Creating Bootable USB with dd

In this tutorial I will demonstrate how to burn iso’s on a USB. I find this useful creating bootable USB media for operating system installation. We will be using a utility called dd which can be used to clone disks or wipe data. The dd utility is available out of the box even in the most minimal installation of all Linux distributions.

First use sudo fdisk -l to get the proper mount point for your USB. Then:

sudo dd bs=4M if=dir/image.iso of=/dev/mount conv=fdatasync status=progress

Parameter Breakdown

  • sudo ~ You need to be a superuser to issue dd commands.
  • bs=4M ~ The -bs (blocksize) option defines the size of each chunk that is read from the input file and written to the output device.
  • if=dir/image.iso ~ The -if (input file) path to the iso.
  • of=/dev/mount ~ The -of (output file) This must be provided with the device that represents your USB drive.
  • conv=fdatasync ~ The fdatasync modifier ensure the write buffers are flushed correctly and completely before the creation process is flagged as having finished.
  • status=progress ~ enables task progress, otherwise this operation runs silently.

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