Create USB Boot Disk in Linux using dd command

Aug 28, 2016 Bash, Linux

create usb boot disk using dd utility
Have you ever tried to quickly create USB Boot Disk in Linux and had no dedicated software to create one?
For a long time Linux distributions have come with basic tools like dd utility out of the box. dd command can be used to quickly create USB Boot Disk from the given ISO file without using dedicated tools like unetbootin.

Example: create Manjaro 16.06 Linux USB Boot Disk

1. Connect Pendrive to your computer

2. Locate your Pendrive

[root@tuxfixer ~]# blkid
/dev/sda1: LABEL="kvm" UUID="ae344cef-02bd-41a0-9ae5-a65ca9b473a8" TYPE="ext4" PARTUUID="5802aed2-01"
/dev/sdb1: LABEL="linux" UUID="ef15b875-ee2a-4def-8e16-a3ccdb41ff36" TYPE="ext4" PARTUUID="00006b3e-01"
/dev/sdb2: LABEL="win7" UUID="56FCCA5FFCCA394F" TYPE="ntfs" PARTUUID="00006b3e-02"
/dev/sdb3: LABEL="home" UUID="5279bdb7-aecb-4bb2-9a54-d7d042f70e6c" TYPE="ext4" PARTUUID="00006b3e-03"
/dev/sdb4: LABEL="swap" UUID="087470ac-4819-44cb-81df-9980fd601a73" TYPE="swap" PARTUUID="00006b3e-04"
/dev/sdc1: UUID="2015-12-09-23-03-16-00" LABEL="CentOS 7 x86_64" TYPE="iso9660" PTUUID="57f6f38a" PTTYPE="dos" PARTUUID="57f6f38a-01"
/dev/sdc2: SEC_TYPE="msdos" LABEL="ANACONDA" UUID="C522-73DA" TYPE="vfat" PARTUUID="57f6f38a-02"

Above example shows that our Pendrive was detected by the system as /dev/sdc and contains partitons (/dev/sdc1, dev/sdc2) with some data.

3. Format your Pendrive (optional)

If the Pendrive contains data, perform low level format (this may take time):

[root@tuxfixer ~]# dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/sdc
dd: writing to ‘/dev/sdc’: No space left on device
15654913+0 records in
15654912+0 records out
8015314944 bytes (8.0 GB) copied, 2133.11 s, 3.8 MB/s

4. Create USB Boot Disk using dd utility

Prepare / download ISO image.
Copy ISO image to /dev/sdc device (our Pendrive) using dd command:

[root@tuxfixer ~]# dd if=manjaro-xfce-16.06-rc2-x86_64.iso of=/dev/sdc
3065152+0 records in
3065152+0 records out
1569357824 bytes (1.6 GB) copied, 381.378 s, 4.1 MB/s

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