Linux is a great open-source operating system that can be installed on any desktop or laptop. What sets Linux apart from Windows and macOS is that it has a number of different versions that suit all your needs, ranging from newcomers to hard-core users. We call these versions distributions. The best part is that you can download all of Linux's distributions for free and install them on multiple machines.
A bootable USB is super convenient to have on hand if you need to install or repair an operating system on your computer. You can easily make your own bootable USB that’s equipped with the operating system of your choosing. Whether you’re using Windows or a Mac, we’ll walk you through the process step-by-step. For example, if you believe your hard drive has died or is corrupted, you can boot your Mac from the USB drive and use Disk Utility to check the the hard drive's SMART status and repair said drive. OS X Snow Leopard USB Drive, Completed. In this tutorial, I've shown you how to create a bootable OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard USB drive.
One of the most popular Linux distributions is Linux Mint. Each distribution serves as a different purpose and there is no exception to Mint. Basically, Linux Mint is specifically designed to produce a modern and elegant operating system which is very easy to use. The coolest part is that a Linux Mint stick can be created from macOS and Windows, meaning that you can boot from Linux without installation.
In this guide, we will show you how to create a Linux Mint bootable USB in Windows 10 and macOS. Before we proceed, there are a couple of things you need to understand about Linux Mint.
Why Linux Mint?
Linux Mint is one of the most used Linux distributions out there, as it is free and reliable. Like other distributions, Linux Mint can be installed on all platforms, including macOS, Windows, Android, and iOS. Linux Mint is widely supported by community and developers. The best thing about Linux Mint is that it is not vulnerable to viruses and malware attacks, which is ideal for testing purposes.
Creating a Linux Mint bootable USB is a no-brainer if you want to use it on a different computer. However, the process may be a little bit confusing to some folks. With that in mind, we are here to help.
Create Linux Mint Bootable USB on Windows PC
Windows is the most popular desktop OS and there are many apps that are capable of creating bootable Linux Mint USB installer. In this section, we pick up the best three one based on our testing.
1. UUByte LiteBoot
There are a lot of Windows users that are planning to give a try on Linux Mint. So at the beginning, we are introduing a couple of methods to create Linux Mint bootable USB on Windows, especially on Windows 10, which is now the most popular desktop operating syste.
Creating Linux Mint Bootable USB on Windows 10 is not hard at all. The first software recommendation is called UUByte LiteBoot. It is a leading program that's designed to handle all your needs for bootable USB thumb drive, including Windows, Linux and macOS. It also includes other modules for Windows ISO download and system backup and restore. Plus, it is buit with a modern UI and has a very pleasant user experience.
Step 1: Once you have UUByte LiteBoot installed on your computer, download Linux Mint onto your Mac (you can download it from here).
Step 2: Insert a USB thumb drive into Windows 10 where UUByte LiteBoot being installed. Make sure your USB device is fully compatible with the hardware, you can empty it and then reformat it using the built-in utility from right-click optionsl.
Step 3: Open UUByte LiteBoot on Windows 10 and then select Linux Boot from the main menu. Now, import the Linux Mint ISO file you downloaded earlier. Before the burning process begins, make sure you have made a copy of all important files on that USB drive.
Step 4: Click Burn button to start burning Linux ISO to the target USB drive. It usually takes about 7 minutes to complete the task. Please be patient and you will see an alear on the screen when it is done.
Step 5: Now, you have a bootable Linux Mint USB. You should insert this drive into the computer and start installing Linux mint on it by changing the first boot device to USB during startup.
In short, if you are in searching for a reliable ISO burner to create bootable Linux Mint USB, then give UUByte LiteBoot a try. It is lightweight, fast, and reliable.
2. ISO to USB
ISO to USB is a free program that lets you burn ISO image file to a USB drive, including USB Pen drive, USB sticks and USB thum drive. It is lightweight and features a simple user interface. However, it lacks some important features, including the ability to create ISO archive from external drives.
First off, you can download ISO to USB from its website and then open it on your Windows 10 machine. When the main menu shows up, click Browse to locate the Linux Mint ISO file you downloaded earlier. Select the USB drive you inserted and then hit the Burn button. The tool will start burning the ISO file to USB drive. ISO to USB has a high success rate, so you won't have any issues here.
RMPrepUSB is one of the most powerful software for creating Windows and Linux bootable USB drives. In reality, RMPrepUSB is not just about creating a bootable drive, as it can do a lot more. One such thing lies in the ability to format USB and run USB speed test. And there are much more options for selecting bootloader and file systems.
This program is completely free (no subscription plans), so you don't need to spend some extra cash on its advanced features. However, it is only for advanced users as there are two many advanced settings being involved.
Step 1: Download RMPrepUSB from here and then open it on your Windows 10 computer.
Step 2: Once you are done, insert a blank USB drive into Windows . From the main menu, you can see the USB drive name showing up at the top.
Step 3: Click Prepare Drive to initiate the burning process and click OK from the popup menu. If this the first time you are using RMPrepUSB, the tool will run a test. Once the test is complete, repeat the above steps.
Step 4: After the bootloader information was written to USB, then extract the ISO file of Linux Mint image and copy the folder to USB. Now, it becomes a bootable Linux Mint USB.
To verifiy the burning successful or not, the user can test the result with QEMU emulator that is embeded into the program in default. You can see the option on left sidebar. This is the same as UUByte Boot Pro.
Create Linux Mint Bootable USB on Mac: Terminal App
You can create a bootable USB for Linux Mint from a Mac environment. However, you can not do it on your own as you need a little help from some third-party software out there. If you do some googling, you should find tons of them, but many of them might not work for you. Don't worry, we made a list of the best programs for creating Linux Mint bootable USB.
