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UNetbootin, free program to create Linux installations on USB

The use of optical discs such as CDs or DVDs in computers is increasingly obsolete. We will hardly find a laptop that incorporates it, restricting its use to desktop computers or some portable players. At present its use dedicated to the installation of applications has been replaced by USB storage units such as pendrives or external hard drives.

UNetbootin main features

That is why with UNetbootin it is a tool that will be very useful because it allows us create bootable USB drives for Ubuntu and other Linux distributions without burning to CD / DVD. The application is compatible with the installation of 40 most popular distributions, each with numerous versions. It is possible to use both standard USB sticks and external hard drives that are connected via USB.

One of its most interesting functions is that it allows us to download one of the many compatible distributions or use our own Linux ISO file with which to create our own bootable USB Live. It also has the possibility of create our own Live-CD systems for our convenience. Thanks to this we can load our Linux distribution on a USB memory and use it to start our computer without having to install the operating system above the one we have installed on our computer.

Supported Linux Distributions with Download Support

UNetbootin offers full compatibility with the following distributions available for Linux that can be downloaded and uploaded. In addition, it is compatible with other distributions that we have downloads in ISO format.

  • Ubuntu
  • Kubuntu
  • Xubuntu
  • Lubuntu
  • Debian
  • openSUSE
  • Arch Linux
  • Damn Small Linux
  • SIitaz
  • Linux Mint
  • Zenwalk
  • Slax
  • Elive
  • CentOS
  • FreeBSD
  • NetBSD
  • 3CX
  • Fedora
  • PCLinuxOS
  • Sabayon Linux
  • Gentoo
  • MEPIS
  • LinuxConsole
  • Frugalware Linux
  • xPUD
  • Puppy Linux

Compatible system units

Along with these Linux distributions, we can also use UNetbootin to load various system drives, including:

  • Parted magic
  • SystemRescueCD
  • Super Grub Disk
  • Web Antivirus
  • F-Secure Rescue CD
  • Kaspersky Rescue Disk
  • Backtrack
  • Ophcrack
  • NTPasswd
  • Gujin
  • Smart Boot Manager
  • FreeDOS

Create a bootable USB in a few steps with UNetbootin

Once we execute the application, its main menu appears automatically, with a fairly simple interface, so it can be used by all types of users. which we could say is divided into two parts: “Distribution” and “ImageDisco”.

From the “Distribution” section we can download a large collection of compatible Linux distributions, as well as the version we want. Once chosen, a brief description appears, as well as its website and some notes for its subsequent installation.

UNetbootin Distribution

In the event that an ISO image of the Linux distribution that we want to install is already downloaded to our hard drive, we will use the “ImageDisco” function. Clicking on the three ellipsis button, Windows Explorer will open, which will help us locate and select the file. Finally, we only have to select the type and the unit. Once finished, click on OK to start creating our bootable USB Live.

UNetbootin select ISO

Once we click on “OK”, the program will begin by downloading the files (in case we have chosen that option), as well as extracting and copying the files from the ISO image. Later, it will be in charge of installing the boot loader on our USB drive and once finished we will have our boot drive ready for the Linux distribution that we have chosen. The process is automatic and unless you have to download the distribution, which, if it requires a little more time, the rest of the steps are completed in just a few minutes.

UNetbootin creating bootable USB drive

In general, this process must be carried out in a simple way, but we must take the following into account. And is that not all Linux distributions support USB booting, and other options may require additional boots or other modifications, so there may be ISO files that do not work correctly. Also, this program is not compatible with other operating systems than Linux, such as Windows or macOS, so it will not work with ISO files from these systems.

Free Download UNetbootin

UNetbootin is a completely free application, available for computers Windows, macOS and Linux, that we can download from your website. It is a portable tool, so it does not require installation on the computer, preventing it from making modifications to the Windows Registry. In addition, it is possible to save it and run it from an external storage device such as a pendrive or a hard disk.

Alternatives to UNetbootin

If we need a program with which to create a bootable USB for Linux, we propose a couple of alternatives to UNetbootin that we must know

Universal USB Installer

It is a free program developed to allow us to download and install Windows and Linux on a USB memory in a few simple steps. It is compatible with a wide number of operating systems, also allowing us to copy any ISO image to a USB. It also allows the download of any of the Linux operating systems that it officially supports, being carried out from its official websites. We can download Universal USB Installer from this link.

Rufus

We are facing one of the most complete programs to create bootable USB memories, as it is compatible with any operating system, including Linux. The program offers us total control over the partitions and the file system that we want to use, as well as the possibility of downloading any operating system from the program itself. We can download Rufus for free from here.