[nmglug] Bootable flash media

Akkana Peck akkana at shallowsky.com
Tue Sep 29 18:23:54 PDT 2020

> > One of the biggest hassles for me, as a Linux user and hobbyist, has been
> > creating bootable flash drives to use as live and/or installation media.

Mark Galassi writes:
> I don't use the GUIs.
[ ... ]
> sudo dd if=mydistro.iso of=/dev/sdu bs=10M        # note no '1'

I use dd too, when I can. But there are a few things it can't do:

- If the ISO you're using isn't already set up to boot from a
USB stick, then dd-ing it will give you something that has an
OS on it but isn't bootable.

- It's possible to set up a bootable USB with an overlay partition
so that you can make changes to the filesystem (for instance,
install a couple of extra programs you want to use). But you won't
get that with dd unless whoever set up the ISO included that, whereas
some of the specialized ISO copying programs can add that for you.

I haven't had any better luck than Don has with programs like
Unetbootin, but I understand why people might sometimes want
something beyond dd.


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