Create Bootable Operating System Installer

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Creating Bootable Flashdisk for Operating System Installation

Most of the times we are relying on device such as CD or DVD player to be able to install a fresh and new operating system. Certainly in those moments we faced a harsh reality when we do not even have any CD or DVD Player to use. The situation will also be similar if we have the CD or DVD player in our hands to be used for the operating system installation but we do not have the CD or DVD contains the bootable operating system installation.

Below we will display steps on creating a bootable flashdisk device for a new operating system installation. Since every server or workstation exists must have at least a USB interface to be used. By using the USB interface available in the server or workstation, we can plug the already configured flashdisk as bootable operating system installer to install a fresh and new operating system.

Below is the steps which I done in my Ubuntu Linux Distribution :

  1. Find a flashdisk which can be used to be a bootable operating system installer. Do not forget that you have to check the size first, because normally the bootable operating system installer itself will costs you about almost the same size as the ISO file image of the operating system accordingly.
  2. Definitely plug your flashdisk to your workstation. The workstation which is used must have be installed with ‘dd’ command as any Linux Distribution will actually have the utility.
  3. The utility ‘dd’ is simply function to convert and copy a file based on the information given in the manual command of Linux Operating System.
  4. Check whether your flashdisk has already detected.
  5. CHECK YOUR FLASHDISK FIRST FOR ANY AVAILABLE DATA. This is an important step to be done. You don’t want to feel sorry or even cursing yourself because you forgot to backup your data which exists in the flashdisk. What does it use for?, off course you need to move any single data available since this flashdisk’s data will be wipe out and will be formatted to be able to function as a bootable operating system installer.
  6. If it is automatically mounted and you have securely backup your data either move it or copy it into another storage.
  7. Run the following command :

dd if=/path/to/your-iso-operating-system-file.iso of=/dev/sdx bs=4M

* the if parameter’s value must be filled with the path of your ISO file

* the of parameter’s value must be filled with the device name of your detected flashdisk, in order to check it you have to run the command such as /dev/sdb

* bs is the byte size, i have try it several times and it will reduce the time of the command’s processing every time we increase the size of the bs. But I haven’t scientifically test or have the reliable data to able to state it as a fact.

dmesg | grep sd


The above image display an example of the running command’s output.

  1. This is an example of the running command’s output of dd when running the exact detail command :


dd if=/home/user/ubuntu-14.04.4-server-amd64.iso of=/dev/sdb bs=4

The image display above has already edited, but most important it shows the output part of the command.

One thing to remember is you must not define the partition number in the of parameter’s value such as “of=/dev/sdb1”, because we are formatting the entire device not only a certain partition.


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