Tag Archives: usb

Bolt Will Tackle Thunderbolt 3 Security on Linux

Thunderbolt 3 on LinuxAh, you gotta love Red Hat — they’re never not busy working on something that might make our lives a little easier. Latest case in point: Thunderbolt 3. This alternative to USB and other peripheral port technologies (including the older Thunderbolt 2) is fast gaining traction in the tech industry (especially since Intel made it […]

This post, Bolt Will Tackle Thunderbolt 3 Security on Linux, was written by Joey Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

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Tool To Create Bootable Windows USB Stick From Linux `WinUSB` (Fork) Renamed To `WoeUSB`, Sees New Release

The WinUSB fork we covered a while back was renamed to WoeUSB recently, while also seeing quite a few releases for the past few days.


WoeUSB / WinUSB is a tool that can be used to create a bootable Windows installer USB stick from an ISO or DVD. The application supports Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, as well Windows 10, and can be used either with a GUI or from the command line.

As for supported bootmodes, WoeUSB / WinUSB can create a bootable Windows USB installation stick using the following:
  • Legacy / MBR-style / IBM PC compatible bootmode;
  • Native UEFI booting is supported for Windows 7 and later images (with a limitation: only FAT filesystem can be used as the target filesystem).

Since it was forked from Colin Gille’s WinUSB, the application has seen a major code refactoring, bug fixes as well as some minor new features. The changes include:
  • support for both wxWidgets 2 and 3;
  • use pkexec instead of gksudo for privilege escalation;
  • UEFI boot support;
  • numerous bug fixes.

Some newer WoeUSB changes include:

  • support customizing the –label of the newly created filesystem in –format mode;
  • implement checking on target filesystem in –install mode;
  • command line: check if target media is busy before continuing and bail out when the target partition is mounted;
  • support Linux distributions that uses “grub2” as prefix name, such as Fedora;
  • –install and –format installation options are deprecated in favor of –partition and –device, to be more clear what both options will do. The old options will still be available until WoeUSB v3.0;
  • from now on, GRUB will pause when the ENTER key is used before starting to load Windows. This is useful if you want to see if there are errors in the GRUB loading stage.

Also, since the application name has changed, the executables have changed as well: “woeusbgui” for the GUI and “woeusb” for the command line tool.

You can see what’s new in each new WoeUSB release (there were 13 new releases for the past 2 days) on GitHub.

Despite the major code refactoring and numerous bug fixes, I still encountered an error using the WoeUSB GUI, which I also found in the original WinUSB. When the Windows USB stick is completed, WoeUSB displayed the following message: “Installation failed ! Exit code: 256”. This bug was closed on GitHub and it looks like it doesn’t affect the actual Windows USB stick in any way.

In my test, I was able to install Windows 10 64bit in VirtualBox (on an Ubuntu 17.04 host) despite this error.

Install WoeUSB in Ubuntu or Linux Mint via PPA

WoeUSB is available in the main WebUpd8 PPA, for Ubuntu 17.04, 16.10, 16.04 or 14.04 / Linux Mint 18.x or 17.x. To add the PPA and install WoeUSB, use the following commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt update
sudo apt install woeusb

If you don’t want to add the PPA, you can grab the latest WoeUSB deb from HERE (you’ll only need the “woeusb” deb; the “winusb” deb is there as a transitional dummy package, so those that had the old fork installed will receive the new WoeUSB package as an update).

For how to build WoeUSB from source, report bugs, etc., see its GitHub page.

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How to Make a Bootable Ubuntu 16.10 USB Using Etcher

etcher image writerIf you want to do a clean install of Ubuntu 16.10 when it lands next week, or install it on a different computer, then a bootable flash drive is the way to go. That’s in my opinion of course, but computers are increasingly being sold without an optical disc drive, and besides: USB drives are re-writeable and […]

This post, How to Make a Bootable Ubuntu 16.10 USB Using Etcher, was written by Joey-Elijah Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

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Make A Bootable Windows 10 USB Install Stick On Linux With WinUSB Fork

WinUSB is a tool that can be used to create a bootable USB Windows installer from an ISO or a DVD, either using a GUI or from the command line.
The application looks pretty much abandoned, with the latest release dating back to 2013 however, GitHub user slacka forked it, fixed most of its bugs, and updated it to support both wxWidgets 2 and 3.

A few months ago I tried using the original WinUSB to create a bootable Windows 10 pendrive, but it failed. I’m not sure if that’s because of the changes in Windows 10, in Ubuntu (which I used to create the USB) or both, but using slacka’s WinUSB fork worked, although I did encounter a small issue (see below).
I tested slacka’s WinUSB fork to create a bootable Windows 10 USB on Ubuntu 16.04, and while using the GUI, I got an error (already reported) near the end of the process. However, I was still able to use the resulted bootable USB to install Windows 10:

The error doesn’t occur when creating a Windows USB stick using WinUSB from the command line.
I should add that I only tested the WinUSB fork with Windows 10 on Ubuntu 16.04, but it should work with Windows 7 and Windows 8 / 8.1 (and older Ubuntu versions) as well. Also, I performed the Windows 10 installation in VirtualBox, and not on real hardware.
If you want to test the bootable Windows USB you’ve created using WinUSB, before installing it on real hardware, you can use VirtualBox. To be able to boot from USB in VirtualBox, see THIS AskUbuntu answer (make sure your username is added to the “vboxusers” and “disk” groups, or it won’t work – you’ll find the commands to do this in the AskUbuntu link above, under “EDIT”).

