UNetbootin allows you to easily adapt a Linux CD image to boot off of a USB flash drive or memory card. Have a system without a CD drive? Create a bootable USB drive to run your Linux installer.

I used this method to create an Ubuntu 8.04.1 live SD card. The process required just over 700 MB of space on the card.

UNetbootin’s website offers a statically-linked binary download for Linux systems. This means you don’t need to install it. Download UNetbootin for Linux using the link on the top of the application’s site.

Mark the downloaded file as executable using the command line, or by opening its properties and selecting Allow executing in the Permissions tab. You can run the application on the command line or by double clicking the file.

If you get errors about missing some dependencies, exit UNetbootin and install them before continuing. I had to install mtools and p7zip-full (click the links to install):
sudo apt-get install mtools p7zip-full

UNetbootin should start now without any warnings.

UNetbootin setup

Select the Diskimage option and browse to your source ISO file. In the Drive dropdown box, double check that your desired USB flash drive or memory card is selected. For example, if you want to check if /dev/sde1 is your flash drive, run this command:
mount | grep /dev/sde1

Among the output from that command should be the location where /dev/sde1 is mounted currently.

UNetbootin working

Click OK and wait while UNetbootin works. Click Exit once the process is finished, and eject your drive. You should now be able to boot off of it on any system capable of USB boots.


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