Writing Manjaro ISO to an USB stick with dd

Difficulty: ★★☆☆☆

This is a tutorial how to write an ISO file correctly to an USB stick.

  1. Download the ISO and the checksum file.

  2. First, verify the checksum:

    sha1sum -c manjaro.iso.sha1

    It should print a line which says “OK”.
    If it’s not okay, it might be a bad download, so download it again.

  3. Print out the checksum, we’ll need it later on:

    sha1sum manjaro.iso

    dc7427636040e9469861251858aae820c2ae16cc manjaro-kde-20.0.3-200606-linux56.iso

  4. Plug in your USB stick.

  5. Check the device name it got associated with:

    ls -l /dev/disk/by-id | grep usb

    […] usb-Flash_USB_Disk_37271228A5E0216322818-0:0 -> …/…/XdA

  6. Start the write process with dd:

    sudo dd if=manjaro.iso of=/dev/XdA bs=1M oflag=sync status=progress

    For old and slow USB2 sticks you can use a lower block size (bs) value like 128K;
    for faster sticks you can use 4M.

  7. You get a confirmation when the transfer has been finished:
    xxx bytes (yyy MB, zzz MiB) copied, … s, … MB/s

  8. Now you can check whether the file has been correctly copied to the stick:

    sudo dd if=/dev/XdA iflag=count_bytes count=xxx | sha1sum

    Adjust the count parameter xxx to represent the number of bytes written which you
    get from the confirmation above in point 7.
    xxx bytes (yyy MB, zzz MiB) copied, … s, … MB/s
    dc7427636040e9469861251858aae820c2ae16cc

  9. Compare the checksum with the one you got in step 3, if they match, you’re good to go!


Notes:

a) It’s recommended also to check the signature of the ISO with gpg.
That does not only verify the integrity, but also the authenticity.

b) Instead of writing to /dev/XdA, you can also write to /dev/disk/by-id/usb-xxx (see point 5).

This helps to avoid confusion especially if you have lots of devices.

11 Likes

Or you could use etcher.

3 Likes

Sure, but (and that is a big BUT):

$ pacman -Si etcher | grep -i size
Download Size   : 65,57 MiB
Installed Size  : 216,55 MiB

SUSE Studio Imagewriter (imagewriter) is another graphical utility and a lot lighter:

$ pacman -Si imagewriter | grep -i size
Download Size   : 112,05 KiB
Installed Size  : 296,00 KiB
4 Likes

Another tool with GUI: mintstick

pacman -Qi mintstick | grep -i size
Installed Size  : 112,48 KiB
1 Like

I am not so sure if I follow your point about the size of the packages. Why would that matter?

imagewriter is many years old and not maintained anymore.
mintstick is old as well.

etcher is a cross platform application for Linux, MacOS and Windows. That explains the size. It is an electron app.

And it is actively maintained. It is doing a validation of the usb stick after writing the image which imagewriter is not doing for example. And the GUI is a lot nicer than imagewriter for sure.

But anyways, feel free to use whatever tool you see fit.

It certainly doesn’t look like an abandon-ware.

It does what it is designed to do. And it does it well. But to each their own.

1 Like

:+1:
my go-to image writer!

1 Like

I use this: SUSE Studio Imagewriter
Eu uso ele : SUSE Studio Imagewriter

1 Like

After using Etcher for a good while I’ve switched to using popsicle. It has the added features of hash checks, flashing multiple devices and, a command line interface.

2 Likes

Gnome disks is my go-to utility for managing all my disk needs – including usb image writing.

3 Likes

This is cool. Didnt know that gnome disks is actually offering this function.

Also Ventoy is very useful for making multiboot flashdrive just by copying multiple iso to the drive.

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I just switched to usbimager ( from Etcher) on recommendation from somewhere. It is extremely small and light on resources. For multiboot, I used to use MultiBootUsb. Ventoy is much better for me.

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Yes, I’ve had far better, more consistent results with popsicle than I ever did with Etcher (or Rufus on Windows).

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I used imagewriter yesterday with KDE minimal and it fails… afterwards I tried dd command and it was successful.

We need some official Manjaro app for that. Dd command can be tricky if you are new in Linux world

have a look at the package “isousb”

This is great, I wasn’t even aware this image writer exists. Thanks for posting this, its much appreciated. :slight_smile:

thank you really liked the instructions specially the part wheree you use the disk-by id for safety reasons

Nice Tutorial.
I use RosaImageWriter. Here are the links
Linux 64-bit
Linux 32-bit