Create Bootable USB / Flash Drive From ISO Image in Linux or Windows

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You may need to use a USB thumb drive (Pen Drive) or other flash drive (e.g. SD or SDHC or CF in a suitable card reader or adapter) for installing an Operating System (OS). The reason could be that you are installing it on a Netbook or an older computer which doesn’t have an optical drive or you just don’t want to waste a CD or DVD for a one time job.

UNetbootin makes the creation of bootable USB Drives or Flash Drives,  for Linux distributions, in Linux or Windows a child’s play. No more typing of terminal commands, no more partitioning and hacking. Ubuntu Lucid users can install it by

sudo apt-get install unetbootin

Windows users can download it from UNetbootin.

Usage is very simple, just choose the ISO image if you already have one by selecting the Diskimage radio button and then browsing for the image file. Next, you need to select the USB Drive from the drop down Drive menu and click OK to start the bootable USB Drive creation process. Note: You would need to have your USB drive already mounted, which is usually automatic, just plug it in and you are done. Beware: This process might erase all the contents on your disk. In fact its best to use an empty USB drive for the purpose.

Click Exit at the end of disk creation process.

UNetbootin not only allows you to use already downloaded ISO images for installation on USB drives but also has built-in support for automatically downloading and loading several distributions listed below

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Meditating towards his "nerdvana", lifehacker is a teacher by the day and a nerdy blogger by the night. He lives to learn and yearns to learn living.

8 Comments on “Create Bootable USB / Flash Drive From ISO Image in Linux or Windows”

  • WinToFlash wrote on 5 June, 2010, 9:11

    I never thought of creating a USB drive from iso images, and after reading your tutorial i found it very usefull, i was using only wintoflash to create my bootable usb drive.. thanks for the tutorial….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0


  • Mahony wrote on 12 June, 2010, 11:31

    Excellent tutorial. I was trying all kind of linux commands from a different tutorial and got completely lost. This manual has all the tricks to create succesfully a bootable usb-stick. Thanks a lot! Saved me many hours of work.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0



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