There are ways of creating a Linux bootable USB. But this tutorial focuses on one method which I find it easy to do.
So why do we need to have a Linux bootable USB on the first place?
Some reason includes:
- Carry your Linux OS anywhere you go. You can place Linux in your pocket. Or you can have it as a necklace pendant. Carry Linux anywhere.
- In a public internet cafe, you can plug your Linux USB and browse through internet without the worry of cache-ing your data in the public computer. Or you can do stuff on your Linux OS, anything, because Linux is powerful 🙂
- Or you just want to be different. They are using the common Windows OS, so you choose to be on the other path.
- Or just show your friends how cool geek you are.
- And many more.
So let’s get started.
First, you need to download UNetbootin in http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/
It is with this software that help us in creating a bootable USB.
You can see from the website that you are able to choose which OS you wish to use your UNetbootin. This means that you can use it in either Windows, Linux or Mac. But in this tutorial, I am going to use Linux as the base OS, though the basic idea in this tutorial also applies to other OS.
After download, go to the download folder. There are instances that the executability of the downloaded software is lost. So you might as well do
$> cd <path to where you download the software>
$> chmod 755 <name of the downloaded UNetbootin>
You should also insert your USB before proceeding to the next step.
Second, launch UNetbootin. You can double-click UNetbootin, or you can do:
When it launch, UNetbootin would look like this:
Basically, UNetbootin is presenting you with 2 options.
The first option allows UNetbootin to download the ISO image directly and apply the ISO image to your USB. (What’s an ISO image? See wiki.)
The second option, allows you to choose ISO image stored in your computer. In other words, this is assumed that you already downloaded the ISO image beforehand.
To sum up, the first option will download the ISO image automatically and apply it to your USB, while the second option assumes that you already downloaded the software, and you want to just directly apply the ISO image to your USB.
The first option has a drop down menu. They show you a list of several different Linux OSes flavors. The drop down menu next to it allow you to pick the OS version depending on which OS you pick from the first drop down menu. There are many Linux flavors to choose from. As to what Linux to choose is already beyond the scope of this tutorial.
Once you’ve chosen which Linux flavor and which version, you may want to check the drop down menu beside the “Type”. Make sure the type is USB Drive. You may choose hard disk or floppy, but we don’t want to do that.
As for the “Drive” drop down, it is automatically choosen for you. UNetbootin will automatically choose the drive from where you plug your USB. But in case you want to confirm that it is really the USB drive you want, try:
And you can see something like:
/dev/hda2 on / type ext3 (rw,errors=remount-ro)
tmpfs on /lib/init/rw type tmpfs (rw,nosuid,mode=0755)
proc on /proc type proc (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev)
sysfs on /sys type sysfs (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev)
procbususb on /proc/bus/usb type usbfs (rw)
udev on /dev type tmpfs (rw,mode=0755)
tmpfs on /dev/shm type tmpfs (rw,nosuid,nodev)
devpts on /dev/pts type devpts (rw,noexec,nosuid,gid=5,mode=620)
/dev/sda1 on /media/disk type vfat (rw,nosuid,nodev,uhelper=hal,shortname=lower,uid=1000)
Or you can try dmesg for that matter.
so the /dev/*** should match the drive that UNetbootin have choosen for you.
When everything’s set, you are good to go. Click “OK” button.
A progress bar will show indicating that the ISO image is currently downloading. This may take some time depending on your internet speed and size of the ISO image. And that’s it.
As for the second option, you can specify the path of your ISO image (provided that you have downloaded it beforehand). Clicking the “…” button allows you to browse through your folder to where the downloaded ISO resides. Then click “OK” button and the rest of the process are much the same with the first option.
Once UNetbootin finish everything, you can restart your computer and set your BIOS settings to boot from USB.
Enjoy your Linux USB! 🙂