How to create bootable USB with Debian?

2014-02-13 Linux

Typical process of creating bootable USB using previously downloaded ISO image with OS is pretty easy but with Debian it’s tricky.

Using Startup Disk Creator in my case thrown an error:

An uncaught exception was raised: Invalid version string 'GNU/Linux'

Below I will show you nice workaround that works perfectly and requires no additional programs to deal with.

1. Prepare your USB

Make sure, that it contains enough free space. Mount your pendrive and check on which /dev/sd* Linux recognizes your device. One time mine was on sdb and another time on sdc.

2. Localize you ISO file with Debian

You will need path to the ISO in the next step. If you’ve downloaded Debian to your Downloads under home directory, it should look similar to:


File name may be different but that’s obvious.

3. Do the magic

Open terminal and type:

sudo dd if=[path_to_iso] of=[path_to_usb]

In my case:

sudo dd if=/home/slick/Downloads/debian-7.4.0-amd64-CD-1.iso of=/dev/sdb

IMPORTANT: Don’t provide path to the exact partition, for example:

sudo dd if=/home/slick/Downloads/debian-7.4.0-amd64-CD-1.iso of=/dev/sdb1

When you do that, you’re bootable pendrive won’t boot!

What dd command does? In brief explaination it will copy whole ISO content as a raw data into your USB.

After minute or two you should see something similar to:

1275904+0 records in
1275904+0 records out
653262848 bytes (653 MB) copied, 17,4742 s, 37,4 MB/s

Your bootable USB with Debian is ready to go.