UNetbootin is a nice easy to use Free Software Universal mutli OS program that makes creation of Bootable USB Stick Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD and other free operating systems a piece of cake
UNetbootin support the three major operating system architectures Windows, Mac OS X and GNU / Linux .
In Debian and Ubuntu based distributions Unetbootin is available as a deb binary package:
debian:~$ dpkg -l |grep -i 'usb' |grep -i 'install'
ii unetbootin 471-2
installer of Linux/BSD distributions to a partition or USB drive
To install it with apt:
debian:~# apt-get install unetbootin
Alternatively for all those who prefer to run it via the GNOME Application menu follow to the menu path:
Applications -> System Tools -> Unetbootin
If the program is launched with non privileged account (like via GNOME Application menu), in order to to properly tamper with any connected USB Flash drive you will be asked about the super user password.
The shipped uniboot version in current Debian stable version Squeeze is 471-2 is a bit outdated. For everyone eager to use the latest version which as of time of writting is 565 check out UnetBootin’s Official Homepage on SourceForge
Installing the distributed binary of unetbootin downloadable from its website is a trivial one. Simply download the file from the Download (for Linux) link and run the binary unetbootin-linux-565:
There is one annoying thing about the latest downloadable (static compiled) unetbootin version, it was built to run using KDE’s QT library and therefore the interface that poped up while trying it was KDE like, pitily did not take advantage of my native GNOME GTK2 library :
Though this little note, unetbootin developers has done a truly great job! I tried unetbootin and was more than pleasently surprised that it prepares bootable USB sticks with only 4 mouse clicks!!! 😉
The program worked out of the box without any external or additional hacks like many of the programs I daily use it just worked 😉
UNetbootin has a thoroughful list of Free Software operating system distributions in the distributions list. Many of the offered Open Source & Free Software distributions has even possibility of installing a multiple versions of the respective distro.
Here is a complete list of all the Free & Open Source Operating Systems, unetbootin program can burn and make bootable on USB stick.
- 1. Ubuntu
- 2. Debian
- 3. Fedora
- 4. PCLinuxOS
- 5. Linux Mint
- 6. Sabayon Linux
- 7. Gentoo
- 8. OpenSUSE
- 9. MEPIS
- 10. Zenwalk
- 11. Arch Linux
- 12. Slax
- 13. Dream Linux
- 14. Damn Small Linux
- 15. SliTaz
- 16. Elive
- 17. CentOS
- 18. Puppy Linux
- 19. Mandriva
- 20. FreeBSD
- 21. LinuxConsole
- 22. Frugalware Linux
- 23. NetBSD
- 24. xPUD
- 25. gNewSense
- 26. GeeXboX
- 27. Gujin
- 28. Kaspersky Rescue Disc
- 29. NimbleX
- 30. Sabayon Linux
- 31. Puppy Linux
- 32. Mandriva
- 33. SuperOS
- 34. Xubuntu
- 35. Parted Magic
- 36. Super Grub Disk
- 37. Smart Boot Manager
- 38. 0phcrack
- 40. FreeNAS
- 41. NetBootCD
- 42. FreeDOS
- 43. Dr. Web Antivirus
- 44. CloneZilla
- 45. Kubutun
- 46. BackTrack
To burn and make bootable on the USB flash drive any of the listed distributions, choose the distribution name and version number as well as the Drive: (which usually will be selected by default to the first sticked USB drive let’s say /dev/sdb1).
Afterwards press on the OK button and that’s it, lay down your back and wait until the distribution is downloaded from the Internet, burned into the USB pendrive and made bootable.
I’ve tested Unetbootin with two distributions;
1. Xubuntu 10_04_live and;
2. Fedora 13
Both of the distributions got burned properly to the USB drive usng the CD images and booted fine on a Packard Bell notebook on.
Having an USB drive with LiveCD GNU / Linux or BSD everywhere with you is hand and is a sort of substitute to the old linux boot floopy disk of Tomsrtbt linux distribution, I used to keep everywhere with me . Now I can move to any PC installed with Windows and use my preferred Free Software OS using an USB Stick.
Besides that, there are laptops whose CD-ROM / DVD-ROM drive is broken and therefore if one wants to re-install an improperly working Windows XP / Vista / 7 and substitute with Free operating system this task is only possible using USB Flash Disk or NetBoot Install.
Installing using USB has its advantageous as you don’t depend on the network as well as the installation from USB is in most of the cases few times faster.
There are plenty of other USB Linux installer programs, most of them however are only available with a Windows version.
Here are few prgrams which can be used to burn a number of Linux and *BSD installations using Microsoft Windows to create Linux / BSD liveUSB:
- Universal USB Installer – http://live.learnfree.eu/download
- YUMI – Your Universal Multiboot Installer – http://www.pendrivelinux.com/yumi-multiboot-usb-creator/
- xBOOT – http://sites.google.com/site/shamurxboot/
I was happy to find out ’bout the existence of Universal USB Installer (this proggie written in Python) is made by a Bulgarian mate! Proud to be Bulgarian 😉 Universal USB Installer is actually multiplatform since written in Python and therefore can be used to burn a LiveUSB on GNU / Linux and (possibly on FreeBSD?)I would be glad to get feedback from other people who had experience with programs to prepare LiveUSB bootable sticks on Free Software OSes. Does anybody tried that on who *BSDs? Cheers 😉