How To: Make A Linux Install USB

Today’s article is going to be a rather basic article, with worthwhile information, about how to make a Linux install USB. This won’t be too complicated, even if it looks complicated initially. It probably won’t even be a very long article.

If you want to install Linux, you will need some sort of install medium. That can be almost any sort of drive, including some distros that are still small enough to fit on a CD. Heck, if you can get your computer to boot to it, you could even use a MicroSD as your installation media.

We’ll be doing this in the terminal. Why? Well, because it’s not that hard and it’s a fairly universal process. You won’t even need to install anything new! But, if you don’t have any interest in doing this in the terminal (or if you’re not using Linux right now) you can always do this with a GUI. See the following article for more details:

balenaEtcher: A Tool To Turn Linux .ISO Files Into Bootable USB Drives

There’s also Rufus, should you be using a Windows computer. You have options outside of the terminal. Though, I haven’t done an article on using Rufus. I don’t have any Windows devices. (If you want to write said article, feel free to let me know. I love guest articles.)

What You Need:

These are the tools you’ll want to have available. It’s not a long list, so we won’t have too much to deal with.

  1. A blank USB drive, large enough to hold the data.
  2. Any distro with lsblk.
  3. The ability to unmount a disk.
  4. A distro with the dd command.

So, I’ll assume you have the first aspect covered. Everything else is software. They’re standard tools that are available on all but the tiniest of distros.

The first tool is lsblk, which the man page describes as:

lsblk – list block devices

Then you’ll need the obverse of mount, which is unmount. This is a part of the mount command. It doesn’t have a command of its own. That mount command is described as:

mount – mount a filesystem

And, finally, you’ll need the dd command. That’s simply described as:

dd – convert and copy a file

And that’ll be all you need. Well, you’ll need an open terminal, of course! So, let’s cover one way that you can…

Make A Linux Install USB:

Like I said, you’re going to need a USB drive. This drive must be big enough to hold the data. You’ll need to insert the drive and then open the terminal. To open the terminal, just press CTRL + ALT + T or open it from your application menu.

With your USB inserted, you need to identify where it is mounted. You can do that by running the following command:

You should be able to easily identify the USB drive by the size of the drive. The data you want will begin with “sd”, often something like “sdb” or “sdc” (enumerating as you increase mounted storage devices).

Take that information and run the following command:

The next command might look complicated, but just follow the directions and you shouldn’t have any trouble as you make a Linux install USB. The command looks like this:

For example, if the disk identifier was “sdc” and the path to the .iso was something like “~/Downloads/Lubuntu_22.04.iso” the command would look like this:

Then, just wait a few minutes. Let the dd command do its thing and you’ll end up with a bootable USB drive that will let you install Linux. (This also works for other image files, of course.)


See? It’s not that complicated to make a Linux install USB. So long as you pay attention, you won’t have much to worry about. There are a few commands that you need to worry about, but those are basic commands in this instance.

I will warn you to be absolutely certain of the path for the dd command because it has the potential to make you have a really bad day. But, if you don’t want to deal with installing a GUI application, or you are in a position where you can’t install a GUI application, this is a way for you to make a Linux USB installation drive to get yourself out of a sticky situation.

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How To: Test Your Drive Speed In The Linux Terminal

Today’s article is going to just be a nice and easy article, one that shows you how to test your drive speed in the Linux terminal. It’s easier than you might think and even easy enough that a new Linux user can figure this one out.

Why would you want to do this? Why would you want to test your drive speed in the Linux terminal?

Well, while there are surely GUI ways to accomplish this, you might want to verify that you’re getting the disk speed you paid for. You might also just want to know your drive’s speeds or perhaps you want to post your drive speed on a forum for bragging rights? These terminal commands will also be pretty much universal, across all distros.

It doesn’t matter why you want to test your drive speed, it just matters that you can test it – and that you’ll now know how. And, you know what they say? Knowledge is power!

So, what will we be doing?

Well, we’ll be using the Linux terminal to check how fast we can read and write data to your drives, no matter if they’re spinning platter hard disk drives or solid state drives. The commands will be the same for all drive types and are fairly easy to learn.

So, with all that said and done, let’s get into the article…

Test Your Drive Speed In The Linux Terminal:

Of course, this article will require an open terminal. On Linux-Tips we do a lot in the terminal. It’s fun and fairly universal. If you don’t know how to open the terminal, you can do so with your keyboard – just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

With your terminal open, you’ll want to run the following command to identify the drive you want want to test. That’s nice and easy, just run:

You’re looking for something like /dev/sda1 or something like /dev/nvme0n1p1 and the lsblk command might help you narrow down which drive it is you want to test.

Once you have identified the drive you want to speed test, you can begin testing. You can first try testing the write speed, that is how fast you can write data to the drive. To do that, you’re command would look like:

For example, if you had ‘sda1‘, your command would look like:

That will tell you how quickly you can write data to your drive, a pretty handy number to know. However, that’s only half of the equation…

You might also want to know how fast you can read data to the drive, the other half of the equation. The command to find the read speed is pretty similar to the command to read the write speed – and that command would look a little something like this:

Or, again, if you want an example of how to test the speed at which you can read data from your drive, an example command would look a little like this:

Note the difference between the commands. In the latter command, we’re writing data from the disk (reading it) and sending it to the bit bucket. With the write command, we’re going the opposite direction. In one case you’re writing from /dev/null and in another case you’re writing to /dev/null. Pretty easy, huh?


There it is! This is actually the 301st article written for Linux-Tips.US! This time around we learned how to test your drive speed in the Linux terminal. I told you that it wasn’t too complicated and I stand by it. If you just follow the directions, you’ll learn how to test your drive speed and have another tool in your toolbox.

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your own site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

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