Distros this works with: Universal
What this guide accomplishes: Making a USB drive bootable to install Linux.
- This guide favors NEW USB drives due to how cheap a good drive generally is. If you want to reuse an old drive (or have no choice), this is also okay. However, I recommend buying a new drive to make things as simple as possible.
- I have removed all information from this guide that is specifically related to using a dedicated DVD. Many new laptops do not have an internal optical drive (and even some desktops are no longer including them). On top of this, USB optical drives are cheap and widely available if you still insist on using DVD.
- Many laptop owners end up neglecting the optical drive if it fails. This is because they are rarely used these days. If the internal drive has failed, your options are to use a USB stick or external optical drive.
- USB drives can be formatted multiple times and have multiple distros written to it over the life of the USB drive. Many USB drives last longer then DVD's before they fail as well. DVD media is generally going to be single use only.
If your system that has trouble booting from USB media directly, you can use a boot manager on CD to mitigate the problem. I have included a link to such a boot manager in the guide.
The guide can be found here:
Note: Most users will not need to use this. In most cases, the only readers who will need to use this type of boot manger are using legacy systems (or systems with a buggy USB boot implementation).
Get a 8-16GB flash drive. While an 8GB drive is far more then you need, 16GB drives are more common. Both drives also allow you to preload firmware files and programs you use on the drive, so you always have local copies. Note: While an 8-16GB drive is recommended, a 4GB drive is sufficient if you do not intend to store firmware.
To write the ISO to the drive, download Rufus. Put this program somewhere where you can easily find it for later.
Once Rufus is downloaded, download the Linux distro you prefer. You can do this using the FTP link (slowest) or a torrent (fastest).
After you have the ISO downloaded, find out where it is located. The download location will depend on your current operating system and browser settings. Typical locations in Windows are Documents and Downloads (WinXP) or Downloads (Vista and up).
Plug your USB drive in now, so your current OS detects it.
Find Rufus and open it. Once Rufus is open, find the ISO of the Linux distro you downloaded. Click on the image that looks like a CD to locate the ISO. If '''ISO image is not automatically selected, click on the drop-down menu and select it manually.
Once you find the ISO, click it and then click Open. After you click this, the ISO will be selected and available to write to the USB drive.
Once you locate the ISO to write to the drive, select Start. The program will warn you this will erase the drive. You will need to confirm that you want to do this before Rufus starts. To confirm, click OK. If you have anything on the drive you wish to keep, you will need to copy it off now.
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