Tutorial: Create LiveUSB with Terminal

There are different ways to make a LiveUSB in Linux, one of them is to use Unetbootin, of which KZKG ^ Gaara made a tutorial long time.

Another way to do it is with the terminal, in this way we are not installing little programs or chorraditas that what they do is take up space on the hard disk.

Let's go there:

Once we have the ISO downloaded, the first thing we do is enter the folder where we have the ISO with the terminal:

cd "carpeta donde tenemos la iso"

or (in case that form gives us an error)

cd /"carpeta donde tenemos la iso"

Once there we see the list of files to verify that we have not mistaken the folder:


Now we do:

dd if=nombredelaiso.iso of=/dev/sdb

of = / dev / sdb It is the path of the USB device normally so before changing it I recommend trying like this, in case it does not work we already change it.

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  1.   rogertux said

    This is the best method to create a live-usb. Faster and more efficient than any graphic tool.

    ps: Sorry for the orthography, xD.

    1.    Courage said

      For being the first time I will forgive you but next time you go directly to the RAE hahahahaha

      1.    Chango said

        One question: with this method you already have the live-usb with the boot options (grub or lilo) established in the same way as the iso for cd / dvd? I ask you why sometimes I have done it and when I rebooted it threw a grub error, and in the end I had to end up using unetbootin ... which only uses syslinux.

        1.    Courage said

          I have tried it but what happened to me is that the computer did not have the option to boot from USB or that I did not know how to configure it in the BIOS.

          Anyway, I imagine yes, but I can't confirm it.

          1.    rogertux said

            The bios does not boot from live-usb either, and it cannot be configured.
            I found this (boot manager) http://www.plop.at, which just burns it to cd and allows booting from usb.

          2.    Courage said

            Plop is super difficult to configure, I already had to use it once and nothing, I was not able

          3.    rogertux said

            I only recorded it on a cd and simply by booting from the cd you can boot from a usb

          4.    Courage said

            Well then it must be that within Plop there are several variants and I went to take the most difficult

  2.   StuMx said

    This only works if the iso comes prepared to boot via USB, otherwise you have to perform additional steps.

    For example, the last time I tried to do this with debian additional steps were required (I haven't tried the latest versions), same with the first arch iso's.

    1.    Xavier Fonseca said

      What are the additional steps required? I have that problem.

    2.    juconta said

      It would help many of us, to know what you mean by making some changes to the content of the iso images of which one wants to make a bootable usb, you can definitely see that applications such as Unetbootin make changes in the file structure resulting from its execution at the time to build a bootable usb.
      For now I will use Unetbootin to load my iso on a USB, without using DD that really has left much to be desired because I have tried it with no other result than a resounding failure in the assembly of the USB.
      Regards. :))

  3.   pandev92 said

    This method is good when we have an iso hybrid and we know that by writing in the terminal, isohybrid address of the iso

    If it is not hybrid it does not usually work, for example it happened to me with an iso of lmde, one of debian stable and one of bsd.

    1.    saleskayark said


      Thank you.

      I think you're right. There is more information about hybrid ISO images in community dot linuxmint dot com / tutorial / view / 744 and in wiki dot geteasypeasy dot com / Hybrid_ISO / IMG_format


  4.   kik1n said


  5.   David Segura M. said

    I usually use this method for isos that give me problems using the usual applications, such as OpenSUSE

  6.   oscar said

    Hello, I try to install winxp from usb with ubuntu, I configure the bios to start from removable hd (the option to start from usb does not appear, when I installed ubuntu it did appear) the pc turns on and when it seems that the xp installation is going to start I get a 2 and a blinking dash. From there it does not happen.
    I want to switch to xp again because I do not clear up with Ubuntu and I am going crazy!
    Thank you very much for your attention.

    1.    elav <° Linux said

      Welcome Oscar (Another one for the collection: D):

      I recommend that you go to our forum to get better help 😀


  7.   anubis said

    If you know the path where the iso is, you just have to do:

    dd if = / path / to / file.iso of = / dev / sdX

    And, since dd does not show progress, if we want to see where it goes, executing this, we can do it:

    watch -n 10 kill -USR1 `pidof dd`

    1.    sieg84 said

      With dd_rescue if it shows a progress bar, in the opensuse wiki first there was the method with dd, then they changed it to dd_rescue

      1.    mafia_team said

        At least in Debian no

  8.   -Chameleon- said

    Very useful c:

  9.   Eduardo said

    You also have to verify the usb path with fdisk -l

  10.   Salt said

    Many thanks!! I have installed Debian 8 with LXDE and I am having some errors, I have not been able to install Unetbootin and I no longer knew how to make a LiveUSB, thanks to this I will be able to reinstall the OS

  11.   juconta said

    I apologize to all of you for what I am going to say, but this tutorial, my dear blog masters. Fromlinux.net, is FAKE, so it is a bad FAKE because like many other pages, video tutorials, they only repeat something That is wrong, I really tell them to try and I tried again looking and looking, but I only found failure in the procedure because after having done all the steps described here…. As a result I obtained a copy of the content of the iso that does not work when it is executed in the usb, it must be made bootable, using GRUB or LILO, or syslinux (or other ways that I do not know the truth) that will make us boot from the usb.
    That is why I recommend to all readers, if they use linux or windows, use Unetbootin that will do everything I say above, not only copies the content of the iso to the usb but also makes it bootable (which is what they forgot to mention to our teachers.)
    Cheers :))

    1.    KZKG ^ Gaara said

      Friend, this DOES work, because in my work I do LiveUSBs often with this same method. Unetbootin makes the job easier BUT, it doesn't work well when it comes to Ubuntu.

      1.    juconta said

        Thanks KZKG ^ Gaara for your opinion, the truth is that I tried several times, trying to do it with CraunchBang, Debian, Slax, and kali, the truth is that with none I could do it, with this method, to pass all the content from iso to USB using the DD application.

  12.   Angel lavin said

    hi, hey sometimes it doesn't work, why does that happen?

  13.   Carlos said

    NOTE: When starting the process you should not remove the unit, close the terminal or finish it before finishing because it may damage it.

  14.   Julio Hernandez said

    For beginners like me, in Ubuntu 20.04, you need to add the command "sudo" for it to work, so that the complete command looks like this:

    sudo dd if = isoname.iso of = / dev / sdb

    It took me a few minutes to finish, but it is proven ... thanks for your procedure friend!