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4.2. Preparing USB Boot Media

[Warning] Data Loss

This procedure destroys data on the media. Back up any important information before you begin. Some models of USB media use additional partitions or software to provide functions such as encryption. This procedure may make it difficult or impossible to access these special areas on your boot media.

The images/diskboot.img file on the first Fedora Core installation disc is a boot image designed for USB media. This file also appears on FTP and Web sites providing Fedora Core.

Several software utilities are available for Windows and Linux that can write image files to a device. Linux includes the dd command for this purpose.

The dd utility requires you to specify the device file that corresponds to the physical media. The name of the device file matches the name assigned to the device by your system. All device files appear in the directory /dev/. For example, /dev/sda denotes the first USB, SATA, or SCSI device that is attached to the system.

To learn the name that your system assigns to the media:

  1. Open a terminal window. On a Fedora system, choose Applications Accessories Terminal to start a terminal.

  2. Attach or insert the media.

  3. In the terminal window, type the following command:


    Look for the items in the dmesg output that relate to the detection of a new SCSI device. Linux systems treat USB media as SCSI devices.

    [Tip] Using the Device Mapper

    On Fedora Core 5 and later systems, it may be easier to find the right device name by examining the /dev/disk/ directory. Use the command ls -l /dev/disk/by-id/ to see the disk devices collated by model and device name.

  4. Unmount the media. On a Fedora system, right-click the icon that corresponds to the media, and select Unmount Volume . Alternatively, enter this command in a terminal window:

    umount /dev/

    Replace <device> with the name of the correct device file for the media.

To write an image file to boot media with dd on a current version of Fedora Core, carry out the following steps:

  1. Locate the image file.

  2. Attach or insert the media.

  3. Your system may automatically detect and open the media. If that happens, close or unmount the media before continuing.

  4. Open a terminal window.

  5. In the terminal window, type the following command:

    dd if=diskboot.img of=/dev/

    Replace <device> with the name of the correct device file for the media.

  Published under the terms of the GNU General Public License Design by Interspire