Saturday, February 16, 2013

Easy Steps to Create a Bootable Debian Installer on a USB stick.

This instructions work on Ubuntu Linux. They should be trivial to implement on other Linux distributions:

  1. Acquire a hybrid Debian installation disk image. You can use a hybrid to both run Debian off the installation medium, or install it on the machine. Download it and save it in your machine. See this page for info on accessing Debian ISOs:
  2. Insert your USB stick into the machine. Ensure that you backup all data since it will be overwritten
  3. Execute the following command in the terminal:
    $ sudo fdisk -l
  4. Note the device file for the USB stick. If you cannot understand the output, perform the above command both before and after inserting the USB stick and note the appended file in the output. On my system it is
    $ /dev/sdb1
  5. Execute the following command:
    $ cat /path/to/debian-iso.iso > /dev/sXY
I had to execute $ su first in order to carry out the command as the root. Remember to do $ exit immediately after the command terminates. Replace /path/to/debian-iso.iso above with the actual path to the ISO you downloaded. My /dev/sXY was /dev/sdb.

Once you are done, you can restart your machine and set it to boot from the USB stick.

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