[Question] When manually adding a new game to the Lutris launcher, what does the "Import a ROM" option do?

In the Lutris launcher on Linux, you have six options for adding games to the launcher.

These options are:

  • Search the Lutris website for installers - Query our website for community installers
  • Import previously installed Lutris games - Scan a folder for games installed from a previous Lutris installation
  • Install a Windows game from an executable - Launch a Windows executable (.exe) installer
  • Install from a local install script - Run a YAML install script
  • Import a ROM - Import a ROM that is known to Lutris
  • Add locally installed game - Manually configure a game available locally

For most of these, it’s intuitively obvious as to what those options do, but I have some questions about “Import a ROM”.

Is “Import a ROM” for installing .iso files? If I take one of my CD gams and save it as a .iso file, would I use the “Import a ROM” option to install the game on my Linux PC with Lutris, or is this option for a different purpose?

If “Import a ROM” is for installing .iso files, can it also work with other file formats?

Some of my games aren’t available online as digital files. So, I’ve been thinking about saving some of my CD games as .iso files. However, I’ve been told that if the CDs have copy protection, a .iso file might not work. They recommended saving my games as .bin/.cue files.

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Never used it but i guess rom is for console game images for emulators

MAME f.e. is one of the runners that uses ROMs, these are Read-only Memory chips soldered on motherboards in old arcade machines. The software stored on these roms has been extracted.

Do not confuse ROM with CD-ROM.

It doesn’t matter if you use .iso or .bin file format. Problem is, if you are on Windows 10 (or +), old CD-ROM copy protection like SafeDisc or Laserlock or Securom won’t work and you cannot use that disc image. You need to remove the copy protection.
Ripper tools like Alkohol140% or the like did extract the sub-channel data from protected discs, and most modern burners are able to create an exact copy of the original disc. bin/cue is not enough, because the cue sheet only tells what to burn, it does not contain any valuable cp data.