Creating A Linux USB Boot Drive on Mac OS X

I recently needed to boot a laptop from Linux, but didn’t have any of my Linux boot disks with me. Luckily I had my USB flash drive, so I decided to install a mini-version of Linux. A quick Google searched led me to Recovery is Possible, or RIPLinuX.

Here’s how to install the .iso onto the flash drive:

Open Terminal under Applications → Utilities.

We’ll be using the diskutil command to write the .iso contents to the flash drive. So the first thing to do is determine the block device associated with our flash drive.

Before inserting the drive typediskutil listand hit enter. Insert your drive and run the diskutil list command again.

You should get something like this:

Results of the diskutil list command

As you can see, the flash drive is connected via /disk/dev1, though this may be different on your system. Before you can start writing the data to the flash drive, you need to unmount the drive.

diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk1

Unmounting the flash drive using diskutil

Now, you’re ready to start writing the data to the drive.

sudo dd if=/path/to/linux.iso of=/dev/disk1 bs=1m

Data has been successfully written to the drive

Once the data has been written to the drive, all that remains is to eject it.diskutil eject /dev/disk1

Eject the flash drive

And you’re done! Remember that in order to boot from the USB drive, the computer that you’re using must support booting from USB devices and that you need to change the boot order in the BIOS.