I tried to create a bootable usb of kali linux using "dd if=kali.iso of=dev/sdb bs=512k" as per http://docs.kali.org/installation/kali-linux-live-usb-install but the resulting filesystem is unrecognized by gparted and the usb is undiscoverable in finder.

In linux what innate utilities exist to create bootable media? How do they differ from external applications? I would greatly appreciate the help.

  • The ISO image must be hybrid bootable. I.e. be able to be booted both from a CD (as a normal ISO) and from a USB flash drive. Are you sure that the image has this capability? – pabouk Dec 17 '13 at 8:41

You could also try with

cp kali.iso /dev/sdb ; sync

if you are not sure that the image is an hybrid one you could also try this before copying

isohybrid kali.iso
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Yes, dd is a very popular linux utility not limited to, but very often used do create bootable usb drives from hybrid iso files.

You have a typo in your question, the command should be

 dd if=kali.iso of=/dev/sdb bs=512k

mark the leading / before the usb drive device name. Also, try droppin bs=512k option. Also be sure you put in the proper file name, try if=/home/myhome/path_to/kali.iso. dd doesn't check the image integrity, if you download the image via torrents, check your download first.

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With the SUPERB ASSISTANCE from The SUPERUSERS, above, I got it !!!

( BTW: All Answer to Any comment of "I am new to Linux", should include, "be sure to go sell all your guns, first, before you continue." This has been 40 hrs. for me to find you guys. THANK YOU.)

dd if=kali.iso of=/dev/sdb bs=512k

THE NAME OF THE .ISO FILE NEEDS TO BE COPIED into and in place of: kali.iso
Mine was: kali-linux-1.0.8-i386.iso

TO FIND NAME OF USB DRIVE: df -h Mine was /dev/sda1 ( found within the provided info in the Terminal answer ) So this NEEDS TO BE COPIED into and in place of: dev/sdb

TO VERIFY .ISO FILE: md5sum kali-linux-1.0.8-i386.iso My Terminal answer was bfe2b9a2b104032af07329e6613116b2 kali-linux-1.0.8-i386.iso whatever that means; apparently that is a verification of the .iso file's integrity, which is IMPORTANT to KNOW.

TO FIND THE PROPER PATH TO THE .ISO FILE: find $PWD -type f | grep kali-linux-1.0.8-i386.iso Mine was: /home/pat/kali-linux-1.0.8-i386.iso So this NEEDS TO BE COPIED into and AFTER: dd if=THE PROPER PATH TO THE .ISO FILE Mine looked like: dd if=/home/pat/kali-linux-1.0.8-i386.iso

dd if=/home/pat/kali-linux-1.0.8-i386.iso of=/dev/sdb1 bs=512k

GAVE ME: 6074+1 records in 6074+1 records out 3184967680 bytes (3.2 GB) copied, 254.239 s, 12.5 MB/s



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  • 2
    This is hard to make sense of. First of all, you’ve used up your quota of capital letters for the next three months. (2) You say /dev/sda1 needs to be copied in place of dev/sdb (by which, of course, you mean /dev/sdb), but then you show the command you used as of=/dev/sdb1. (3) Are you sure that this command should use “s-d-(letter)-1” instead of “s-d-(letter)”? Really really sure? Did you actually get this to work? (4) If you don’t know what it means to verify an MD5, maybe you shouldn’t even be talking about it. (5) etc… – Scott Aug 20 '14 at 23:22

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