Brandon Rozek

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PhD Student @ RPI studying Automated Reasoning in AI and Linux Enthusiast.

Robustly copying ISOs using dd

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Warning: This post has not been modified for over 2 years. For technical posts, make sure that it is still relevant.

Note: Currently I favor using bmaptool

This blog post is going to assume that we’re writing to /dev/sdX. Please change this to whatever disk you’re actually trying to write to. I bear no responsibility if you accidentally write to your OS drives.

Make sure the disk you wish to write to is unmounted.

sudo umount /dev/sdX

For good measure check lsblk….

Then perform the writing operation

sudo dd bs=4M if=/path/to/distro.iso of=/dev/sdX conv=fdatasync status=progress

fdatasync will wait until the data is physically written into the drive before finishing.

Once that operation is done we can check to see if it is performed properly. This step will only work for ISOs that have prepared a file similar to md5sum.txt that Ubuntu provides….

sudo mount /dev/sdX /mnt
cd /mnt
md5sum -c md5sum.txt

Hopefully you’ll see all OK and we’re good to go!

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