Create a Bootable USB Drive Using dd Command on Linux

As a server administrator who wants to run an operating system directly or install a new operating system, you will need a bootable USB drive. And as you know the CLI is more powerful than the GUI, so we can achieve this with the dd command. In Windows systems, we have applications to use (my personal favorite is Rufus). For how this can be done in windows, see this guide on how to create a bootable USB using Rufus on Windows.

The ‘dd’ Command

dd means data duplicator and it is used to convert and copy files. It is a very versitile tool that can be used for many purposes, for example cloning data from one disk or partition to another, disk backup and restore, converting data formats, etc.

The dd command is preinstalled on most linux distributions. To make a usb disk bootable, follow the steps below.

lsblk (list block) command is used to display details about block devices and these block devices

From the above command, the USB has not been inserted. Now insert the USB and try again.

The inserted USB can be seen as sdb above
mkfs.vfat -I /dev/sdb ----> Format the USB drive

Run the dd command to make the usb drive bootable

dd if=/path/to/isofile of=/dev/sdb status=progress  --------> Make sure you are root or you have sudo privileges

I hope you found this blog post helpful. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comment session.

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