How to create a Bootable USB using Rufus for Linux Distributions

When you have decided to switch from Windows 10 to Linux distributions like Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Pop_OS!, or any other distribution, The foremost part is to have a bootable USB drive to perform the installation process.

In Linux, we have multiple utility tools to create bootable thumb drives, such as balenaEtcher, Ventoy, and my personal favorites, dd command.

For Windows, we still have options to use the above application. Don’t you love the Open Source project? Rufus is an open-source application that allows you to create a bootable USB drive in a few simple steps.

I’m not saying other utilities are not open-source, but what I love about Rufus is its size (1.3 MB) compared to other utility tools, and you do not need to install it either. Isn’t that amazing? Just download and run to create a bootable device.

It is a piece of cake to create a bootable drive using Rufus.

Prerequisite

  • Any ISO File
  • A minimum of a 16GB USB drive is required for DVD ISO of RedHat, 8GB of storage is enough for Ubuntu/Debian and other Linux distributions.

Steps to Download and Creating Bootable USB

In a few simple clicks, you will be able to download Rufus to your system and create a bootable USB drive.

Step 1: Download Latest Rufus

To get the latest version of Rufus, click on the below button, which redirects you to the official site. From there, you can download the latest version of Rufus for your Windows system.

Once the page gets loaded, we need to scroll down and go to the Download section and select the latest Rufus version. While writing this article, Rufus’s latest version is “Rufus 3.17”, so the version may differ when you read this article.

Download the latest Rufus tool
Download the latest Rufus tool

Step 2: Run Rufus!

Once the file is downloaded, go to the directory where the file is located and right-click on a file and select “Run as administrator” to launch the Rufus.

Run Rufus as administrator
Run Rufus as administrator

As you run the application, It will ask you to provide auto-update permission. If you want, Rufus should automatically detect the latest version click on Yes, else you want to check the latest version manually, click on No.

Rufus update policy
Rufus update policy

Note: The below step will format your USB drive, so it requests you to make a backup of your USB drive, else you may lose your valuable data.

Step 3: Select Drive and ISO File

This is the main screen where you need to choose a USB drive and provide the file location of the respective ISO.

Rufus Main Screen
Rufus’s Main Screen

Device: In this drop-down menu, you will find the connected USB device name along with the USB disk size. In the case of multiple USB drives, select the USB drive that you want to use for bootable from the drop-down menu.

Boot selection: At this step, you need to provide the ISO file location for which you want to create a bootable device. You do not need to change the default options “Disk or ISO image” unless and until you have a different objective.

On the right side of the current screen, click on “Select” to specify the downloaded ISO file location.

Persistent partition size: It is a new feature introduced in Rufus that users desperately miss. If you don’t know what persistent partition size is, then I’ll explain it in a simple way. It helps you to store the changes that you have made in Live Boot.

For the sake of simplicity, we will not touch on any other options to avoid confusion.

Step 4: Click on Start to create a bootable device

Once you’ve followed the above instructions, click on “Start” to create a bootable USB drive.

Click on Start to create Bootable USB Drive
Click on Start to create Bootable USB Drive

You are required to download additional files ‘Idlinux.sys’ and ‘Idlinux.bss’. If you are thinking, why do we need to download Idlinux.sys and Idlinux.bss? These two files help the Linux installer to boot from the (USB drive) fat32 filesystem.

Simply click on ‘Yes’. It is a one-time process, and you do not need to download it again.

Download required files Click on Yes
Download required files Click on Yes

Over here, you have two options to write ISO images to your USB drive.

  • Write in ISO Image mode(Recommended)
  • Write in DD Image mode.

Usually, most Linux distributions can boot and install from an ISO image. However, in some conditions, DD Image mode is required to choose, otherwise, your system will not be able to boot it or install it.

In that scenario, use “Write in DD Image mode” and proceed to the next screen.

ISOHybrid Image detected
Click on OK

The only problem with the ‘Write in dd Image’ method will create multiple partitions on the USB Disk, which makes the drive unusable.

You do not need to panic because we already have an article on this. Make sure to read it once you complete the installation process.

This step will format your USB drive. If you stored some important files, make sure to take a backup of your pen drive to avoid an unnecessary headache.

If you are unsure, go back and check whether an important file is not stored on a USB drive; after that, click on ‘OK’.

Rufus warning to avoid data loss
Click on OK

Please sit back and have a cup of coffee because this process will take some time actually, and it varies to a USB drive, ISO file, and system.

Creating bootable USB Drive
Creating a bootable USB Drive

Once the process is complete, you are ready to boot your system using your bootable drive. Many users find it difficult to get boot menu options. If you are one of them, please read the troubleshooting steps.

Wrap-up

That’s all my friend to create a bootable USB drive using Rufus. In case you need some assistance from my end, feel free to comment.

I want to know which Linux operating system you have installed using Rufus, and please write it down in the comment section.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. james g

    trying to put pclos 2021 onto a usb flash drive to take with me when i travel. we’ll see!

Leave a Reply