Creating USB installation Media for different operating systems

I received a comment to one of my articles asking how to create USB installation media for Fedora.

As the poster didn’t leave any valid reply details I thought I’d make a quick post on how to do this for anyone else who may be interested.


There are two ways to achieve this.

Option 1:

This method is by far a much simpler way. You will be able to do this on any Linux based system, and I think any Mac as well.

Download any media you wish to use for your USB stick.

I currently have Fedora 18 Beta and Windows 8, however I can confirm this works on any type of media.
If you have a bootable media in a .iso format, this method will work fine.

All you need to do is use the “dd” command

See the below example where I have used the Fedora 18 Beta DVD image

[mac@localhost ~]$ sudo dd if=./Fedora-18-Beta-x86_64-DVD.iso of=/dev/sdb

Once the command has finished, you can safely eject your USB stick and boot your computer from your new install media.

For a bit of real world understanding if you have not done this before. I use this very step every single time I need to perform any form of Operating System installation, partitioning, or backup task where network booting is not available. I simply do this so I don’t have to waste time burning CD’s and DVD’s for every single task.

Below is a list of Operating Systems or tools which I boot via USB with.

  • Fedora Linux (any version)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux (any version)
  • CloneZilla (any version)
  • GPartEd (any version)
  • gPXE (any version)

A general rule of thumb would be, “if its linux based, it should work”



If you prefer to use a Graphical interface to achieve this, you can install the “Fedora Live USB Creator” utility which will allow you to turn a normal every day Fedora Live Installer into a bootable USB stick.

You’ll need to install the “liveusb-creator” package in order to achieve this.
If you don’t already have it installed, run the following.

[mac@localhost ~]$ sudo yum install liveusb-creator

Next, open up the “Fedora LiveUSB Creator” application, where you will be given the below window.

Fedora LiveUSB Creator

You will notice that my USB stick has a label of “MyUSB”. If you haven’t inserted your USB stick already, it will automatically appear in the list when you insert it.

In the above image, I have selected the “Fedora 17 x86_64 Desktop” image. This is the 64bit version of the Live installation media.
This will automatically download the correct media for you and turn it into a USB stick. If you have already downloaded the Live installation media in the past, you can select it by clicking the “Browse” button.

Please be aware that this utility will only create a USB install medium for the “LIVE” installation environments. This is not a normal every day installer.
If you would prefer a normall installation, I recommend you use Option 1.

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