When we do mount -o loop filename.iso /path/to/mountdir, is twice the memory required to store the files? If no resources are used, can I mount hundreds of ISOs at a time? As in, is it like a softlink to original files or a copy of files in ISO?

  • Do you mean memory, or disk space? They are two different concepts, and you seem to be confusing the two.
    – user123570
    Commented May 4, 2017 at 18:24

1 Answer 1


It's just a mount point and it means that it is a window to see your files. The mount point is a connection point which connect the system to a resource..so it doesn't consume any resources, but the directory that you connect to the mount point will become unused for the system until it holds the mounted device, even if it has data inside.

  • Some (kernel internal) resources are consumed, so you can't do this with thousands of images with impunity.
    – vonbrand
    Commented Apr 1, 2013 at 14:08
  • as a test in SLES 11.4 i did mount -o loop on five separate iso files for a total of 18GB mounted. While using top and free -m I saw little change. However at some point because of disk caching if you were to read every file out of an iso container then I suspect that would then take up as much RAM as the iso container takes up on disk. But simply mounting and perusing the folders doesn't seem to consume much RAM.
    – ron
    Commented May 4, 2017 at 20:27

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