User:AnarcoBuda/Tests/USB flash drive

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Note: This page assumes that you are already running a GNU/Linux system.

This page discusses various methods on how to create a Parabola GNU/Linux-libre Installer USB drive (also referred to as "flash drive", "USB stick", "USB key", etc) for booting in BIOS and UEFI systems. The result will be a LiveUSB (LiveCD-like) system that can be used for installing Parabola GNU/Linux, system maintenance or for recovery purposes, and that, because of the nature of SquashFS, will discard all changes once the computer shuts down.

1 BIOS and UEFI bootable USB

1.1 Using dd

Note: This method is recommended due to its simplicity. If it does not work, switch to an alternative method below.

First, to list the block devices, execute the following command:

# lsblk -S
sda  0:0:0:0    disk ATA      STXXXXXXXX-XXX   AAAA sata
sdb  5:0:0:0    disk General  USB Flash Disk   1.0  usb
sr0  1:0:0:0    rom  PLDS     DVD-RW DSXXXXX   BBBB sata

Assuming you don't have many storage devices plugged in, the USB flash drive is easily identified by the VENDOR, MODEL and TRAN columns. In order to use a USB flash drive as your install medium, you will need to write to the device and not to the partition (for example, /dev/sdc not /dev/sdc1). Write to the USB flash drive with the following command (where sdx is the device):

Warning: The following command will erase everything that is currently on the USB drive.
# dd bs=4M if=~/downloads/parabola-*-dual.iso of=/dev/sdx && sync

See the dd man page for more information about dd.

Tip: If the UEFI version of the USB's Parabola ISO hangs or is unable to load, try repeating the dd media creation process on the same USB drive one or more times.

2 Other methods for BIOS systems

2.1 Using GNOME Disk Utility

Linux distributions running GNOME can easily make a live CD through nautilus and gnome-disk-utility. Simply right-click on the .iso file, and select Open With Disk Image Writer. When GNOME Disk Utility opens, specify the flash drive from the Destination drop-down menu and click Start Restoring.

3 Troubleshooting

  • If you get the "device did not show up after 30 seconds" error due to the /dev/disk/by-label/PARA_YYYYMM not mounting, try renaming your USB media to PARA_YYYYMM (e.g. PARA_201806).
  • If you get errors, try using another USB device. There are case scenarios in which it solved all issues.

4 See also