I downloaded the Ubuntu 13.04 32-bit image from ubuntu.com. I am trying to create a bootable image of USB drive.

Startup Disk Creator is able to recognize the USB correctly and automatically. When I choose the ISO by clicking on Other..., it doesn't throw any error, but the file does not appear in the Startup Disk Creator window.

The ISO is 705 MB in size and I am on 12.10. I tried creating an empty ISO file and it is not being recognized.

Can you please help me in this regard ? Thanks in advance.

  • 3
    Please consider uploading screenshots of the Startup Disk Creator: before choosing the ISO, and after choosing it.
    – edwin
    Jul 13, 2013 at 16:01
  • Take a look at my answer Here, it might help.
    – Mitch
    Jul 13, 2013 at 16:05
  • I followed the same set of steps as given in the link
    – user174879
    Jul 13, 2013 at 16:35
  • Unfortunately I do not have enough 'reputation' to post images here, but it is same before and choosing the file, no effect
    – user174879
    Jul 14, 2013 at 4:07
  • Reviewers: when this question was asked, 12.10 was on topic.
    – guntbert
    Jun 5, 2016 at 11:38

2 Answers 2


Try doing it another way. First, determine what device node your USB stick is (usually /dev/sdb unless you have another storage device plugged in or multiple hard drives).

(To verify, you can open the Disks application that comes with Ubuntu, find your disk and click it, then look right under it for the device node.)

All you have to do now is open a terminal with Ctrl+Alt+T and run

sudo  dd  if=/path/to/ubuntu.iso  of=/dev/sdX  bs=8M

where /path/to/ubuntu.iso is the actual path to the Ubuntu ISO and /dev/sdX is your USB stick device node. That never failed me.

  • 1
    One should be careful to choose the right device (/dev/sdX) before doing this. dd can wipe clean entire disks!
    – edwin
    Jul 13, 2013 at 16:28
  • Thanks a lot. It worked, but it looks like the USB drive is not bootable.
    – user174879
    Jul 13, 2013 at 18:12
  • Are you sure you used /dev/sdx, not /dev/sdx1? If you dd to a partition, it won't work. You need to use the entire drive. Also, if your BIOS for some reason can't boot from USB, plop may help, see plop.at/en/bootmanager/download.html . If you use EFI and the machine came with Windows 8, make sure to disable "secure boot" first, as well as Windows Fast Boot.
    – ooa
    Jul 13, 2013 at 18:16
  • I used sdb1 which is shown in 'Disks' utility. Let me try sdx now
    – user174879
    Jul 13, 2013 at 19:26
  • same result with sdx as well. EFI/Windows8 is not my case. Need to try plop now
    – user174879
    Jul 13, 2013 at 19:45

Cloning tools

The cloning method described in the answer by ovc is very reliable, when used correctly, and it works with all hybrid iso files. Most iso files of modern linux distros are iso files.

dd is a cloning tool. It is very powerful but also dangerous, because it does what you tell it to do without questions. So if you tell it to wipe the family pictures ... and it a small typing error away. It has earned the nickname 'data destroyer'.

Instead you can use tools, that perform the same task under the hood, but help you select the target device and double-check that it is the correct drive. Starting with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, the Ubuntu Startup Disk Creator, alias usb-creator-gtk, uses the cloning method. Disks alias gnome-disks can also clone from an iso file to a target device, usually a USB pendrive or memory card. These two tools are built into Ubuntu.

There are also other cloning tools, that can be installed into Ubuntu or Windows. mkusb can clone iso files and compressed image files. It can also create persistent live drives, and it can restore a USB boot drive to a standard storage device after the installation.

Win32 Disk Imager is a cloning tool for Windows, that can help you create a USB boot drive with Ubuntu.

Extracting tools

There are also many tools, that can create USB boot drives by extracting the content of the iso file to another file system and install a bootloader to the target device. Several of these tools work well and can be recommended, for example Rufus and Unetbootin.

But when the boot structure of the iso file changes (in a new version of Ubuntu), these extracting tools will have problems, until they are modified to recognize and manage the new boot structure. Older versions of the Ubuntu Startup Disk Creator (before 16.04 LTS) are affected by several bugs because of modifications of the syslinux boot structure in BIOS mode.

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