Creating Bootable USB Sticks

Creating a bootable USB flash drive from an ISO image is straightforward for Linux users familiar with the command line. For many years all I used is dd. While creating a bootable USB disk with a Windows ISO requires additional steps, I never considered using a pointy-clicky tool to create a bootable Linux USB stick.

For coworkers I wanted to find a GUI pointy-clicky tool to create bootable USB sticks. As is common with many computer users when asked to use the command line, the result is glassy eyes and “deer in the headlight beam” reactions.

I've used unetbootin but that tool is poorly designed. The USB stick first needs to be manually formatted and then a specific partition manually mounted. Too much work for less tech savvy people. The tool does not function the same as dd and creates a weird “Unetbootin” boot menu that often fails to boot.

gparted is a great tool but only supports partitions.

I found gnome-disk-utility. Despite the name, surprisingly the package is not dependent on installing the GNOME desktop. I haven’t yet tested the tool.

Considering that the primary way to install any Linux operating system requires bootable media, I'm surprised to find such a significant absence of respective GUI tools.

Posted: Category: Usability Tagged: General

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