- "ISO" redirects here. For the organization, see International Organization for Standardization.
|Uniform type identifier||public.iso-image|
|Type||Disk image file format|
|Standard||ISO 9660, ECMA-119|
|File formats category -|
An ISO image is an archive of an optical disc in a format defined by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). This format is supported by many software vendors. ISO image files typically have a file extension of .iso. The name ISO is taken from the ISO 9660 file system used with CD-ROM media, but an ISO image can also contain a UDF file system.
As with any other archive, an ISO image includes all the data of files contained on the archived CD/DVD, or any other disc format. They are stored in an uncompressed format. In addition to data of the files it also contains all the file system metadata, including boot code, structures, and attributes. ISO images do not support multi-track, thus they cannot be used for audio CDs, VCD, and hybrid audio CDs.
These properties make it an attractive alternative to physical media for the distribution of software as it is simple to transfer over the Internet or via a LAN connection.