How to make a bootable USB!

So, Found your fit of Linux Distro : Lets get it working on your system.

This post is a complete tutorial for Windows, Mac as well as Linux users for making a bootable USB that can be used to install an OS or be used as a migratory system.

Windows Users :

1.Download Rufus (.exe) from this link.

2.Make sure you have already downloaded the .iso file of the OS you wish to boot.

3.Directly run the downloaded .exe file.

4.Select Your USB drive.

5.Set the desired partition scheme as GPT partition scheme for UEFI.

6.Set file system as FAT32

7.Enable Quick Format.

8.Enable and set the bootable disk image.

9.Click Start.

10.After the process completes, Safely Remove your USB Stick.

11.Reboot Your System, and on startup press Esc key.

12.Go to boot menu and set USB as the default boot loader.

13.Your system starts to boot from USB.

Linux Users 😉 :

1.Run the following command to install GNOME Disks Applet.

~$ sudo apt-get install gnome-disk-utility

2.This will install Disks Applet on your system.

3.Plug-in your USB stick.

4.Select the USB stick from side menu.

5.Open the three dash menu from top-right corner and select Restore Disk Image… Option.

6.Make sure you have already downloaded the proper .iso file.

7.Select the same on the dialog box that opens.

8.Click on Start Restoring button on the dialog.

9.Click on the Restore confirmation dialog.

10.Provide the Admin password and trigger the process.

11.The process take around 2 – 5 mins.

12.After the process completes, Safely Remove your USB Stick.

13.Reboot Your System, and on startup press Esc key.

14.Go to boot menu and set USB as the default boot loader.

15.Your system starts to boot from USB.

Mac Users :

1.Prepare the USB stick
To ensure maximum compatibility with Apple hardware, we’re going to first blank and reformat the USB stick using Apple’s ‘Disk Utility’. But this step can be skipped if you intend to use the USB stick with only generic PC hardware.

–> Launch Disk Utility from Applications>Utilities or Spotlight search

–> Insert your USB stick and observe the new device added to Disk Utility

–> Select the USB stick device and select Erase from the tool bar (or right- click menu)

–> Set the format to MS-DOS (FAT) and the scheme to GUID Partition Map.

–> Check you’ve chosen the correct device and click Erase.

Warning: Disk Utility needs to be used with caution as selecting the wrong device or partition can result in data loss.

2.Install and run Etcher
To write the ISO file to the USB stick, we’re going to use a free and open source application called Etcher. After downloading this and clicking to mount the package, Etcher can either be run in-place or dragged into your Applications folder.

By default, recent versions of macOS block the running of applications from unidentified developers. To side-step this issue, enable ‘App Store and identified developers’ in the ‘Security & Privacy’ pane of System Preferences. If you are still warned against running the application, click ‘Open Anyway’ in the same pane.

3.Etcher configuration
Etcher will configure and write to your USB device in three stages, each of which needs to be selected in turn:

–> Select image will open a file requester from which should navigate to and select the ISO file downloaded previously. By default, the ISO file will be in your Downloads folder.

–> Select drive, replaced by the name of your USB device if one is already attached, lets you select your target device. You will be warned if the storage space is too small for your selected ISO.

–> Flash! will activate when both the image and the drive have been selected. As with Disk Utility, Etcher needs low-level access to your storage hardware and will ask for your password after selection.

–> Write to device
After entering your password, Etcher will start writing the ISO file to your USB device. The Flash stage of the process will show progress, writing speed and an estimated duration until completion. This will be followed by a validation stage that will ensure the contents of the USB device are identical to the source image.
When everything has finished, Etcher will declare the process a success.

Congratulations! You now have Linux on a USB stick, bootable and ready to go.

Warning: After the write process has completed, macOS may inform you that ‘The disk you inserted was not readable by this computer’. Don’t select Initialize. Instead, select Eject and remove the USB device.

4.Booting Your Mac
If you want to use your USB stick with an Apple Mac, you will need to restart or power-on the Mac with the USB stick inserted while the Option/alt(⌥) key is pressed.

This will launch Apple’s ‘Startup Manager’ which shows bootable devices connected to the machine. Your USB stick should appear as gold/yellow and labelled ‘EFI Boot’. Selecting this will lead you to the standard Linux boot menu.

Voila! You’ve your own bootable USB compatible with your system built in just minutes.

The process is universal, thus the USB stick can be used to install or run the OS in any system.

Hope you found this post to be informative.

Do comment down your queries, problems, or experiences.

About the author

Neeraj Kumar

Hi ! I am Neeraj Kumar and I'm a Student, Freelance Blogger and Linux Enthusiast. I'm interested in Open Source technologies that aim at bringing Tech closer to the people.

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