Burning an iso image onto a USB in Linux? Easy task …

… well, sadly it turns out that it’s not that easy.

I recently bought an SSD in an attempt to revive a bit my old desktop which obviously suffers because of slow disk access. At the same time I also wanted to switch away from Ubuntu. I am not going to rant here why move away from Ubuntu after using it so many years, but one of the reasons can be seen below. I downloaded the ISO image of the latest Fedora and I wanted to burn it onto a USB stick, so I can install it from there. Being in Linux, I thought this will be an easy task especially because there is the dd command available.

Given that we are in the 21st century, I thought it would be nice to use a GUI, rather than dd. I assumed there should be tons of such tools available especially for a distribution like Ubuntu. The first obvious choice was Startup disk creator. It comes with Ubuntu, so no extra installation needed. The interface is very simple

screenshot-from-2016-10-06-22-01-12

and one would think that the process is straight forward: insert the stick, load the image, make the disk. To my surprise the message “To try or install Ubuntu from a …” really means Ubuntu. Regardless how I much I tried, the program would not recognise the Fedora image. Bleah.

The next on the list was UNetbootin, a program I used several times in the past with various degrees of success. This time it failed. I don’t know what it wrote on the disk, but the booting would fail at some point.

In one of those nice coincidences, around the time I was struggling to get the image installed (no need to mention that I blamed the USB stick for the problems :), I came across an article about making bootable (Ubuntu) USBs. I downloaded Etcher, run the program and burned the image onto the USB. The process took only a couple of minutes and it was straightforward. The interface is very tidy and does exactly what it is meant to do. I cannot praise it enough. Thanks guysscreenshot-from-2016-10-06-21-59-54

Now I am the (happy?) owner of a computer that has both Ubuntu and Fedora running, and it seems they both compete for installing their own grub, but that’s for another time … 🙂

Do you have suggestions for other tools?

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