Find the answer to your Linux question:
Results 1 to 8 of 8
Enjoy an ad free experience by logging in. Not a member yet? Register.
  1. #1

    Running a flash drive like a cd.

    I know this is probably not possible but I want to know if there is a way to put an iso on a flash drive is such a way that it will boot up just like a cd. If this is truly impossible I would like a reason. Thank you for your help and comments.

  2. #2
    Trusted Penguin Irithori's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    It is possible. Either manually, or you use tools like
    UNetbootin - Homepage and Downloads
    You must always face the curtain with a bow.

  3. #3
    Penguin of trust elija's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Either at home or at work or down the pub
    There are many ways to do this. The most often used by me are:

    1. Unetbootin
    2. Use the dd command with a hybrid iso. This comes with a warning though... It doesn't ask for confirmation so point it at the wrong drive and your data is gone
    Should you be sitting wondering,
    Which Batman is the best,
    There's only one true answer my friend,
    It's Adam Bloody West!

    The Fifth Continent

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    Just to be sure I can put any iso on a flash drive with this not just linux. I have used universalUSB installer in the past and it only allowed for certain OSes.

    Edit: @ Irithori how would I do this manually?

  6. #5
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Tucson AZ
    The software mentioned by the posters above is designed specifically for that purpose and works well, unetbootin at least in my experience. Haven't used the others.

    Manually doing it with some distributions will allow you to boot the iso file copied directly to a partition on the flash drive. You would then need to install Grub2 to the mbr of the flash and make sure you have all the Grub2 boot files on a boot or the system partition. You will then need to manually create a grub.cfg file. Booting an iso like this is pretty limited and mostly just applies to Ubuntu and derivatives as far as I know.

    You can do the same with Grub Legacy, installing it to the mbr of the flash, copying all the Grub files to a boot or system partition on the flash and creating a correct menu.lst or grub.conf file. Using Grub Legacy, you would not be able to use the iso file on the flash but would need to first extract the file by using a loop mount command and then copying these files to a partition on the flash.

    The second method should work with pretty much any Linux distribution. You could also use syslinux as a bootloader.

    Since you haven't given any details on what you are trying to boot it's not possible to give any more detail. If you are wanting to do this with a non-Linux OS, you need to provide more details.

  7. #6
    I basically want to make the flash drive act like a CD. For example I want to be able to to put windows on it and have it boot just like if I were to use a cd.

  8. #7
    Linux Newbie slw210's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    South Central Florida

  9. #8
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Tucson AZ
    I want to be able to to put windows on it and have it boot just like if I were to use a cd.
    Then the link posted above by slw210 should do the job. That is, if you just want a windows install CD on a flash drive. I didn't see anything on the site or the posts that indicate it will work like a Linux Live CD but that it is just to be used to install windows from a flash drive. If that's what you want, it should work.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts