install debian via usb

this little howto shows how to get a usb stick to act like an install cd for debian.. .


  • the image file: boot.img.gz (hd-media)
  • the iso image: iso debian-xxx-netinst.iso
  • a usb stick

partitioning and formatting

simply plug the usb stick into the computer somewhere and just do not mount it. in this example the usb stick is/dev/sda

fdisk /dev/sda

now with the menu and options and stuff we\'ll have to make a clean slate and repartition.

WARNING all data and the usb stick will be erased

  • start from zero : o
  • create a new partition : n then p then 1 then accept default responses for the next 2 options
  • make bootable : a then 1
  • change to fat16 : t then 6
  • apply settings and quit fdisk: w

now we can format

mkdosfs /dev/sda1

a little MBR is always nice

lilo -M /dev/sda

copy de debian images

we will push boot.img.gz into /dev/sda1 and then copy the iso image onto the stick

zcat boot.img.gz > /dev/sda1 mkdir /mnt/debianusb mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/debianusb cp debian-xxx-netinst.iso /mnt/debianusb umount /dev/sda1 rmdir /mnt/debianusb

and that\'s it, you can install debians all over the place now :]