What is a Linux Bootable USB?
A bootable USB is a drive from which we can boot our computer using a different operating system present on our hard drive. Bootable USB is the best and the most simple way to try out or install a Linux distribution. This post will guide you through the complete process of creating a Linux bootable USB from Windows 7/8/10. We have used Ubuntu as an example here but this would work with almost any Linux distribution of your choice.
Step 1: Download or have a Ubuntu or any other Bootable Linux ISO
- If you don’t already have a Linux ISO on your computer or hard drive, go to Ubuntu Downloads Page and click on “Download” button on the first proposed LTS version download. If you want a specific version or flavor head to Ubuntu Releases page. You can download and use any Linux distribution you want 🙂
Step 2: Have a disc utility software for making Bootable USB
- We recommend the lightweight and versatile software – Rufus. Click on the link download the latest version.
- Next, just run the downloaded application, there’s no need for installing it. You will be presented with the below home screen of Rufus.
- Note: All the contents on the selected device will be first erased, so make sure you backup important files present on the device and then proceed.
Step 3: Select your desired device and the Linux ISO
- Make sure your desired device is connected in the “Device” option else you may end up formatting or damaging some other USB or any external hard drive.
- If the “Create a bootable disk using” option is not selected, choose “FAT32” in the “File System” option drop-down menu.
- Click the icon circled out in the image above, next to the drop down menu of “create a bootable disk” option and select the ISO you already downloaded in the file explorer pop-up. After all this, check that Rufus is using the same ISO you’ve selected in the “Using image:” section circled in the image below.
Step 4: All set, GO! Just Mind a few formalities 🙂
- Next, click “Start”. If you are told to download Syslinux files download from Rufus in a pop-up, click “Yes” to download them. This is a one-time operation, as Rufus will automatically use them in future for similar operations, saving your time. They are very small in size and won’t take up much time to download.
- If it’s an ISO Hybrid image you can write it on disk in two ways – ISO Image mode and DD (disk image) mode. Choose the “Write in ISO Image mode (Recommended)” option and click “OK”.
- You will be given a final warning regarding the formatting of the device. If you have no important data on the drive, click “OK” option and Rufus will create the bootable USB, also you can click “Cancel” and take a backup of your data on the device and then run Rufus again.
- Finally, click on “Close” button after the whole progress bar has turned green and status shows “READY”.
- Voila! You just made a Linux Bootable ISO. Next, you need to restart your computer, access your boot menu, choose the specified USB as the boot source and it would take you to the installation screen of Ubuntu. You can also use any other software other than Rufus like PowerISO, UNetbootin or any such.