If you don't want to install some third-party app on your computer, you can use the dd command in macOS Terminal. This is a cool tool that allows you to execute some commands in macOS. In this case, you can rely on Terminal to create a bootable USB for Linux Mint.
Step 1: Insert the USB drive into your Mac and then open Terminal (Applications folder > Utilities).
Step 2: Enter the following command to convert ISO file IMG file:
hdiutil convert -format UDRW -o img_file_output_path linux_mint_iso_file_path
Step 3: Find the USB drive number and unmount the disk, X is the drive number of inserted USB drive:
diskutil unmountDisk /dev/diskX
Step 4: When all preparations are completed, it is the time to write the converted IMG file to USB, which becomes bootable afterwards.
sudo dd if=/img_file_path of=/dev/rdiskN bs=1m
Step 5: Ignore warning message that pops up uppon completion and eject the USB drive. You can now use this bootable USB to install Linux Mint on any computer.
Linux Mint Bootable USB Not Working? Troubleshooting Guide
The success rate of creating bootable Linux Mint USB is pretty high with recommended tools we suggest above. However, some user may experience technical error during boot, such as disk error or no bootable device found. Here are a few useful tips to fix the problem.
Issue 1 : USB drive not detected
Answer: First, make sure the USB drive is installed. On Windows 7 and later version, the dirve will be installed automatically when the USB is plugged in. If failed, you have to download the USB driver and install it manually. On Mac, you can format the drive with Disk Utility app.
Issue 2: Black screen during installation
Answer: If you got a black screen during install, it means the burning process failed. Mostly because the free space is not enough on the drive. At least 4G free storage is required for installation. Also, check the ISO image is valid. If you tried two programs and failed, then it is highly possible that the ISO file is damged. You have to re-download the file again.
Issue 3 : Installation won't start
Answer: This happens frequently on old hardware that does not support UEFI boot. You need to disable secure boot and swithc to legacy Boot in BIOS.
Creating Linux Mint bootable USB has been a lot of easier with modern software and applications, especially on Windows. Mac solution is much less due to the lack of apps from third-party developers. Honestly, there are far more options then the software listed above but they are the best among them so you don't take much time to test the candidate one by one.
If you’re still using a Mac OS X the time will come when your computer won’t boot, or a problem may arise where you can’t take control of the device, and booting from an OS X installation media will be required.
This is why it’s recommended that you make a Mac OS X bootable USB when your Mac is in working conditions. However, if you find yourself on a scenario where your device (iMac, MacBook Pro, Air, Mac Pro or Mini) is not responding and you happen to have a Windows 10 device, then you can still be able to make a USB bootable installation media for your Mac OS X to reinstall the operating system using the Recovery Assistant.
These instructions will also work for Windows users who are running Mac OS X on a virtual machine and need to upgrade to the latest version. For instance, to OS X Yosemite.
Before you dive into this guide, you’ll need a few things:
- A broken Mac computer with Mac OS X.
- A trial copy of the TransMac software.
- One high quality USB flash drive with 16GB of storage.
- A copy of Apple’s macOS (DMG file).
Now that you have all the necessary ingredients, you’re ready to make a Mac OS X bootable USB using the DMG file of the operating system with the steps below.
Create Mac OS X bootable USB installation media
Before you can use TransMac, you first need to partition your USB flash drive with a GPT partition, as a normal MBR partition may not work. To do this, you’ll need to use the Diskpart command-line utility on Windows 10.
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Setting up GPT partition
Use these steps to set up a USB drive with a GPT partition:
Open Start on Windows 10.
Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result and select the Run as Administrator option.
Type the following command to open Diskpart and press Enter:
Type the following command to determine the USB flash drive and press Enter:
Type the following command to select the storage and press Enter:Quick tip: The
select disk 1command as an example, but you have to replace 1 with the number of the flash drive you want to use.
Type the following commands to delete everything from the USB thumb drive and press Enter:
Type the following command to convert the drive into a GPT partition and press Enter:
Type the following command to select the new partition and press Enter:
After you complete the steps, the USB flash drive from MBR to GPT format, you can use the steps below to create a bootable USB installation media to install Mac OS X.
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Create USB install media
Use these steps to create a bootable media to install Mac OS X:
Download and install a copy of TransMac.Quick note: TransMac is a paid software, but it has a 15-day trial solution, that give us more than enough time to move the DMG files to the USB drive from Windows. (If you want to support the developer, you can purchase the full version.)
Insert the USB drive that you’ll use to fix your installation of OS X. (Remember that all the data in the USB will be erased. Make sure you take off any important documents.)
Right-click the TransMac software icon and Run as administrator. (You’ll be prompted to Enter Key or Run, because we’ll be using it once, click the Run option.)
On the left pane, you’ll see all the Windows PC drives listed, right-click the USB drive that you’re intending to use to reinstall Apple’s OS X and select the Restore with Disk Image option.
In the warning dialog box, click the Yes button.
Use the Restore Disk Image to Drive dialog box to browse for the DMG file with the installation files for Mac OS X Yosemite in this case, and click the OK button to create a bootable USB of the operating system.
Now, you’ll have to wait a long time. No kidding. It could take one or two hours to complete the process depending on your computer and other variables.
Once your bootable USB installation media is ready, remove it and insert it into your Mac, power it on, holding down the Option key, and select the USB you just created to reinstall Mac OS X.
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If you’re having issues trying to create a bootable media, you can get a USB flash drive that comes with Mac OSX ready to install.