mdf2iso: MDF to ISO Converter for Ubuntu Linux

If you use the CD/DVD burning tool called “Alcohol 120%” or “Daemon Tools” heavily in MS Windows and has a reasonable amount of disc images created in the “MDF/MDS” format but just figured out that you cannot burn them in GNU/Linux (say that you recently switched over to Ubuntu Linux! :D) as with “ISO” disc images, then this small, yet extremely useful tool called “mdf2iso” might save your day ;-).

Not just that, but by converting those images, you can actually save some disk space too (after converting to “ISO” format for instance). Because when you create a “.mdf” disc image, that image will usually be bigger than the actual size of the disc (perhaps it contains some error recover data which can be useful at times. But, if you have limited disk spaces left etc and don’t really need that type of features, it can come in handy though).

Other than from “.mdf” to ISO format, it also converts into other formats such as CUE, TOC, BIN and DAT as well. I think that “.mdf” format is developed by “Alcohol 120%” developers. So just to make sure that this tool works with the latest versions of “.mdf” files, I just downloaded the latest version of “Alcohol 120%”, created a disc image of “Ubuntu 11.10” (in Windows 7) and tried to convert it into the “.iso” format, and it worked flawlessly.

mdf2iso-running-in-Ubuntu

Few main features …

*. Converts MDF images into ISO, CUE, BIN, TOC and DAT formats.

*. It’s a console (command-line) based tool but is extremely simple and user friendly as well. And as you can see from the above screenshot, it also outputs details such as a progress-bar as well.

*. If you don’t manually enter the output format, it converts the MDF file into the ISO format and uses the source file’s name as the output file’s name.

That’s it!.

You can install “mdf2iso” in Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin, 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot, 11.04 Natty Narwhal, 10.10 and 10.04 by using the below command in your Terminal window.

sudo apt-get install mdf2iso

How to use it?

Very simple. Just open your Terminal window and enter the below command. Make sure to replace “Ubuntu-11.10-i386.mdf” with your source file’s name and path (if it’s in a location other than your “Home”).

mdf2iso Ubuntu-11.10-i386.mdf

Though when you create a “MDF” file, “Alcohol 120%” also creates another file with the same name but with the extension “.mds” (small file, few Kilobytes in size) which holds some additional data about the original “MDF” file (“metadata” actually).

So you’d need both of those files for the conversion to go smoothly (no data corruption etc) thus make sure both MDF/MDS pair (for each disc image) is located on the same location.

But then again, I tested with and without the “.mds” files, and on both occasions, “mdf2iso” was able to convert without any issues nonetheless.

If you want to know how to create output formats such as “TOC” or “CUE” etc, then please refer to its manual by using the below command.

man mdf2iso

That’s it!.

An RHCE, 'Linux' user with 14+ years of experience. Extreme lover of Linux and FOSS. He is passionate to test every Linux distribution & compare with the previous release to write in-depth articles to help the FOSS community.

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