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Revision 17 as of 2005-11-07 09:57:39
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Revision 91 as of 2021-12-30 20:23:11
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Deletions are marked like this. Additions are marked like this.
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## page was renamed from BootUsb
#language en
~-[[DebianWiki/EditorGuide#translation|Translation(s)]]: English - [[de/USBBoot|Deutsch]] - [[it/BootUsb|Italiano]] - [[ru/BootUsb|Русский]] -~
----

This page is about booting Linux via [[USB]] pendrives in any computer with or without USB-BIOS capability (in this last case, using a [[BootFloppy]]). You can install Linux in your USB pendrive or buy it preinstalled.

If you don't want to learn about the internals but just have Debian on a bootable USB stick, check out [[DebianLive]]
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There are two common BIOS methods for direct USB booting:
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There are two common BIOS methods for direct USB booting:
* One method is called the "USBHDD" method and it is used to support the booting of standard USB mass storage devices that are configured like a normal PC hard drive.
* The other method is called the "USBZIP" method and it supports booting from a USB storage device that behaves like the original IOMEGA ZIP drive with USB support.
 * One method is called the "USBHDD" method and it is used to support the booting of standard USB mass storage devices that are configured like a normal PC hard drive. The vast majority of machines work this way these days.
 * The other method (necessary on some older machines) is called the "USBZIP" method and it supports booting from a USB storage device that behaves like the original IOMEGA ZIP drive with USB support.
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Most computers (just about all Dells, for example) made today have a BIOS that supports the USBHDD method so I expect that this will eventually become the standard way to boot a USB device. However, many motherboards will support BOTH methods, and many older motherboards have USBZIP support.

You need a USB device with standard mass storage interface to work with Linux.
You need a USB device with a standard mass storage interface and with '''at least 128 MB''' storage capacity (the distros generally use between 50 and 64 MB) to work with Linux.
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=== USB pendrive location ===
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Most USB pendrives are located at device name "[[sda]]" after they are plugged into the USB port. === Warning ===
The following instructions refer to /dev/sda. However, if you have serial-ATA harddisks, then the pendrive will probably be /dev/sdc. Do NOT accidentally write to the wrong drive, or you will destroy your main operating system or data!
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However, you can verify this location by typing this command inside a [[terminal]] window: === USB pendrive location and mount ===
Most USB pendrives are located at device node /dev/sda after they are plugged into the USB port.
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      dmesg | grep scsi -A 3 However, you can verify this location by typing this command inside a [[TerminalEmulator|terminal emulator]] window:
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and it should tell you the device name for your USB (SCSI emulated) devices and vendor name. {{{dmesg | grep scsi -A 3}}}
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See : ["dmesg"]. and it should tell you the device name for your USB (SCSI emulated) devices, along with the vendor name.
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=== Obtain the installation files from ISO file === See: [[dmesg]].
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You have to use IsoBuster (see [" If you cannot find it, you have to load the [[USBStorage]] module. In a [[TerminalEmulator|terminal emulator]], type:
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=== More information === {{{
modprobe usb_storage
}}}
and mount the usb filesystems
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 * [http://d-i.alioth.debian.org/manual/en.powerpc/ch04s04.html Preparing Files for USB Memory Stick Booting].
 * [http://www.pcquest.com/content/linux/104010505.asp Booting Linux off USB Storage].
 * [http://d-i.pascal.at/Installing Debian Sarge from a USB memory stick (USB key)].
 * http://fuzzymunchkin.dyndns.org/tdot/usbkeyfob/index.php
 * [http://rz-obrian.rz.uni-karlsruhe.de/knoppix-usb/ Boot KNOPPIX from an USB Memory Stick].
 * [http://lists.debian.org/debian-boot/2004/11/msg01601.html Reboot from USB].
 * [http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page Damn Small Linux USB boot].
 * [http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bootflashlinux Mail list about booting Debian from a USB flashdrive].
{{{
mount -t usb-devfs none /proc/bus/usb
}}}
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See also:
 * BootingFromFloppyToUsb .
 * ["growisofs"].
 
=== Writing an image onto the USB key ===

The current released versions of Debian Install images and Debian Live
images are built using isohybrid techniques, which means using them
with a USB key is simple and easy, using "dd". See
[[http://www.debian.org/CD/faq/#write-usb|the Debian CD FAQ]] for more
information.

Older Debian images were not so easy to use with USB keys and needed a
lot of instructions. Those instructions are no longer helpful, so have
been removed from this page.

----

CategoryInstall CategoryHardware

Translation(s): English - Deutsch - Italiano - Русский


This page is about booting Linux via USB pendrives in any computer with or without USB-BIOS capability (in this last case, using a ?BootFloppy). You can install Linux in your USB pendrive or buy it preinstalled.

If you don't want to learn about the internals but just have Debian on a bootable USB stick, check out DebianLive

BIOS and USB standard mass storage interface

There are two common BIOS methods for direct USB booting:

  • One method is called the "USBHDD" method and it is used to support the booting of standard USB mass storage devices that are configured like a normal PC hard drive. The vast majority of machines work this way these days.
  • The other method (necessary on some older machines) is called the "USBZIP" method and it supports booting from a USB storage device that behaves like the original IOMEGA ZIP drive with USB support.

You need a USB device with a standard mass storage interface and with at least 128 MB storage capacity (the distros generally use between 50 and 64 MB) to work with Linux.

See StandardPendrive.

Warning

The following instructions refer to /dev/sda. However, if you have serial-ATA harddisks, then the pendrive will probably be /dev/sdc. Do NOT accidentally write to the wrong drive, or you will destroy your main operating system or data!

USB pendrive location and mount

Most USB pendrives are located at device node /dev/sda after they are plugged into the USB port.

However, you can verify this location by typing this command inside a terminal emulator window:

dmesg | grep scsi -A 3

and it should tell you the device name for your USB (SCSI emulated) devices, along with the vendor name.

See: dmesg.

If you cannot find it, you have to load the USBStorage module. In a terminal emulator, type:

modprobe usb_storage

and mount the usb filesystems

mount -t usb-devfs none /proc/bus/usb

Writing an image onto the USB key

The current released versions of Debian Install images and Debian Live images are built using isohybrid techniques, which means using them with a USB key is simple and easy, using "dd". See the Debian CD FAQ for more information.

Older Debian images were not so easy to use with USB keys and needed a lot of instructions. Those instructions are no longer helpful, so have been removed from this page.


?CategoryInstall CategoryHardware