ISO files are virtual images of a disc. Many software programs, especially free or open-source projects, distribute ISO files of their product over the various BitTorrent peer-to-peer download networks to offset some of their hosting costs. The Ubuntu version of the Linux operating system is an example. To install an ISO downloaded in a torrent file on a computer, two types of speciality software are needed: a peer-to-peer file sharing program and a program that burns ISO files to a CD or DVD. Free versions of both types of software are available.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Peer-to-peer file sharing program
- ISO burning program
- Blank CD-R or DVD-R
Download and install a peer-to-peer file sharing program. Several free programs exist, including BitTorrent, eMule and LimeWire.
Search the Internet for a torrent of the ISO you wish to install. Many programs have links to available torrents on their website, but for some you may have to visit a specialised torrent search engine such as BT Junkie or Mininova.
Click on the torrent for the ISO you wish to download. A dialogue box will ask what program should be used to open the file; select the file-sharing program you downloaded earlier.
Wait for the ISO torrent to finish downloading. Depending on the size of the ISO, this may take some time.
Download and install a program that supports ISO burning, such as ImgBurn, ISO Recorder or True Burner.
Use the ISO burning program to mount the downloaded ISO file to a blank CD-R or DVD-R. This will create an installation disc of the ISO file.
Insert the installation disc of the ISO into the CD/DVD drive of your computer. Depending on the nature of the installation, you may need to restart your computer.
Follow the on-screen prompts to complete installation of the program included in the ISO file.
Tips and warnings
- Many Linux operating systems are distributed and installed in this manner.
- Follow all copyright and regulatory laws while downloading torrent files.
- Create a backup of any important files prior to installing any new programs or operating systems.
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