Install WinUSB fork in Ubuntu or Linux Mint

I uploaded slacka’s WinUSB fork to the main WebUpd8 PPA, to make it easier to install in Ubuntu (16.04, 15.10, 15.04 and 14.04 or Linux Mint (17.x or 18) and derivatives. To add the PPA and install WinUSB, use the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt update
sudo apt install winusb

If you don’t want to add the PPA, you can grab the deb from HERE.

Arch Linux users can install slacka’s WinUSB fork via AUR.

For other Linux distributions, download it from GitHub.

The original WinUSB is also available in a PPA (provides packages up to Ubuntu 14.10 only!).

Create a bootable Windows 10 USB install stick using WinUSB

A. Create a bootable Windows USB install stick using the WinUSB GUI
Simply launch WinUSB from the menu / Dash, select the Windows 10 (again, it probably also works with Windows 7 and 8 / 8.1) ISO or DVD,, then select the USB drive under “Target device” and click “Install”. 
Remember that you may encounter THIS issue while using the GUI (however, in my test, the bootable Windows 10 USB worked despite of that).
B. Create a bootable Windows USB install stick from the command line using WinUSB

If you want to create a bootable Windows USB from the command line, you must first determine what the USB physical drive is. You can easily find this out from the WinUSB GUI (you’ll find it under “Target device” – in my case it’s “/dev/sdc”). You can also find the device using GNOME Disks, or from the command line, using “lsblk” and so on.

Important: make sure you use the correct USB device because it will be formatted!
Once you know the device and the path to the ISO, to create a bootable Windows USB stick from the command line, use:
sudo winusb --format </path/to/windows.iso> <device>

Here’s an example:

sudo winusb --format /home/andrei/Downloads/win10.iso /dev/sdc

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How To Make a Bootable Ubuntu USB on Windows, Mac and Linux

usb thumb drive ubuntu

With Ubuntu 16.04 LTS inching ever closer to release, now feels like a good time to recap how easy it is to make an bootable Ubuntu USB drive. 

Just like the live CD, a live Linux usb allows you to boot Ubuntu on your machine without needing to install it on your hard-drive. Live images are a useful way to test hardware compatibility (things like Wi-Fi drivers, touch-screens, etc) before committing to a full install.

In this article we show you 3 ways of making a bootable thumb drive on the 3 major desktop operating systems: Windows, OS X and Ubuntu.

How to Create a Bootable Linux USB Drive on Windows

Our preferred tool for creating bootable Ubuntu sticks in Windows is ‘Linux Live USB Creator’ – often called ‘Lili’ for short.

linux live usb creator screenshot.png

The free and open-source app is incredibly straightforward to use. Just follow each step in turn. It’ll even download the .iso file for you if you don’t have one to hand.

Download Linux Live USB Creator for Windows

If you don’t like this app (or can’t get it run) there are alternatives, including Rufus (Github link)

How to Create a Bootable Linux USB Drive on Mac OS X

For an OS that’s prized for its simplicity it’s strange that creating a bootable USB on a Mac is not easy.

But it’s not impossible, either.

Canonical recommend a command-line method to create a bootable USB with Ubuntu on Mac O SX. The instructions are concise though the process is involved.

For something less longwinded you could give the open-source, cross-platform UNetBootin app a go.

It has to be said that while the success rate of images created using this app is poor (you can’t use the USB’s it creates to boot a Mac, for instance) it is the ‘easiest’ way to create a bootable Ubuntu USB on Mac OS X.

Like LiLi above, Unetbootin can even automatically download a Linux distro .iso file, which is handy if you feel the itch to distro hop but don’t know exactly which flavor to try.


Remember that to boot from a USB on a Mac you will need to hold down the Alt/Option’ key during boot.

Download Unetbootin for OS X

Other GUI alternatives include

How to Make a Bootable Linux USB Drive on Ubuntu

Ubuntu comes with an app to create live USB drives already installed.

Open the Dash and search for ‘USB Startup’.

Launch the app, locate your .iso file, choose your USB drive (double check it’s the correct one!) and then hit ‘install’.

You can also configure persistence though I’ve never had a USB boot when I’ve enabled this feature.

What’s your preferred method for creating bootable Linux USB drives? Let us know in the comments!

This post, How To Make a Bootable Ubuntu USB on Windows, Mac and Linux, was written by Joey-Elijah Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

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Create A Bootable USB Stick On Ubuntu With GNOME Disks [Quick Tip]

[Quick tip] Ubuntu Startup Disk Creator has been known to be buggy at times, so users have been looking for alternatives. Well, some might not be aware of this, but there’s another GUI tool already installed by default in Ubuntu (w/ Unity) and Ubuntu GNOME, as well as other GNOME-based Linux distributions, which allows creating a bootable USB stick: GNOME Disks.

GNOME Disks is reliable, very easy to use and should already be installed if you use Ubuntu with Unity or GNOME.
To create a live USB using GNOME Disks, open Nautilus, right click the Ubuntu (Fedora, etc.) ISO and select Open With > Disk Image Writer:

Ubuntu bootable USB stick gnome disks

Next, simply select your USB drive as the Destination (and double check to make sure the drive you select under “Destination” is correct because the data on it will be destroyed!) and click “Start restoring…”:

Ubuntu bootable USB stick gnome disks

Note that this method doesn’t support data persistence, so when starting up from this USB, the documents and settings will be discarded on shutdown.
And speaking of GNOME Disks and USB drives, you can also use this tool to format USB sticks, edit partition, create a disk image, change filesystem label and more.
In case you’ve removed GNOME Disks Utility or your Linux distribution doesn’t provide it by default, install the “gnome-disk-utility” package. In Debian / Ubuntu (and derivatives), install it using the following command:
sudo apt-get install gnome-disk-utility

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