How to burn .iso to USB drive

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From the command line

Find the device name of your usb drive:

$ df
/dev/sdg1             7.4G  4.0K  7.4G   1% /media/usb-drive
// OR:
# fdisk -l
   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdg1               1        6297     7712740    c  W95 FAT32 (LBA)

The unmount the device and use dd to copy (burn) the iso:
# umount /dev/sdg1
// In the command below, use /dev/sdg NOT /dev/sdg1!
# dd bs=4M if=cld-20161116-x86_64.iso of=/dev/sdg
558+1 records in
558+1 records out
2343567360 bytes (2.3 GB) copied, 596.009 s, 3.9 MB/s

In order to see the progress, one has to go in a very roundabout way:

// In another console, find dd's pid:
ps aux | grep dd
// Replace $pid with the actual pid of dd.
kill -USR1 $pid
// Go back to the original console and see the progress output.

Using graphic application

For a software with a graphic interface, use UNetbootin or usb-creator .

Testing the device

To test the new boot USB, you may use Qemu, a machine emulator and virtualizer:

qemu -hda /dev/sdg


If you are unable to boot the system with the usb stick, check the following:

Ensure that the .iso or .img file that your burned to the USB stick is actually supposed to be a bootable image! Of course, if you are trying to burn an installation CD/DVD, then it should be bootable.

Check the dd command

If you used dd to burn the .iso or .img file, make sure you used the proper device name, without a partition number at the end:

// Wrong:
# dd bs=4M if=cld-20161116-x86_64.iso of=/dev/sdg1
// Right:
# dd bs=4M if=cld-20161116-x86_64.iso of=/dev/sdg

Check bios settings

Make sure that BIOS recognises the USB stick. Adjust boot device priorities accordingly.

Other resources

Issues related to this page:

ProjectSummaryStatusPriorityCategoryLast updatedAssigned to
Linux softwareMake dd display progress by defaultactivenormalfeature request43 weeks 5 days
Linux softwareDesktop unresponsive while using ddactivenormalfeature request43 weeks 5 days