/to/Fedora.iso.

    Replace values

    Be sure to replace the dev=/dev/xxx with your drive path, and /path/to/Fedora.iso to the actual path and name of the ISO file

5. Next steps

To boot your computer from the DVD or CDs that you have just produced:
  1. Insert the DVD or CDROM#1, then turn off your computer with the disc still in the drive.
  2. Restart your computer. As the computer starts, watch for a message that tells you to press a certain key to choose a boot device. The key varies from computer to computer but, on many systems, the required key will be F12, F2, F1, Esc, or Delete. Press the required key and select the CD or DVD drive that contains your disc.
    If your computer does not offer you a boot menu, and a Fedora boot screen does not appear shortly after the computer starts, you might need to change the computer's boot sequence in its BIOS. Refer to the documentation that came with your computer for instructions. The details of this procedure vary widely from computer to computer.
  3. When the Fedora boot screen appears, you can proceed to install Fedora. Refer to the Fedora 16 Installation Quick Start Guide for basic instructions for most desktop and laptop computers, or the Fedora 16 Installation Guide for a full set of installation instructions. Both documents are available from

6. We Need Feedback!

If you find a typographical error in this manual, or if you have thought of a way to make this manual better, we would love to hear from you! Please submit a report in Bugzilla: against the product Fedora Documentation.
When submitting a bug report, be sure to mention the manual's identifier: readme-burning-isos
If you have a suggestion for improving the documentation, try to be as specific as possible when describing it. If you have found an error, please include the section number and some of the surrounding text so we can find it easily.

A. Revision History

Revision History
Revision 16.0.1Tue Nov 8 2011Eric Christensen
Branched for Fedora 16.
Revision 14.0.1Tue Jul 27 2010Eric Christensen
Update for Fedora 14
Added text for InfraRecorder. (BZ 527854)
Revision 13.1.0Mon Apr 12 2010Rüdiger Landmann
Update for Fedora 13
Include instructions for Windows 7