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Prepare a CD/DVD

To use an ISO image file containing pfSense® software with an optical disk drive, the ISO image must be burned to a CD or DVD disc by appropriate writing software.

Since the ISO image is a full-disc image, it must be burned appropriately for image files not as a data CD containing the single ISO file. Burning procedures vary by OS and available software.

Decompress the ISO Image

Before the image can be burned, it must be decompressed. The .gz extension on the file indicates that it is compressed with gzip. This can be decompressed on Windows using 7-Zip, or on BSD/Linux/Mac with the gunzip or gzip -d commands.

Burning in Windows

Windows 7 and later include the ability to burn ISO images natively without extra software. On top of that, virtually every major CD burning software package for Windows includes the ability to burn ISO images. Refer to the documentation for the CD burning program. A Google search with the name of the burning software and burn iso also helps locate instructions.

Burning with Windows

To burn a disc image natively in Windows 7 or later:

  • Open Windows Explorer and locate the decompressed ISO image file

  • Right click the ISO image file

  • Click Burn disc image

  • Select the appropriate Disc burner drive from the drop-down list

  • Insert a blank CD or DVD disc

  • Click Burn

Later versions such as Windows 10 also show a Disc Image Tools tab on the ribbon when an ISO image is selected in Windows Explorer. That tab has a Burn icon that also invokes the same disc burning interface.

Other Free Burning Software

Other free options for Windows users include ISO Recorder, CDBurnerXP, InfraRecorder and ImgBurn. Before downloading and installing any program, check its feature list to make sure it is capable of burning an ISO image.

Burning in Linux

Linux distributions such as Ubuntu typically include a GUI CD burning application that can handle ISO images.

If a CD burning application is integrated with the window manager, try one of the following:

  • Right click on the decompressed ISO image file

  • Choose Open With

  • Choose Disk image writer


  • Right click on the decompressed ISO image file

  • Choose Write disc to

Other popular applications include K3B and Brasero Disc Burner.

If a GUI burning program is not available, it may be possible to burn from the command line.

First, determine the burning device’s SCSI ID/LUN (Logical Unit Number) with the following command:

$ cdrecord --scanbus
      6,0,0   600) 'TSSTcorp' 'CDDVDW SE-S084C ' 'TU00' Removable CD-ROM

Note the SCSI ID/LUN is 6,0,0 in this example.

Burn the image as in the following example, replacing <max speed> with the speed of the burner (e.g. 24) and <lun> with the SCSI ID/LUN of the recorder:

$ sudo cdrecord --dev=<lun> --speed=<max speed> pfSense-CE-2.4.4-RELEASE-p3-amd64.iso

Burning in FreeBSD

FreeBSD can use the same cdrecord options as Linux above by installing sysutils/cdrtools from ports or packages, and can also use GUI applications such as K3B or Brasero Disc Burner if they are installed from ports.

See also

For more information on creating CDs in FreeBSD, see the CD burning entry in the FreeBSD Handbook.

Verifying the Disc

After writing the disc, verify it was burned properly by viewing the files on the disc. More than 20 folders should be visible, including bin, boot, cf, conf, and more. If only one large ISO file is visible, the disc was not burned properly. Repeat the burning steps listed earlier and be sure to burn the ISO file as a CD image and not as a data file.