How to Create and Boot from a LiveCD/USB Drive

How to Create and Boot from a LiveCD/USB Drive

STAGE 1: Download .ISO image, prepare USB flash drive

First, you will need an .ISO image of a Linux OS that you will put onto a USB drive (4GB+ recommended).

As far as .ISO images go, you can use one from any OS that you wish. We strongly suggest downloading the 'Desktop' or 'GUI' version, however. .ISO images can be downloaded directly or via BitTorrent from one of the major distribution's websites, for example:


STAGE 2: Follow one of our LiveCD creation guides

  1. Insert the drive you wish to use
  2. Identify it by drive device name. Run: lsblk
  3. Make sure you unmount the drive first: sudo umount /dev/sd<?>
  4. Then create the liveCD. Run: sudo dd bs=4M if=<input-image-name>.iso of=/dev/sd<?>

STAGE 3: Insert and boot from LiveCD (USB drive)

Once you've created your LiveCD bootable USB drive, insert it into the computer, reboot, and then enter the BIOS boot order menu to ensure that the system will try to boot from the USB drive before anything else.

Usually you will need to press <del> as the system is booting in order to 'enter setup' or access this BIOS menu. Note that for some systems you will need to hit <esc>, <F10>, or <F11> instead.

Next, use the arrow keys and select Boot to access the Boot Order menu, usually named "Boot Device Select". Here, you will set the computer to boot from the USB flash drive first. Most likely you will see the drive flash drive listed by its manufacturer, or something along the lines of 'USB Mass Storage Device'.

When you have set the Boot Order correctly, press <F10> to Save and Exit and the system will reboot.

If you have a graphics card on the system, you should see an Ubuntu/Other-OS logo and menu appear (GUI Interface). Boot into the system to troubleshoot. Do not install as this will wipe out your entire system.

If you don't have a graphics card or on-board graphics on your system, you should be presented with a terminal login screen. If not, or if you see only a blinking cursor, try pressing <Ctrl>+<Alt>+<F2> or <Ctrl>+<Alt>+<F3> to switch to another terminal.

    • Related Articles

    • Create Linux LiveCD from Windows using Rufus

      Download Rufus. Download a Linux ISO: Ubuntu: Direct Download: Torrent, Net Install: CentOS: Direct Download or Torrent: ...
    • Create a Bootable Linux USB Flash Drive Using dd

      Insert your USB drive into your computer and use ‘df’ or ‘lsblk’ from the command line to determine the device name your flash drive has been assigned, e.g. /dev/sdb, sdc, etc. Make sure the drive is not mounted. If necessary, unmount it with: sudo ...
    • Create FreeDos CD from Windows using Rufus

        Download Rufus. ( Create Bootable USB Media) Download attached (FreeDos Image Creator) Unzip to C:\Temp   Move any files that you want to have available during the DOS session to the C:\Temp\CDROOT folder. Ex. BIOS Updates, IPMI ...
    • Create an Ubuntu LiveUSB with Persistence

      PREREQUISITES: A USB thumbdrive of 8GB capacity or larger A Windows Workstation with internet access GETTING STARTED: Prepare a USB drive of capacity 8GB or larger. Format the drive in Windows to FAT-32. (Windows will prompt you automatically to do ...
    • Creating FreeDOS bootable ISO

      Prerequisites: Linux mkisofs or genisoimage unzip utility for Linux unix2dos (part of dos2unix packages) This guide will cover creating DOS bootable ISO files to assist with simple and automated firmware updates for the most frequently updated ...