ISO images are typically used to distribute operating system installers. These images will then need to be burned into an external drive such as a USB stick or portable hard drive to be booted from when installing the operating system..

Many Linux tools can be used to create a bootable USB drive from ISO image, and dd is probably the most universally available for. dd is a command-line tool and is installed by default in most Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, Fedora, CentOS, or SUSE.

Steps to burn ISO file to USB stick in Linux:

  1. Launch a terminal application.
  2. Check if your image is in the correct iso9660 format and is bootable.
    $ file Downloads/ubuntu-21.04-desktop-amd64.iso 
    Downloads/ubuntu-21.04-desktop-amd64.iso: ISO 9660 CD-ROM filesystem data (DOS/MBR boot sector) 'Ubuntu 21.04 amd64' (bootable)
  3. Check for currently available block devices.
    $ lsblk
    NAME   MAJ:MIN RM  SIZE RO TYPE MOUNTPOINT
    loop0    7:0    0 55.4M  1 loop /snap/core18/1997
    loop1    7:1    0  219M  1 loop /snap/gnome-3-34-1804/66
    loop2    7:2    0 64.8M  1 loop /snap/gtk-common-themes/1514
    loop3    7:3    0 32.3M  1 loop /snap/snapd/11588
    loop4    7:4    0   51M  1 loop /snap/snap-store/518
    loop5    7:5    0 65.1M  1 loop /snap/gtk-common-themes/1515
    sda      8:0    0   20G  0 disk 
    sdb      8:16   0   20G  0 disk 
    ├─sdb1   8:17   0    1M  0 part 
    ├─sdb2   8:18   0  513M  0 part /boot/efi
    └─sdb3   8:19   0 19.5G  0 part /
    sr0     11:0    1 1024M  0 rom
  4. Insert your USB drive or stick and wait for a few seconds for it to be detected by the system.
  5. Check for the device name of your newly inserted usb drive.
    $ lsblk
    NAME   MAJ:MIN RM  SIZE RO TYPE MOUNTPOINT
    loop0    7:0    0 55.4M  1 loop /snap/core18/1997
    loop1    7:1    0  219M  1 loop /snap/gnome-3-34-1804/66
    loop2    7:2    0 64.8M  1 loop /snap/gtk-common-themes/1514
    loop3    7:3    0 32.3M  1 loop /snap/snapd/11588
    loop4    7:4    0   51M  1 loop /snap/snap-store/518
    loop5    7:5    0 65.1M  1 loop /snap/gtk-common-themes/1515
    sda      8:0    0   20G  0 disk 
    sdb      8:16   0   20G  0 disk 
    ├─sdb1   8:17   0    1M  0 part 
    ├─sdb2   8:18   0  513M  0 part /boot/efi
    └─sdb3   8:19   0 19.5G  0 part /
    sdc      8:32   1 58.6G  0 disk 
    ├─sdc1   8:33   1  2.5G  0 part /media/user/Ubuntu 20.04 LTS amd64
    └─sdc2   8:34   1  3.9M  0 part /media/user/1079-24A3
    sr0     11:0    1 1024M  0 rom  
  6. Make sure all the partitions of your USB drive is not mounted.
    $ sudo umount /dev/sdc1 /dev/sdc2
    [sudo] password for user:
  7. Copy the ISO image to your thumb drive using dd.
    $ sudo dd if=Downloads/ubuntu-21.04-desktop-amd64.iso of=/dev/sdc conv=fdatasync
    5505348+0 records in
    5505348+0 records out
    2818738176 bytes (2.8 GB, 2.6 GiB) copied, 628.961 s, 4.5 MB/s
  8. Check if ISO image successfully copied to your USB drive.
    $ sudo blkid /dev/sdc
    /dev/sdc: BLOCK_SIZE="2048" UUID="2021-04-20-11-16-16-00" LABEL="Ubuntu 21.04 amd64" TYPE="iso9660" PTUUID="af8737a9-1e23-4373-b87a-c8b16199d461" PTTYPE="gpt"
  9. Disconnect your USB drive from your machine.
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