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I have been using unetbootin to create bootable Linux USBs.

I want to do this manually using command line.

What is the procedure that unetbootin uses to prepare a bootable USB?

How would you go about manually converting an Ubuntu ISO to a USB?

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Assuming you are on nix and the distro you are interested in is oneiric ozelot or above then the following should work

sudo dd if=<isofile> of=/dev/sd<USBSTICK> oflag=direct bs=1048576

Please be triple careful with the argument to of. dd will NOT check if it's sensible/mounted/empty/..., it will just write. If you happen to specify your root device or anything else you still need, then it'll be gone.

Also please note, that the default ubuntu setup has the graphical usb creator installed, so no need for unetbootin.

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I always use cat <isofile> > /dev/sd<USBSTICK> is this worse method? – atomAltera Jan 8 '13 at 20:27
Excellent question, try here stackoverflow.com/questions/150697/is-dd-better-than-cat – Max Jan 10 '13 at 0:07

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