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I was thinking about creating a bootable USB drive by burning an ISO image, but I can't find an ISO burner for Ubuntu.

How I can do that?

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  • 3
    There are DOZENS and one - Startup Disk Creator - is already installed by default in Ubuntu. Mar 20, 2022 at 19:18
  • Gnome disks. Allow you to install an iso file to your usb device.
    – Jon
    Mar 24, 2022 at 21:37
  • You do not need a USB creator to make a Live USB if the computer boots using UEFI. Nov 23, 2022 at 2:38
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    Does this answer your question? How do I make a bootable Ubuntu USB?
    – karel
    Apr 21, 2023 at 22:50

8 Answers 8

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Ubuntu has an official tutorial to Install Ubuntu Desktop.

This tutorial walks you through the entire process of installing Ubuntu, including downloading the ISO and creating bootable media that can be used for installation or to boot a live session of Ubuntu.

The official tutorial uses Etcher which is an easy-to-use, cross-platform utility for flashing system images to USB drives.

Creating bootable media containing Ubuntu is pretty easy. You just need to Download Ubuntu, then flash the downloaded ISO file to a USB flash drive using Etcher or a similar utility.

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I use the same approach as detailed in creating Linux boot image. That is, I download the .iso; and then, as in the link above I use the command (or with superuser privileges logged in as root with sudo -i):

sudo dd if=<input_file> of=<device_name>
sync

The sync statement flushes the disk and iso cache buffers. Most of the time it is not necessary with the default dd copy block size of 512 Bytes for the input file and the output file. However, if there are problems, it might be an important troubleshooting step.

The input file is the downloaded ubuntu-20.04.5-desktop-amd64.iso file. The output file is /dev/sda or whatever root device name your USB stick has. I use fdisk -l to figure out the USB device name. The device is usually pretty obvious to me because of the device size.

After that completes, I just test the boot manually booting to the USB drive with the boot type set as Legacy or UEFI dependent on what kind of boot you want. If you want to install a Legacy version of Ubuntu, you should boot into the legacy version as set in the computer's BIOS. If you want to create a UEFI version, in principle boot to the UEFI partition.

And that is it!

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  • Does it actually work for anyone? After dd-ing ISO I'm getting half broken USB which is not discoverable during the PC boot Dec 30, 2023 at 19:11
  • @chill appreciator I notice that some USB stick drives are non-functional for modern booting. I had to buy a number of "new" more modern USB-sticks to get some installs to work, using even a variety of approaches including "Startup Disk Creator" that can be brought up from Ubuntu Desktop (probably Live Also, but I have Desktop in front of me just now). The drives I purchased (like SanDisk, also other reliable brands) have worked reliably for Ubuntu Live boots and also for MemTest 86 version 10.1.009 boots. In short, regarding your question, yes these should boot of the BIOS is setup right! Jan 2 at 14:31
  • Yes, this approach works. In my case the problem was in enabled "secure boot" in bios. Once I disabled it - USB stick was recognized. Jan 3 at 11:01
  • The other part about half-broken USB is true though. When you dd the image and then go to the USB stick properties, you see that USB capacity equals to the ISO size and no free space left. So USB could not be used for anything else. When you burn ISO-s with let's say Rufus, USB stick is fully functional afterwards. Jan 3 at 11:02
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I recommend, and use mkusb

Refer https://help.ubuntu.com/community/mkusb

For years I just used dd to write the ISO to thumb-drive, but mistakes were bound to happen, and sure enough

  • I overwrote a backup external drive (I didn't check its presence via command just looked at it's LED which was off; unknown to me the LED had just died!)
  • I overwrote a drive array because I didn't check my $PS1 prompt well enough; I was using a different box to the one I thought I was; oops

I've made no mistakes since using mkusb, and it can create persistent drives & not just the simple clones I'd create with dd.

However, have you looked at the Ubuntu tutorials on this subject? They cover writing one on Ubuntu of course (StartUp Disk Creator), but also MacOS & Windows too

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Make Bootable USB by Hand (UEFI only)

Most modern computers, (UEFI), do not need a Live USB maker to boot Ubuntu, (or Windows).

In Ubuntu use GParted to create an ~8GB NTFS partition on the USB or on the Target drive. (In Windows use Disk Management).

In Ubuntu use Archive Manager, (or 7Zip), to extract the ISO file to the NTFS partition.

When booting use the applicable F key to open the UEFI menu and then select the USB or NTFS partition to boot.

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The way I like to flash Ubuntu to my USB device is with Balena Etcher. You can flash your ISO file to your usb drive and then you can use it as a bootable usb.

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I use balenaEtcher to burn Linux an ISO file to USB to create a bootable disk. Advantages: (1) balenEtcher has AppImage format, it does not require installation, you can double click to run it (2) balenEtcher not only burn Ubuntu iso files, but it is also to burn Manjaro iso files to create Manjaro bootable disk. Hope this helps.

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For USB if you are using Ubuntu there is many programs At Ubuntu software shop and Installed one some times as Start Disk Creator

If You On Other OS Use Universal USB Installer Or Rufus

For CD or DVD You have many programs at Ubuntu software shop, Best one I tried was Brasero

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Fedora Media Writer works cross-platform and also, in my experience, works more reliably than Rufus, balenaEtcher, or other options I've tried. Especially when writing ISOs to USB thumbdrives on Windows.

https://fedoraproject.org/workstation/download/

Obviously it works best with Fedora/CentOS builds but it'll write pretty much any Linux/BSD ISO to USB thumbdrives including ARM/aarch64 builds. It doesn't correctly handle Windows ISOs though, which write successfully but only partially boot and then die during the device discovery phase. Therefore, while Fedora Media Writer is not a perfect/universal OS ISO writing tool, anything UNIXey generally works as expected. I just used Fedora Media Writer to deploy the latest Ubuntu Server ISO to some new hardware and it installed clean and is working great.

It's also supplied directly from the Fedora project, which helps with trust and therefore probably a tool that's not likely to go away unexpectedly, stop being maintained, or change in unfortunate ways. Of course, Red Hat sometimes does things that Red Hat does. So this paragraph might not age well.

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