Distributions Installing Linux Obtaining Linux Your Choice

Burn the Distro to USB, they said

In the older days, it was relatively easy to create bootable Linux. You burned the iso to a CD-Rom or DVD and it was more-or-less ready to go.

Years ago, when laptops actually had optical media drives, with the standard disk burning software it was easy to create bootable Linux. Just download a distro, run the checksum (… you did run the checksum with md5sum or other, right???) and then you burned the iso to a CD-Rom or DVD. Reboot machine, tell BIOS to boot from optical first, and you could run the computer from the LIVE media.

If you still want to burn iso’s to CD/DVD and use them with a laptop, it requires an external CD/DVD burner connected over (you guessed it) USB. So yeah, I own an external drive, but it’s more for retrieving data from older backups when needed. I am, otherwise, making best efforts to do all LIVE media creation with USB drives.

Currently I’m running KDE Neon, and as mentioned before, I do like it. The main reasons are that it is a rolling distro and that it has very good performance. The lesser reason (but still important) is that it is built on top of stable Ubuntu sources and I’ve gotten used to the necessary housekeeping with apt commands and so on.

I was running Solus for several years, because it was a rolling distribution and it was fast and had a great look and feel to it. However, over time, it became a bit of work in certain areas that (I feel) should not have been. There are times when being “off the beaten track” is fun and wild. Other times this philosophy can slow you down when you’re trying to get some work done. For example if you wanted to run the MySQL Workbench program, it was not in the package repositories. It was requested, and declined.

What?? Just about every other Linux distro I used as a Developer had this package in their repositories. Not Solus. They have a different application, called “DBeaver” available. I suppose it is good, I’ve never tried it. I found that you can install MySQL Workbench on Solus using Docker: Until a Solus native package is available, if you are willing to use docker, the following works

Ok, I’m getting off-track now.

So, in this time of indoors-mostly, I have been considering replacing KDE Neon as my “linux booter” on my dual boot machine. A very cool System76 Gazelle 12. However, part of me wants to replace it with a cool/trendy distro and part of me wants to fall back on the “tried and true” … what a dilemma.

So, I thought of features over fluff.

What do I like most about Solus and KDE Neon? .. Rolling style. And the Ubuntu base (Neon) as Solus is cool because it is totally it’s own thing. Just like David S. Pumpkins. Any questions?

My choices:
• Manjaro Linux (rolling, cool, and trendy) and it would allow me to utter the l33t expression I use arch btw
• Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (traditional, tried and true)
• In case I change my mind and miss KDE Neon, I can re-install

So I downloaded the current or new iso versions of the above, thinking it would be somewhat consistent (not to mention ‘easy’) to burn the isos to USB using the dd command.

Manjaro burn using the first advice site did not work. Computer did not even detect it upon restart. What worked? The instructions at Manjaro. Of course I have just paid the age-old “DUM-DUM” tax of “why would you not consult the forum/WIKI instead of Google!?” If you are going to burn Manjaro to USB, don’t make the same mistake I did, go here.

For burning the Ubuntu 20.04 iso, I think I got frustrated and went with a GUI tool to install it. It worked. Duh, it’s Ubuntu, it was more likely to work than not-work.

I then burned the latest KDE Neon to USB. That Live install, is still not working. I tried several times with dd and with graphical installers. I have the older version on USB which does boot. Perhaps it is the USB media that is failing me. I can experiment more, but at this point it may not be worth it since a workaround that will basically install the same OS is available.

So, in summary, I don’t think there should be such oddities in installing a Linux iso to USB (and having it be bootable).

Maybe a way to stress-test the installed iso right after it is written to USB? Yeah, that does sound like laziness at work. It is very lazy and you’re right, it does not account for how the BIOS or the UEFI nuttiness comes into play.

Hope you all stay safe and productive (with Linux eh?) during this time of uncertainty, social distancing and quarantining.

Peace out.

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