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Unetbootin installs grub which then boots the system you specify. I don't like that. Linux live ISOs are directly bootable and usually contain a pre-configured grub install of their own which among other things, tends to work better. The dd command is the second most commonly recommended method of creating a bootable usb from an ISO. Honestly i would love it except for two things. First, i cant seem to make it work. Second, i dont fully understand its use (which may be a decent explanation for the first reason)

I have found a utility called "rufus" which works like a charm, every time. It only runs on Windows, which i will never use again now that i have a workable understanding of linux.

So is there another, 100% reliable, way to create a bootable USB from an ISO?

if nothing comes to mind, maybe some insight on the dd command could help...

EDIT:

convoluted, excessively complex, and even c/c++ solutions are more than welcome (i wouldn't mind coding my own utility)

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dd has good man page. It's not so complicated as bash. Spend 10 minutes and you are expert ;). –  Danatela Apr 15 at 4:43
    
@Danatela so in making a usb from an iso would i want to use the unmounted device (/dev/sdb) or the mounted device (/mnt/mymountpoint) as the output file? furthermore, should i create an fs or does the iso contain the fs? –  Konner Rasmussen Apr 15 at 4:48
    
I tried other tools, but dd always seems to work. I use the Linux Mint sample from their community site. sudo dd if=~/Desktop/linuxmint.iso of=/dev/sdx oflag=direct bs=1048576 found at: community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/744 –  dash-plus-java Apr 15 at 5:03
    
Of course, you should use device (of=/dev/sdb) because once it was mounted it will create unusable file on the mountpoint. And yes, ISO contains the filesystem. But remember that you will not be able to use persistence file when you use dd and probably you will not able to write anything else on that stick. –  Danatela Apr 15 at 5:05
    
@Danatela a thought... wouldnt i be able to create an extra partition (using say, fdisk) in the unallocated space? to that end couldnt i just resize the partition created by dd? –  Konner Rasmussen Apr 15 at 5:22

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