Booting from USB

Bootable USB creation in Ubuntu/Linux

Ubuntu Disk Creator has a problem. It does not support every distro. Similarly there are situations when we want to boot to grub2 from USB or may want to have multiple distros on the USB. I was trying to create a bootable USB of Linux Mint Debian Edition – 64 (LMDE) when it struck to me that it is a problem like chicken and egg. Without first installing the system, I can not create the disk and without creating disk I can not install LMDE. The following are the few alternate methods for creating bootable USB drive: (I tried first and it worked so stopped there)

Third party Program

1. Install UNetBootin

Open Terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and type following command:

sudo apt-get install unetbootin

(Enter password and press enter. Accept it by pressing ‘Y’ and follow the instructions)

Run unetbootin from Terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and follow the instructions on the GUI. BTW Unetbootin does not work on Windows’ ISO installer CD.

2. Grub2 USB Flash Drive Install using the Ubuntu Live CD:

Boot from your Live Ubuntu Linux CD Once booted, insert your USB Flash Drive Open a terminal and type sudo su

Type fdisk -l (and note which device is your USB)

Type mkdir /mnt/USB && mount /dev/sdx1 /mnt/USB (replacing x with your actual usb device)

Type grub-install –force –no-floppy –root-directory=/mnt/USB /dev/sdx (replacing x with your actual USB device)

Type cd /mnt/USB/boot/grub

Type wget

Type df (and locate where cdrom is mounted I.E./dev/sr0)

Type dd if=/dev/sr0 of=/mnt/USB/ubuntu.iso (replacing sr0 with the device found in step 9)

Remove your Live CD and reboot your PC, setting your BIOS or Boot Menu to boot from the USB device. (source: Install GRUB2 on a USB Flash Drive using Linux)

3. Create a Multi Boot USB from Linux

Download this file and follow the instructions given at

4. Creating USB from Terminal using DD Command:

Open terminal and use this command:

sudo dd if=/home/dir/dir/filename.iso of=/dev/sdX

Replace dir with directory name and filename with Ubuntu/Distro image file name. The X should also be replaced with correct partition. Usually it is b or c onwards. For more help use dd –help or  info coreutils ‘dd invocation’ with quotes.

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3 thoughts on “Booting from USB

  1. Pingback: Installing Linux Mint on 32 GB USB drive with separate home folder. | Sandeep Bhalla's Blog

  2. Pingback: Solution to LinuxMint 15 installation and slow graphics. | Sandeep Bhalla's Blog

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