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I'm trying to create a bootable USB stick of ubuntu-11.10-desktop-i386.iso using usb-creator-gtk on my ThinkPad X220. Usb-creator-gtk appears to work OK, but the resulting stick fails to boot either of my laptops. I tried two different USB sticks. Boot just shows a blinking cursor.

If I mount the USB stick, I see it has 729M of data on it.

One more clue: After usb-creator-gtk exits, the activity light on my USB drive continues to blink for a minute or so, and even after that's done, /media/XXXX-XXXX and /tmp/tmpXXXXXX remain mounted. I have been manually umounting them before pulling out the stick.

Is there any way to get debug output from usb-creator-gtk? Or is there a straightforward command-line alternative to usb-creator-gtk that would offer more debugging options?

UPDATE: In syslog, I noticed the error:

usb-creator-gtk[xxxxx]: segfault at 4 ip xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx sp xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx error 6 in[xxxxxxxxxxxx+xxxxx]

Turns out this is ubuntu bug #875758.

Is there an alternative to usb-creator-gtk? Ideally, a bash recipe that would help me isolate the problem and work around it?

share|improve this question
Have you tried unetbootin - I find this far better that the default in Ubuntu: – fossfreedom Dec 13 '11 at 9:38
Also copying the ISO image to USB drive (not partition) with dd should work. – enzotib Dec 13 '11 at 9:44
Thank you, fossfreedom. Unetbootin worked where usb-creator-gtk failed. – Joe Dec 14 '11 at 2:53
@fossfreedom want to add that as an answer? – Stefano Palazzo Feb 1 '12 at 11:39
@Stefano - not really - I dont think it answers the question directly. The OP seems to have disappeared - possible this question could be considered as abandoned? – fossfreedom Feb 1 '12 at 12:51
  • Identify device (/dev/xxx) and unmount device

  • Device should be in FAT32 if not:

    sudo mkdosfs -n 'USB-LABEL' -I /dev/xxx -F 32

Mount the iso file and copy content to USB device:

sudo mkdir /media/iso
sudo mount -o loop /path/to/ubuntu.iso /media/iso
cp -a /media/iso/. /USBMOUNTPOINT/

Make the device bootable:

sudo apt-get install syslinux mtools
syslinux -s /dev/sdd1

Rename the isolinux directory to syslinux and copy config:

mv /media/xxx/isolinux /media/xxx/syslinux
mv /media/xxx/syslinux/isolinux.cfg /media/xxx/syslinux/syslinux.cfg

Reboot your pc and change the boot-order in bios to USB. Now your ubuntu usb flash drive will booted up and you can install it.

share|improve this answer
will the USB have persistent storage? – Ciro Santilli 巴拿馬文件 六四事件 法轮功 May 16 '14 at 14:11
@CiroSantilli no, but you can manually create a casper-rw file (see and enable it by adding persistent to the kernel command line in syslinux/txt.cfg. – Lucas Jul 29 '14 at 16:09
I tried this, but booting fails with boot error. – gerrit Jun 15 at 22:08

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