Bootable USB Flash Drive Creation

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Drive-removable-media-usb-pendrive.pngBootable USB Flash Drive Creation
For netbooks it will probably be necessary to have an USB flash drive as bootable medium (because of the lack of a CD/DVD device).


In order to put a Chakra image into an USB flash drive, you will obviously need one with at least 2 Gb, and a machine with USB ports and software that will be suggested here, since it's not as generic as the one used for CD or DVD.

Also, you should make sure the system where you will boot the USB flash drive has also USB ports and can boot USB flash drives (old BIOS's normally can't, but most current do).

Before following any steps, make sure the device is plugged but not mounted.

Now, where will you create your bootable USB flash drive?

256px-Heckert GNU white.png Win-like-userbox.png
GNU (Linux, BSD or Hurd) Microsoft Windows

Microsoft Windows

SUSE Studio ImageWriter

For Windows, you need to download SUSE Studio ImageWriter. Note: If you are running Windows XP or earlier, make sure you have at least .NET 2.0 installed.

Open the SUSE Studio ImageWriter and press the Select button. In the file name box type '*' (without the quotes) and find the Chakra LiveCD image. Select your USB stick and click the Write button

With win32diskimager GUI

Download the software from here Unpack and run.

You need to rename your chakra.iso to chakra.img first, as the application only allows .img files.

Just select your renamed .img file, pick the drive letter you wish to write on, and press the Write button.

Be sure to select the right drive letter. Once you start writing, all previous data on the device will be destroyed. Win32diskimager will limit selection to pendrives, but if you've got more than one pluged in, beware.

From Windows command line

You need to download dd which is a common program with the primary purpose of low-level copying of raw data.

Once installed, open the command prompt and do this:

dd.exe if=/path/to/the/downloaded/iso of=/path/to/the/USB/device

GNU Distributions

SUSE Studio ImageWriter (GUI)

It is best to use the application Imagewriter, available in the Chakra apps-repo. Install the app:

sudo pacman -S imagewriter


  • Drag the downloaded ISO into imagewriter, or browse to the directory containing the ISO,
  • Connect your USB stick,
  • Check the shown path is correct, and
  • Click the Write button.

Using the command line

In order to create a bootable USB flash drive, you will need coreutils (which provides dd). Most GNU distributions (including Chakra) have coreutils already installed. BUT be careful as dd command will erase drive contents.

To use dd, run this in a terminal:

sudo dd if=/path/to/the/downloaded/iso of=/path/to/the/USB/device

or, if you want to get the progress of the command you can install pv and run:

pv -tpreb /path/to/the/downloaded/iso | sudo dd of=/path/to/the/USB/device

Where /path/to/the/USB/device would be the USB flash drive under /dev. It will probably be /dev/sd-, where - will be a letter. Remember that it should be unmounted, so there should be no sd-1 entries.

Then you can check that the creation of the bootable USB stick was successful. Use fdisk -l as root to check it. You should see an asterisk (*) like this in your USB line:

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdb1   *           1         697      713728   17  Hidden HPFS/NTFS