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Create your own self-bootable USB drives easily in Linux

Largely thanks to the ease of use and configuration that its developers offer us today, many users are now opting to try these systems of Open Source. These no longer have anything to do with the software of a few years ago that was limited to a few professionals and experts in these usage environments. Hence precisely at this time we have a multitude of possibilities and ways to do it to try some of the many available distributions.

We just have to choose the method that best suits our needs in this case, or that we know how to carry out without any problem. This is precisely what we want to talk about in the next few lines, especially suitable for those who want to try one or more Linux distributions on your computer.

How to install and test any Linux distribution

For this we can use several methods, such as performing a clean installation on our computer, or doing it through a virtual machine. Be that as it may, the truth is that in most cases we will be surprised how easy it is to use current Linux distros. It is true that many of those who have Windows as their main operating system, prefer to avoid uninstalling the system of Microsoft to test such a distribution.

However, you can always use other partitions for this and multiboot the Pc. In this way we will have the possibility to choose which operating system we need or want to boot at all times. Similarly, the use of virtual machines through programs such as VirtualBox, is spreading all over the world. These applications allow us to virtualize alternative operating systems to the one that makes up the base, all this in a simple and very comfortable way.

With everything and with this, the best way to install a Linux operating system on our computer is from a USB memory. But of course, at this point it must be borne in mind that in many cases it is not enough to copy the corresponding ISO image. This is something that becomes clear, for example, if we are going to do a clean installation on the computer. In that case what we are going to need is a self-bootable USB stick containing said image with the Linux distribution.

How to create self-bootable USB sticks in Linux

The problem here is that many users who might be considered new to these issues do not know how to create a bootable USB installer. Well, for those who are in this position, then we are going to try to help you. We tell you all this because in the next lines we are going to see several ways to create a pen drive self bootable on Linux.

This will allow us to go anywhere with our USB key to install our favorite Linux distribution on the PC of a friend or relative who needs it. In addition, that way we will not need additional tools for all this. All we need at first is that this USB memory be self-bootable, something for which we are going to help you next.

Etcher, the most used application

Those of you who have carried out these types of tasks in the past probably know that this is the most commonly used method of creating a USB installer for boot into Linux. We refer to the tool Etcher, a very easy to use program that anyone can understand, even newbies. Thus, to create a self-booting USB installer in Linux through Etcher, the first thing we do is download the program from this link.

We find a compressed file, so we extract its content and double-click the mouse to run the program. Once opened, we download the Linux operating system with which we want to create the USB installer Boot.

Etcher interface

Next, we connect the USB drive and click on the Flash from file button. We locate the ISO file with the system and add it to Etcher. At the destination, we choose the USB drive and the creation process will begin.

Another option to create a self-bootable USB

Another simple way to achieve this self-bootable USB from Linux is with the Gnome Disks application. For all this, the first thing we must do is install the program in the operating system. First we open a terminal window, for example, with the key combination CTRL + ALT + T, and follow the installation instructions of the Command line.

Serve as an example that to achieve this in Ubuntu we have to use the following command.

sudo apt install gnome-disk-utility

install gnome disk

Once the application is running on the computer, we download, as before, the file Linux ISO that we want to use to create the self-bootable USB. Then we go back to the application Gnome Disks and in the left sidebar we locate the USB flash drive and click with the mouse to select it. Next, we click on the menu button located in the upper right corner and we opted for the Restore Disk Image button.

gnome disk interface

After that we select the ISO file with the Linux distro to add it to Gnome Disks and click on Start Restoring to create the bootable USB.

As we have seen first-hand, both systems to create a self-bootable USB drive, is quite simple. We opt for the method that we choose, there are few steps that we have to carry out to achieve the objective we seek. In this way, in a matter of a few minutes, we will have the possibility of having our own self-bootable USB with the OS that we want.

Because something we must know is that, to carry out this type of task, we can do it with the ISO image of any system that we want to install on a PC.

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