Linux Mint – Using the USB Image Writer

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As mentioned, optical media is in the beginning stages of fading away. Some proponents of optical media may argue against this as many people still use optical media. However, with more and more computers shipping without optical drives, the fate of optical media has been written. The Linux Mint developers must understand this because a custom application is included to facilitate the creation of bootable USB flash drives for installing Linux or running utilities. The USB Image Writer makes the creation of bootable flash drives a cinch and is included in the default Mint installation. You’ll find it in your Applications menu. The following screenshot shows the Mint’s USB Image Writer application in action:

To use this tool, select a previously downloaded .iso file (such as a distribution of Linux) and then select the flash drive you’d like to use. When you’re comfortable with the selections, click on the Write button and the process will begin, typically taking a few minutes to complete. It goes without saying that this will erase your flash drive. Make sure you’re comfortable with the flash drive you’ve chosen before you begin the process.

You can simplify the process a bit by right-clicking on the .iso file you’ve downloaded, and then clicking on Make a Bootable USB Stick. This will fill in the ISO selection field for you and then all that you’d have to do is select the flash drive you’d like to use.

Note

The USB Image Writer may not work with all ISO files. If you create bootable media with an ISO file and it fails to function properly, consult the information pages for the ISO file you’ve downloaded and see if they have a preferred method. Some Linux distributions prefer that you use the dd command to create bootable flash drives from their ISO files and include instructions on their pages for doing so.

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