I am aware that the issue of creating a UEFI-bootable USBs has been covered far and wide. However, from the first round of research I ended up feeling that the information gained is either hyper-specific, super-abundant, too cryptic or a combination of these. For my case, capabilities and circumstances, at least. So I post a question afresh. Thanks for bearing with this.


A Debian live system on UEFI-bootable USB stick.


  • One file. I have downloaded the hybrid ISO image. For the preciseness' sake this is the file debian-live-8.2.0-amd64-gnome-desktop.iso from this repository.
  • One device. With that file I need to create a USB disk that, importantly, is UEFI bootable.
  • One tool. I would like to use GParted to do this, possibly via the GUI.

I did manage to use GParted and create a USB pendrive that is BIOS bootable. I did not get under the belt the conditions and steps to make it UEFI bootable though.


The questions are:

  1. Is this task possible? Please feel free to point out flawed ambitions.
  2. If so, would someone please write down some sort of pseudocode with the sequence of operations to do so with GParted?
  3. If not, what are the operations to implement this with which other Linux tool?

Thanks for helping out!

  • Erase all partitions and create gpt partition table. You should see uefi boot option in boot options. It's All About the gpt partition table. Commented Jan 24, 2016 at 18:56
  • 1
    Did you look at askubuntu.com/questions/395879/… ?
    – Serge
    Commented Jan 24, 2016 at 19:44
  • @FreeSoftwareServers That's incorrect. Although GPT is part of the EFI specification, in practice GPT and UEFI can be conceived as two separate entities because BIOS boot works with GPT and MBR as does UEFI boot. It's about the ESP (EFI System Partition markes as “boot”) which is a preferably FAT32 formatted partition containing the UEFI firmware, regardless if GPT or MBR is used.
    – Marco
    Commented Jan 24, 2016 at 19:55
  • 1
    @Marco, I guess you rather mean dd if=debian-live-8.2.0-amd64-gnome-desktop.iso of=/dev/sdX. cp will not work here - block level tool such as dd has to be used. Anyway - I think the same, debian's ISO should be UEFI bootable.
    – MAQ
    Commented Jan 24, 2016 at 23:44
  • @Marco. The UEFI specification requires an ESP to be FAT32 and there is no requirement for it to be marked bootable. If particular firmware requires a boot flag, or supports non-FAT32 that is a quality of implementation issue.
    – fpmurphy
    Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 0:15

2 Answers 2


Mount the .iso-file and copy the contents over to your USB drive. Press Ctrl + H in Dolphin to display and copy hidden files


enter image description here

  1. Generally yes, but you need more than one partition on the pen drive.

  2. I assume your pen drive is found as /dev/sdb:

    create 8 MiB empty unformatted partition sdb1 (this is the place grub2 goes in later and it may have to be removed later, but I didn't found information about that detail)

    create a 100 MiB FAT32 (vfat) Partition Label EFI sdb2 (this is the ESP partition where the kernel goes to boot in the target system)

    Mark sdb2 with the flags boot and esp

    create sdb3 with at least 2.0 GiB FAT32 (vfat) Label BOOT (this is the place the image gets copied to)

    Mark sdb3 with msftdata flag

    (optional) create a partition over the rest of the space (or leave a bit space for swap at the end; not sure how import swap is in this place) with ext4 or you preferred file system Label casper-rw (this is the root of you system on a stick)

Then you have to copy the data and install GRUB2, and configure it as well.

  1. You need also a file manager or the terminal for copying the files and a text dir to configure your grub.cfg.

You may encounter something like that: Bootproblem to Busybox

  • 2
    Can you show the steps to "copy the data and install GRUB2"?
    – Reinderien
    Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 5:07

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .