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How to install an ISO torrent file

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.

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.

Tip

Many Linux operating systems are distributed and installed in this manner.

Warning

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.

Things You'll Need

  • Peer-to-peer file sharing program
  • ISO burning program
  • Blank CD-R or DVD-R
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About the Author

Brad Chacos started writing professionally in 2005, specializing in electronics and technology. His work has appeared in Salon.com, Gizmodo, "PC Gamer," "Maximum PC," CIO.com, DigitalTrends.com, "Wired," FoxNews.com, NBCNews.com and more. Chacos is a frequent contributor to "PCWorld," "Laptop Magazine" and the Intuit Small Business Blog.