Product SiteDocumentation Site USB Image Creation in Linux

USB media often comes in the form of flash devices sometimes called pen drives, thumb disks, or keys; or as an externally connected hard disk device. Almost all media of this type is formatted as a vfat file system. You can create bootable USB media on media formatted as ext2, ext3, or vfat.

ext4 and Btrfs

The GRUB bootloader does not support the ext4 or Btrfs file systems. You cannot create bootable USB media on media formatted as ext4 or Btrfs.

Unusual USB Media

In a few cases with oddly formatted or partitioned USB media, the image writing may fail.
  1. Download a Live ISO file as shown in Section 2.3, “Which Files Do I Download?”.
  2. Install the livecd-tools package on your system. For Fedora systems, use the following command:
    su -c 'yum -y install livecd-tools'
  3. Plug in your USB media.
  4. Find the device name for your USB media. If the media has a volume name, look up the name in /dev/disk/by-label, or use the findfs:
    su -c 'findfs LABEL="MyLabel"'
    If the media does not have a volume name, or you do not know it, consult the /var/log/messages log for details:
    su -c 'less /var/log/messages'
  5. Use the livecd-iso-to-disk command to write the ISO image to the media:
    su -c 'livecd-iso-to-disk the_image.iso /dev/sdX1'
    Replace sdX1 with the device name for the partition on the USB media. Most flash drives and external hard disks use only one partition. If you have changed this behavior or have oddly partitioned media, you may need to consult other sources of help.