how can I open / modify a (linux) ISO?

If I try to open it via DiskUtility it says The disk you attached was not readable by this computer.

The image is the current release of ArchLinux: https://www.archlinux.de/download

  • The format of the image is likely not supported by macOS. Just like Windows doesn't natively read APFS, macOS likely does not read whatever format that disk is. Commented Jan 14, 2022 at 19:52
  • Do you have an Intel or an M1 Mac?
    – nohillside
    Commented Jan 14, 2022 at 20:08
  • @nohillside M1 MacbookAir. Steve How can I open it? I need to modify the boot ISO Commented Jan 14, 2022 at 20:15
  • Using parallels.com/products/desktop to boot an ARM-based Linux system and accessing the ISO from there might work.
    – nohillside
    Commented Jan 14, 2022 at 20:33
  • 2
    An ISO isn't something you "open"... it's a filesystem. So if you want to modify it, you need to recreate it. The easiest way to do that is to do it where it's supported. Commented Jan 15, 2022 at 0:51

1 Answer 1


On my M1 Mac with macOS 12.3 (Monterey), double-clicking the ISO produces no result. You have to use the terminal to attach the image, (optionally) create a mount point and mount the filesystem.

Attach the ISO to a loop device:

$ hdiutil attach -nomount ubuntu-22.04-live-server-amd64.img
/dev/disk4           GUID_partition_scheme
/dev/disk4s1         Microsoft Basic Data
/dev/disk4s2         EFI
/dev/disk4s3         Microsoft Basic Data

Then arrange the mount:

$ mkdir -p ubuntu
$ mount -t cd9660 /dev/disk4s1 ./ubuntu
$ ls -l ubuntu

If you use a multipart ISO, you can concatenate the files together (this may or may not work):

$ cat part1.iso part2.iso > merged.iso

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