Using the USB-Creator to make booting USB sticks with Linux iso’s

Introduction

I have used several different utilities to get my iso’s on a USB stick, then boot the iso I need and install the OS. I have had problems with most of them. Sometimes the sticks don’t work on certain hardware, while on other hardware it works, and so on. The utility that works best so far is the USB-Creator, but it also has an issue. It’s problem is that on newer kernels which MakuluLinux uses, it doesn’t work automatically. It needs some “hands-on”, but it is worth it. One reason for using this tool, is that you can have as many iso’s on the stick as you have space. You also have the iso as the iso on it, not extracted as many other tools do. The extraction can cause errors, and it is slower when creating the stick.

Formatting the stick

Most USB sticks normally come preformatted with FAT32. The problem with FAT32 is that it is an unstable and error prone file-System. So I prefer a file-system like EXT4, which uses journalling and can often be repaired if something goes corrupt. Corruptions are often caused when the stick isn’t properly ejected, or the system crashes while something still gets written to it. But there is a “Gotcha” if you use EXT4. If you want to install the OS as EFI to a BIOS that is set to UEFI mode, it won’t work. In order to be able to install to an EFI system there needs to be a FAT32 partition… To fix this, you can partition the stick. Create a small FAT32 Partition (100MB should be enough). That will be the partition with the Bootloader. Call it “BOOT”. The rest of the disk can be Partitioned as an EXT4 partition and labelled “USBCREATOR”. You should be able to use Gparted, which is included in the Makulu iso’s, or also The USB-Creator allows you to partition the stick.

The above is an example of how my 128GB Sandisk is partitioned.

Add the iso

Now all you need to do is to mount the USBCREATOR partition. Most File Managers will do that automatically when you click on the “USBCREATOR” partition.

Now just copy the iso over to the root Directory of that partition.

Once copied, start the USB-Creator (install it from a terminal and the following command:
sudo apt install usb-creator).

Now make sure the correct stick is shown under “Device”, if it isn’t select the correct one. Then enable the check-box “Repair Device”, then click on “Execute”.

This will install Grub and add your iso’s to the boot menu. This will take some time, but far less than it takes with other tools. When done, click on the icon with the USB emblem in the Device section. This removes the stick from the utility.

 Now you can either reboot to the stick and select the iso you want to boot from, or again use the File-Manager to properly eject the stick. When ready, you can remove the stick from that PC, connect it to another, and boot to the stick from there…