Before we can try Arco Linux B, we need to create a bootable USB stick. More experienced users can do a quick install into Gnome Boxes or Virtualbox which does not require this step. If this is you then skip this article and return to the eBook index page

Creating a bootable USB stick in Windows 10

One of the easy-to-use software programs for Windows is called Rufus. If you have never created a bootable USB stick then head over to https://rufus.ie/ and download the free software.

While on that website, read the information provided which will teach you how to use Rufus. Essentially, creating a bootable USB stick only requires two steps. They are:

  1. Selecting the ISO
  2. Selecting the destination drive

Selecting the ISO is easy. Much more caution and attention needs to be payed when selecting the destination drive. If one is careless and accepts the default, then Rufus will write to the drive selected even if it is the wrong one. To avoid a disaster, make 100% sure that you select the USB stick from the drop-down.

How to make sure that you selected the correct USB stick

The best way to point Rufus in the right direction is to check the drive capacity. Typically, a USB stick has 4, 8, 16 or 32 Gig or storage capacity. In contrast, secondary hard drives, regardless if they internal or external, have most likely 500 Gig or much more. I always look at the drive capacity to understand if I am dealing with a USB stick or actual hard drive.

To be 100% sure, you should use your file explorer and make a note of the drive sizes. After that, you will easily be able to find and select your USB drive and start the process with pressing the OK or Enter button.

USB2 or USB3

Both work but the faster USB3 sticks will make process much faster. Booting the new operating system is also much faster and the same goes for opening additional software once Linux has booted. If you don’t have a fast USB3 drive then the older USB2 format will work just fine.

Creating a bootable USB stick on Linux

If you are new to Linux or if someone has helped you installing it on your computer then you don’t need to boot into Windows. Linux most likely already includes a utility to write an ISO file to a USB stick and in order find it, just search for “usb stick” which should return a usable result.

Here is what the USB Image Writer looks like and if you have never used it, keep the two steps listed above in mind. Select ISO and specify destination.

Conclusion

If you are into testing and trying out new Linux distributions then you will create a lot of bootable USB sticks. Virtualbox is a capable piece of software but installing it requires selecting the right kernel modules requires the knowledge to do so. Even if you manage to install Virtualbox, you still bloat the kernel for nothing unless you are supporting developers as a volunteer tester.

The USB boot options is quick and easy. Still, you must be diligent and always check your destination drive. The above image shows that I am writing the arcolinuxb-xfce to a Lexar USB Flash drive. If I would be careless and accept the default, then the bootable drive would be my Seagate backup external drive. As already mentioned, it’s the file size which shows me instantly which drive I am looking at. 2TB is obviously not the USB drive. 16GB is more like it.

If you get this step right then you are on right right track. If you don’t have additional hard drives, then there might be no option to select anything. Still, make sure that you are writing to the USB stick.

Thank you for reading. If you have questions then please post below.
The next article is all about booting ArcoLinux for the first time

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