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

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


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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