Create a Bootable Linux USB Flash Drive Using dd

  1. Insert your USB drive into your computer and use ‘df’ or ‘lsblk’ from the command line to determine the device name your flash drive has been assigned, e.g. /dev/sdb, sdc, etc.
  2. Make sure the drive is not mounted. If necessary, unmount it with:
    sudo umount /dev/<device_name>
  3. Write the .iso image to the flash drive:
    sudo dd if=/path/to/distro.iso of=/dev/<device_name> bs=1M
    • You may choose to add the following to the end of your ‘dd’ command to check for successful completion:
      ; echo $?
    • The whole command with this check would be:
      sudo dd if=/path/to/.iso of=/dev/<device_name> bs=1M ; echo $?
    • The output may look something like this:
      • 1477+1 records in
        1477+1 records out
        1549615104 bytes (1.5 GB, 1.4 GiB) copied, 0.566236 s, 2.7 GB/s
    • If the ‘dd’ command produces output with a ‘0’ on the final line then you have successfully created your bootable flash drive.
  4. If created successfully, you may now reboot your system: sudo shutdown -r now
  5. While the system is booting, enter the boot order menu to elect to boot from your flash drive first using the F10 or F11 keys.
  6. Follow the instructions or click the icon or button to install the given Linux distro to disk.
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