How to Use the dd Command to Create a Live USB Drive in Linux Terminal

There are many graphical tools offered for making live USB. artist on UNIX systemis perhaps the foremost common. Ubuntu has its own Startup Disk Creator tool for this purpose.

However, advanced UNIX system users swear by the comfort and paceof making live USBs in UNIX system terminal using the DD command.

The DD command may be a CLI tool that offers you powerful options for repetition and changing files.

A common use case that folks use DD for is to write down ISO files to associate auxiliary storage device like a USB drive, which might be wont to do things like install a brand new UNIX system distribution onto a pc or laptop computer.

That’s what i’m reaching to show during this tutorial. I’ll think again the commands you’ll have to be compelled to run, finding our USB drive from the terminal, then finally doing the particular flashing of the ISO file.

Creating live USB from ISO with DD command
Before I show you the steps, let Maine quickly think again the command that you’ll be using and justify what it will.

Here’s the instance command for flashing of the ISO:

dd if="./filename.iso" of="/dev/sdb" status="progress" conv="fsync"

First, you enter ddas expectedthis can besimply the name of the program you’reaiming to run.

Next, you specify if=”./filename.iso”. if stands for input datathat tells doctorate what file you’re aiming to be writing to the memory device drive.

After that, you enter of=”/dev/sdb”. As was with if, of merely stands for output file.

The factor to recollect is that the output file doesn’t technically got to be a file on your system. you’ll be able to conjointly specify things just like the path to an external device (as shown within the example), that simply sounds like a traditional file on your system, however truly points to a tool connected to your machine.

status will be set to a few options: none, noxfer and progress.

The progress possibility that you simply set can cause dd to indicate periodic statistics on what proportion of the ISO has been transferred to the storage drive, still as AN estimation on what proportion longer it’ll be till dd is finished.

If you were to possess set the none possibility instead, dd would solely print error messages throughout the writing of the ISO, therefore removing things just like the progress bar.

The noxfer option hides some data that’s written when a transfer is complete, like however long it took from begin to end.

Lastly, you set the conv choice to fsync. This causes dd to not report a winning write till the complete ISO has been written to the USB drive.

If you omit this selectiondd can still write simply fine (and would possibly truly seem to run quicker), however you may realize your system taking quite an whereas before it tells you it’s safe to get rid of the USB drive because itcan end writing the ISO’s content within the background, therefore permitting you to try to to alternative things within thein the meantime.

Now that you simply perceive what you’ve gotto try to, let’s see a way to screw.

Warning !!!

The command could be a ambiguous blade. Be further careful after you square measure running a command like DDyou need to ensure that you just square measure using the proper device for the computer file destination. One wrong step and you’ll format your main system disk and lose your OS.

Step 0: transfer the specified ISO

This goes while notspoken languagethat you simplyought to have Associate in Nursing ISO image get in order to flash it on a USB.

I am reaching to use Ubuntu 20.04 ISO (downloadable hereto check the doctorate command I showed earlier.

Step 1: Get the USB disk label

Plug in your USB disk.

The specific path I entered for of was /dev/sdb. The USB disks square measure sometimes tagged /dev/sdb however that’s not a tough and quick rule.

This path could disagree on your system, however you’ll be able to make sure the trail of the drive with the lsblk command. simply hunt for a list that appears just like the size of your USB drive, and that’ll be it.

If you are more comfortable with GUI programs, you can also find the drive’s path with tools like GNOME Disks.

Now that you just have established the trail to our drive, let’s produce the live USB.

Step 2: Writing the ISO file to the USB disk

Open up a terminal at the directory wherever the ISO file is downloaded, and run the subsequent (remember to interchange /dev/sdb with the name of your device if it’s one thing different):

sudo dd if="./ubuntu-" of="/dev/sdb" status="progress" conv="fsync"

After that, just let dd do it’s thing, and it’ll print a completion message once it’s done:

And just like that, you’ve flashed an ISO with dd command in the Linux terminal!


Now you’re on your thanks to doing even additional things through the terminal, permitting you to try to to things quicker and faster than you may are ready to do before.

Got any remaining questions on the DD command, or one thing simply not operating right? be happy to depart any of it within the comment section below.


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