Recently, I decided it was time to make use of an old PC that has been sitting next to my desk unused for months. Thanks to another article here on LockerGnome written by Matt Hartley, I decided on Linux Mint as the OS that would replace Windows Vista on that machine. The .ISO (disc image) file I downloaded needed to be burned to a disc. Here is how I accomplished this using software included with OS X.

Download the Image File You Need to Burn
The cool thing about Linux is that the distributions are free. You can usually find download links on the distribution’s Web site. Another great place to find Linux image files is on DistroWatch, which not only gives you a summary of each distribution, but allows you to see them in a comparative fashion.

Image files are used for a lot more than Linux live CDs. They are also used by musicians to distribute the best possible copy of their music by making a clone of the master disc of their album and putting it in an image file. Some commercial software is also distributed in this form when installation requires some physical media.

Once the download is complete, you can locate the file in Finder and move on to the next step.

Open Disk Utility
Disk Utility is the Mac OS X all-in-one solution for disk maintenance and management. Through Disk Utility, you can do pretty much everything from partitioning drives to burning image files to a CD/DVD.

To open Disk Utility, head to the applications directory by either clicking on the applications folder in your dock or navigating through Finder to the utilities directory within applications and launch it from there.

Load the Image File into Disk Utility
This part is incredibly simple. All you need to do is drag the .ISO or .DMG file from the Finder window (or desktop) to the white panel on the left-hand side of the Disk Utility window under the area where your hard drives are listed. You should see a thin horizontal line separating your drives from the image file(s).

Insert a Blank Writable CD or DVD
This step is pretty self-explanatory. It’s important to make sure that the image file you’re burning is paired to the appropriate media. You want to make sure the disc you use has enough capacity to fit the information on the image file. If you’re burning an audio CD, use a CD-R or CD-RW.

Burn
At this point, all that’s left to do is single-click on the .ISO or .DMG file you want to burn to disc and select the “Burn” button at the top of the window.

At this point, another window will pop up asking you which drive you want the image burned to and what speed at which to burn it. Typically, the suggested speed is just fine. Once you have everything in order, start the process. A few minutes later, you should have your freshly made CD/DVD.