Why won't kb3 (in Kubuntu 12.04) recognize a USB drive and allow me to burn an ISO image to it?

kb3 is the default iso burning application and it gets generally good reviews. But it pops up a dialog telling me that I don't have an optical drive and it refuses to allow me to select the USB drive. What am I overlooking? The computer is a ThinkPad X220 tablet without an optical drive.

What's another recommended way to burn an ISO to a USB drive in Kubuntu? The ISO is for a firmware update utility. (My question is not about how to install Ubuntu.)

  • Unetbooting currently has a problem with kubuntu. (and other debian based distros). Once you install the system, it won't boot D: – Nande Jun 28 '16 at 16:28
  • dd has become my go-to tool for making bootable USB sticks now. Works perfectly every time on every distro I have tried (arch, opensuse, kubuntu, etc.) – MountainX Jun 28 '16 at 20:51
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Regarding upgrading firmware using linux:

You can refer to this page from lenovo forum. It worked for my x220. http://forums.lenovo.com/t5/Linux-Discussion-Knowledge-Base/Updating-the-BIOS-via-USB-X220-s-running-Linux/ta-p/674677

Here I paste the steps over, but credit goes to writer of geteltorito.pl

1.Get the bios update iso (8duj10uc.iso or later) from the lenovo support site.

2.Get 'geteltorito' and extract the boot image from the iso (isobar.c probably works too)

$wget 'http://www.uni-koblenz.de/~krienke/ftp/noarch/geteltorito/geteltorito.pl'

$perl geteltorito.pl 8duj10uc.iso > biosupdate.img

3.Copy the image to the usb thumdrive

$ sudo dd if=biosupdate.img of=/dev/usbthumdrive bs=512K

Reboot, Press F12 and boot from thumb drive.

  • Thanks. Very helpful. You should post the full steps in your answer above, so there is a full copy of the solution here. – MountainX Feb 10 '13 at 16:54
  • No problem, I pasted them over – Kevin Zhu Mar 22 '13 at 6:59
  • Your command wget 'http://www.uni-koblenz.de/~krienke/ftp/noarch/geteltorito/geteltorito.pl' seems to be broken. :( Link is bad. – Gabriel Staples Jan 24 '17 at 3:54
  • I found the solution! Instead of your commands wget 'http://www.uni-koblenz.de/~krienke/ftp/noarch/geteltorito/geteltorito.pl' and perl geteltorito.pl 8duj10uc.iso > biosupdate.img do the following two commands: sudo apt-get install genisoimage and geteltorito -o biosupdate.img 8duj10uc.iso. I tried it, and it works. Source: workaround.org/article/… – Gabriel Staples Jan 24 '17 at 4:06

Why are you trying to "burn" an image to a USB stick? "burning" refers to a laser printing a pattern of holes into the surface of an optical medium, which obviously does not apply to your USB stick.

Give Unetbootin a try, it may actually work (it works for Windows 7 as well).

Alternatively, you could just copy the contents of the image 1:1 to your stick. First, identify your stick with its device name. You can find this information using "Disk Utility" (or search for "palimpsest" in your Dash). It will look like /dev/sdb.

Next, open a terminal and run:

sudo dd if=myiso.iso of=/dev/sdx

Where myiso.iso should be replaced with the path to your image, and x with the correct device letter of your USB stick. NOTE: accidentally entering a wrong device name can result in data loss on other storage media attached, so beware!

Now, your USB drive should contain a 1:1 copy of the image. Try booting it.

  • 1
    I'd still like to know why kb3 won't work. Many places around the net indicate kb3 should do the job. I can't seem to figure out how. Anyway, I decided to use dd just before you posted your reply. dd is the easier approach, but I'd like to figure out this mystery of kb3 now too. – MountainX Aug 29 '12 at 22:59
  • 1
    Because K3B is a burning solution. It detects optical drives through wodim. – Cumulus007 Aug 29 '12 at 23:14

From within the software center, or on their page, you can download a very nice program called Unetbootin, which should do what you're looking for!

  • I don't think that's what I'm looking for. I'm not trying to create a Linux boot disk. My ISO image is for a firmware update program. I'm working within Kubuntu at the moment. I need to burn this ISO image to my USB stick. KB3 won't let me do it. Suggestions? – MountainX Aug 29 '12 at 22:19

When you download ubuntu there are some instructions. http://www.ubuntu.com/download/help/create-a-usb-stick-on-ubuntu.
They basically just tell you to run startup disk creator

  • Welcome to Ask Ubuntu! Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference. – Seth Apr 5 '13 at 17:45

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