Create LiveUSB from a non running iso image?

Asked by Tax Man

I didn't know if this was a planned feature or not. UNetbootin ( can create a liveUSB from an iso and is GPL, so I suppose it would just be a matter of borrowing the code. The issue with using UNetbootin is it is not in the repositories and I presume this tool is headed in that direction. It would also be nice to not have to reboot to a CD just to create a liveUSB, and also to have it in one tool.

Question information

English Edit question
liveusb Edit question
No assignee Edit question
Last query:
Last reply:
Revision history for this message
SAL-e (sal-electronics) said :

Hi Everyone,

I also think would be nice if LiveUSB Creator allow us to select the ISO image instead of CD-ROM. Until this feature is implemented you can use the following workaround.

Before you start the 'liveusb' loop mount the desired ISO image using the command:

~$ sudo mount -o loop -tiso9660 ubuntu-8.04-desktop-i386.iso /cdrom

Once your are done with 'liveusb', un-mount the ISO image with the command:

~$ sudo umount /cdrom

ps. I am using as example the ISO image 'ubuntu-8.04-desktop-i386.iso' located in my home directory. You need to change the command to use your image.

Good Luck,

Revision history for this message
probono (probono) said :

Yes, simply mounting the ISO to /cdrom and then launching the tool will trick it into thinkig that it is running from the Live CD.

Keep in mind though that liveusb is designed to be run from the Live CD for a reason: This way, the interface can be kept very easy and the tool can detect settings (e.g., language and kexboard) from the running Live system.

Revision history for this message
wandlerer (jwandler) said :

While I understand the use of copying the Live system settings to the USB drive, isn't the whole point of a Live system to be able to boot multiple hardware types, ie many different systems? If the settings from the Live CD are written to the USB drive, will that prevent the LiveUSB from booting/recognizing a different machine than the one it was installed with?

Just wondering.

I would like a Live USB system that acts exactly like a LiveCD which I can put into one of dozens of computers and have it come up with everything detected and be ready to go. I don't need a system that comes up missing important settings, like USB readers, ethernet, audio, etc.

Revision history for this message
SAL-e (sal-electronics) said :

Please take a note that I have only limited knowledge of Linux and LiveCD-es at this time.

Yes, wandlerer you are correct. The main goal is portability. That is why you want to use the LiveCD as starting point. In Ubuntu 8.04 the installer supports install on USB drive. There are small bug that is explain here: (see Method 1)
But you going to have USB drive that will boot correctly only on exact same hardware or some cases similar hardware.

On the other hand the LiveCD-es are designed to boot on wide range of hardware and includes some tools to auto-detect and auto-configure your system. The only problem is that CD is not persistent. Once you reboot all changes are gone. Some hackers have created additional tools that allow you to store your customizations and application settings on USB stick. There are several projects that are working on this. I think the most well known is .

I used the LiveUSB to create USB drive that I can use it to install the Ubuntu, especially on computers that don't have a CD-ROM like eeePC from Asus. The USB drive is much faster then CD.

Another project that sound exciting, but I have not tried, is the LiveUSB creator from Fedora project. On the demo they did exactly what you are looking for.

Can you help with this problem?

Provide an answer of your own, or ask Tax Man for more information if necessary.

To post a message you must log in.