Author Topic: Linux Format USB Drive OK, but Make Bootable?  (Read 277 times)

Linux Format USB Drive OK, but Make Bootable?
« on: June 06, 2020, 05:55:07 pm »
I’m trying to learn how to make a bootable pendrive with a linux iso, in order eventually to install the system on another device which does not have a CD/ROM drive (which is the usual way I would install Debian).

I've found this quite clear account of partitioning and formatting (for a Linux system, I would be formatting with EXT4), but I need to make the drive bootable, so that the installation will automatically start.

How do I do that, and would I need to create more than one partition (eg bootable section and data-containing section)?

Re: Linux Format USB Drive OK, but Make Bootable?
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2020, 05:59:28 pm »
If its a live CD / install drive you want you dont have to do any fancy formatting just download an ISO of the distribution and restore it to the usb drive.

What operating system are you trying to do this from?
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

Feanor

  • It's mostly downhill from here.
Re: Linux Format USB Drive OK, but Make Bootable?
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2020, 06:06:17 pm »
I usually use Rufus for this kind of thing:

https://rufus.ie/

Just download the ISO, and point rufus to it and it will create a bootable USB stick from it.
All my linux boxes were installed from USB sticks made this way.

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: Linux Format USB Drive OK, but Make Bootable?
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2020, 06:10:35 pm »
Or UNetbootin is another option. https://unetbootin.github.io/
Pick what distro you want, then it will automatically download it, copy it to the drive, and make it bootable.

Re: Linux Format USB Drive OK, but Make Bootable?
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2020, 06:16:16 pm »
in order eventually to install the system on another device which does not have a CD/ROM drive (which is the usual way I would install Debian).


I'm not sure if I'm answering the right question, with desktop/laptops you go into bios to choose the booting sequence, eg usb drive, CD drive, HDD etc.

Thor

  • Super-sonnicus idioticus
Re: Linux Format USB Drive OK, but Make Bootable?
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2020, 07:08:32 pm »
There are Linux utilities to make a bootable USB stick from an iso e.g. on Mint (also mentions instructions for Windows) or straight Ubuntu
It was a day like any other in Ireland, only it wasn't raining

Re: Linux Format USB Drive OK, but Make Bootable?
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2020, 07:02:32 am »
Sightly more complicated answer.

An ISO image of a Linux installation disk (or any other operating system for that matter) is a bootable disc complete with all the partition information and files inside a single file.

So when you use a utility that knows what an ISO image is to write it to USB (or DVD or CD dependant on if these are big enough) all the partitions and boot information will automatically be created for you, no need to worry about it.

Rufus as noted below works well. Most Linux distributions have a built in utility often you can just right click on the file and tell it to restore to the USB stick.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.