How to mount raw (.img) images in Linux

You may have raw images in your system coming from some bare metal VM, like KVM/Vmware. You may mount them directly to the host machine without attaching them to a VM. To do so, you need two things:

  1. Partition to mount
  2. Sector size of the partition and the first position of the partition.

Both of these, can be derived using a command called fdisk with attribute l as the following:

[[email protected] vpsextra]# fdisk -l mhdevelopment.img

Disk mhdevelopment.img: 268.4 GB, 268435456000 bytes, 524288000 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk label type: dos
Disk identifier: 0x000f1752

            Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
mhdevelopment.img1            2048   523241471   261619712   83  Linux
mhdevelopment.img2       523241472   524287999      523264   82  Linux swap / Solaris
You have new mail in /var/spool/mail/root
[[email protected] vpsextra]#

Here, we are trying to mount an old image of mine, called ‘mhdevelopment.img. I would like to mount the partition that is not swap, which is namely ‘mhdevelopment.img2’ here. This partition starts from 2048 and the sector size is 512 bytes.

So to mount the partition, you can now use the following command:

sudo mount -o loop,offset=$((2048 * 512)) mhdevelopment.img /mnt

This will mount the the partition mhdevelopment.img1 to /mnt. If you want to change the mount destination, you may do this at the end in replace of /mnt to wherever you want this to be.

Happy shooting.