This is crazy! It doesn't seem like you can install or find a usable USB drive creator/format tool to make installation drives from ISOs within the OS! Am I missing something? :(

  • 1
    I always install gnome-disk-utility from the Appcenter. Once you have installed, you can use the Context menu over .iso-files to write the image directly to your usb drive. Just right-click the ISO and go to 'Open with...'
    – Gre0
    Oct 6, 2016 at 18:20

4 Answers 4


This is covered in the elementary guide.

  1. Open UNetbootin from the Dash. It will open a window like the one below: enter image description here

  2. Select "Diskimage"

  3. Click "…" to select the ISO that you downloaded previously.

  4. Unplug all USB memory devices apart from the one you want to use.

  5. Click "OK" and wait for the process to finish.

For powerusers there is the dd tool. This method is not recommended unless you know what you are doing because of the potential for data-loss if the wrong target device is selected:

sudo dd if=/path/to/image.iso of=/dev/sdX

where sdX is the device identifier of your USB drive, which can be found in the output of dmesg | grep usb.

If you are not sure which identifier is correct, then it is not advised to use this method.


The way I do it is:

  • format the USB to have only one partiton (it may work with multiple positions, but I haven't tested it). The type of the (first) partition should be fat32

  • extract the files from the iso archive onto that partition

    • use GParted or some similar application (even the command line) to set the boot flag to the partition (at this point, I can't read the USB via Files anymore, since it is not recognized as "data" anymore

That's it! After this, I can use the USB to boot (installed both Freya and Loki like this)


Have you tried UNetbootin? It is available in the App Centre. Let's you create bootable USBs from ISO image files. Hope this helps.


In AppCenter, are you able to see any apps other than the default elementary applications? For example, if you search for Chromium or GDebi, do you get any results?

If you can't see such applications, you may need to run sudo apt update as described in this answer.

  • Can someone please clarify why this was downvoted so I can provide better answers in the future? Thanks! Sep 27, 2016 at 14:50
  • You comment is not related to the question he has. He wanted to know how he can write a image file to a usb disk, not how to use the Appcenter.
    – Gre0
    Oct 6, 2016 at 18:23
  • Got it - thanks! To clarify, it sounded to me like he couldn't find a USB drive writer in AppCenter. UNetbootin and other tools are available in AppCenter, so I thought the problem might be that AppCenter wasn't showing all available apps. Oct 6, 2016 at 19:59

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