The question is common, but I am not able to solve it with the explanations I found here.


  • 4GB usb stick
  • Manjaro operaing system
  • iso image file of linux mint

First, I did:

lsblk # and got /dev/sdb for my usb stick
      # I left it unmounted
dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdb # filled it up with zeros
fdisk # Here, I created a DOS partition table and 1 partition 
      # containing the boot flag
mkfs.vfat /dev/sdb # made the fat filesystem on the usb stick

dd if=linuxmint-18-xfce-64bit.iso.part of=/dev/sdb bs=4M 
# Now, I copied the ismoimage onto the usb stick
echo $? # I checked, if dd finished without error, the exit status was 0
mount /dev/sdb /mnt  #I mounted the usb stick and listed its content
# the content surprised me, it was not the isoimage-file but this:

boot casper dists EFI isolinux MD5SUMS pool preseed README.diskdefines

Then, I set the boot order in uefi as usb stick first, but it did not worked, I only saw my GRUB loader window and started into Manjaro like always.

  • 2
    linuxmint-18-xfce-64bit.iso.part looks like a partially downloaded (broken) file. grub can boot from any iso: git.marmotte.net/git/glim/tree/grub2 , so you haven't to change the boot order. – Ipor Sircer Nov 14 '16 at 19:45
  • If someone has a bad internet connection, it is better to download the iso with: wget <address> , if the connection breaks, one can resume the download with wget -c <address> – Abdul Al Hazred Nov 14 '16 at 19:58

You should verify the .iso image : Steps to verify an ISO image

The available linux image come wiht the .iso extension and not .iso.part

Before unplugging your USB it is recommanded to run sync

There is an example:

dd if=linuxmint-18-xfce-64bit.iso of=/dev/sdb bs=4M status=progress oflag=sync


The syncis to make sure that all the writes are flushed out before the command returns.

if is input file (or device), of is output file (or device)

bs=4M tells dd to read/write in 4 megabyte chunks for better performance; the default is 512 bytes, which will be much slower

progress : shows periodic transfer statistics.

manpages : dd

  • 2
    what is sync doing? – Abdul Al Hazred Nov 14 '16 at 22:50
  • great explanation, I only do not get what "sync" is doing technically. What is the meaning of "all the writes are flushed out before the command returns" ....has it sth. to do with the swap-partition or cache? – Abdul Al Hazred Nov 22 '16 at 15:09

If you don't know your USB device block file (such as /dev/sdb) and if you want to make sure you're not writing over one of your sata system drives, you can use the more secure bootiso utility.

You can give your USB device name explicitly (will fail if it is not connected through USB):

bootiso -d /dev/sdb linuxmint-18-xfce-64bit.iso

Or let him find it for you:

bootiso linuxmint-18-xfce-64bit.iso

See it in action:

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