Several of the Debian CD and Debian Live images are created using isohybrid technology, which means that they may be used in two different ways:
- They may be written to CD/DVD and used as normal for CD/DVD booting.
- They may be written to USB flash drives, bootable directly from the BIOS of most PCs.
The most common way to copy an image to a USB flash drive is to use the dd command on a Linux machine:
dd if=file.iso of=/dev/device bs=4M; sync
file.isois the name of the input image, e.g. netinst.iso
/dev/deviceis the device matching the USB flash drive, e.g. /dev/sda, /dev/sdb. Be careful to make sure you have the right device name, as this command is capable of writing over your hard disk just as easily if you get the wrong one!
bs=4Mtells dd to read/write in 4 megabyte chunks for better performance; the default is 512 bytes, which will be much slower
syncis to make sure that all the writes are flushed out before the command returns.