Create bootable (USB) Drive fast

Create a bootable (USB) Drive Fast
Create a bootable (USB) Drive Fast

Download ISO with WGET or Curl and put this directly to your (USB) to make a bootable Drive – Simple and Fast.

As you might know, personally I like to keep things as simple as possible, and fast as well. You can use these techniques with all types of files. But for this article, I like to show you how to make a bootable USB. That means you can boot your system from the USB or your Device.


List of tools to create Live USB systems:

  • Rufus
  • UNetbootin
  • Windows To Go
  • DasBoot
  • balenaEtcher

List of tools to create Live USB systems
I don’t recommend using these tools.

I don’t recommend using these tools.
Why would you anyway, the ways I am going to show you, are much faster and way easier.

You don’t know exactly what’s behind this pre-made ISO tools. It can be very malicious. The same goes for pre-made VM (Virtual Machine). Try to stay away from that if possible. Download the latest ISO very easily yourself, as I show in this article.


Now I would like to continue with the ISO file, because there are a number of options you can use

The following options are already much better, but you must first download them on your computer and then put them on the USB. So that is still very cumbersome. But great to know. It can always be that you will need it in the future. For example, if you already have an ISO on your computer. Or for a Virtual Machine.

As you can see in the image below, the USB I installed is the sdb 14G. This is the most important thing to know. If you make a mistake, things can go wrong quickly. So always be careful and sure what you do.

lsblk – list block devices

sudo lsblk

sudo lsblk

Since it has become clear in the top picture that I need sdb, let me show you an example below.


Making a Bootable USB Drive with dd

A commonly used and good solution to create a bootable USB is to use the dd command.
The (small) disadvantage is that you must have already downloaded the ISO first. And that takes time, especially if you have to download a large ISO file.

dd command:

sudo dd if=my.iso of=/dev/sdX-usbstick

or

sudo dd bs=512M if=file.iso of=/dev/sdX-usbstick

dd command

Make the USB empty (Linux)

To make a bootable USB you need an (empty) USB stick. There are many ways to do this. I’ll show you my own option that I use often which is very easy and fast. (Another time I’ll show you more ways to clear the USB).

Again watch carefully what you do, it can go completely wrong in a click. 😀

sudo wipefs --all /dev/sdX-usbstick --force

sudo wipefs

sudo fdisk -l – to check hard disk partitions and disk space on Linux

Fdisk is the most commonly used command to check the partitions on a disk. The fdisk command can display the partitions and details like file system type.


sudo fdisk l

How to make sure a downloaded .iso matches a hash value

Every Linux distribution comes with tools for various checksum algorithms. You can generate and verify checksums with them. The command-line checksum tools are the following:

  • MD5 checksum tool is called md5sum
  • SHA-1 checksum tool is called sha1sum
  • SHA-256 checksum tool is called sha256sum

There are some more available, e.g. sha224sumsha384sum, etc. All of them use similar command formats. Below I show you an example of using sha256sum


Generating and Verifying SHA256 Checksum with sha256sum

To generate the SHA-256 checksum, you must enter the following command:

sha256sum The-iso-you-going-to-use-amd64.iso

In the example below, I’m going to download a Kali Linux ISO, And then we check if the SHA256Sum is a match.


Kali linux sha256sum

ae9a3b6a1e016cd464ca31ef5055506cecfc55a10f61bf1acb8313eddbe12ad7 kali-linux-2020.2-installer-amd64.iso
A match is found.


SHA256Sum

If the generated checksum matches the one provided on the Klai Linux download page, this means that no data was changed while you downloaded the ISO file. – So, your downloaded file is not corrupted.

The other tools I mentioned above work similarly.


Making a Bootable USB Drive and Download this Direct to you Device

Okay now we’re going to skip a step. Normally you download an ISO on your computer first, and then you put it on a USB stick or on your device. But why make it difficult when it is also very easy and you often save a lot of time. You can do it with a single line in your terminal.

You can achieve that with various options. I’ll show you the way to download the ISO file below with the wget and the curl command.


Making a Bootable USB Drive with Wget

Wget is installed on almost all Linux Operating Systems. If it turns out that this is not yet the case, you can do this very simply with:

For Debian – Ubuntu-based systems, Like Kali Linux and Parrot OS

sudo apt install wget

For Arch Linux (based)

sudo pacman -S wget

Once Wget is installed, you need a very simple command to download the ISO directly to the USB.

sudo wget "https://your.iso/2020/what-the-hack.iso" -O /dev/sdX-usbstick

Below I show you an example of how to quickly download Kali Linux ISO to your Device. (note, by the time of reading this, the version of Kali Linux can be much further and different) With your right mouse button click and select copy link address, as shown in the example below.


download Kali Linux Link

sudo wget "https://cdimage.kali.org/kali-2020.2/kali-linux-2020.2-live-amd64.iso" -O /dev/sdX-usbstick

Download Kali Linux ISO with wget

Making a Bootable USB Drive with Curl

Curl is installed on almost all Linux Operating Systems. If it turns out that this is not yet the case, you can do this very simply with:

For Debian – Ubuntu-based systems, Like Kali Linux and Parrot OS

sudo apt install curl

For Arch Linux (based)

sudo pacman -S curl

Once Curl is installed, you need a very simple command to download the ISO directly to the USB.

The same applies here as you saw with the example of the wget. Copy the ISO link of the relevant Operating System (OS) and use the command and example below.
Don’t forget to put the sudo command before the /dev/sdX-usbstick or it won’t work.

sudo curl -L https://your.iso/2020/what-the-hack.iso | sudo dd of=/dev/usbstick

Below I show you in an example how to make a bootable USB with CURL. (note, by the time of reading this, the version of Kali Linux can be much further and different) With your right mouse button click and select copy link address, as shown in the example below.

sudo curl -L https://cdimage.kali.org/kali-2020.2/kali-linux-2020.2-live-amd64.iso | sudo dd of=/dev/usbstick

download-iso-with-curl.png

Video Create bootable (USB) Drive fast


As you can see I am currently using a different OS myself. (After using Parrot Security OS for three years. This is an Arch-based Linux. If you want to know more about this, you can read it in the following article:

Install Anarchy Linux for Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking
https://bullseye0.com/install-anarchy-linux-for-penetration-testing-and-ethical-hacking/


If you want to read how to install Kali Linux after this article, you can read this article below.


Finally

I sincerely hope you benefited from this article and the video. If you have any questions about this article, any feedback, suggestions if you want to share your thoughts, please feel free to do it using the below comment form. Here you can read how to make a donation


Bulls Eye
My name is Jolanda de Koff and on the internet, I'm also known as Bulls Eye. Ethical Hacker, Penetration tester, Researcher, Programmer, Self Learner, and forever n00b. Not necessarily in that order. Like to make my own hacking tools and I sometimes share them with you. "You can create art & beauty with a computer and Hacking is not a hobby but a way of life ..." I ♥ open-source and Linux"
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