How to Build a Bootable Drive with Rufus

botond published 2018. 04. 21, Sat - 15: 20 time



It used to be macerious to start installing an operating system. The downloaded (usually) ISO image file had to be burned to a CD, which was slow at first, and then came the newer, faster and cheaper CD / DVD burner that could write the operating system installer in minutes. At the same time, of course, the size of the installers was gaining weight as newer Windows / Linux came out, so the big installers were only available on DVDs. The DVD era also had some drawbacks, including scratching the discs, so they weren't durable if we didn't take care of them properly. And of course the disadvantages were that these installers were once in use. So if an operating system is out of date, outdated, the installation disk may have become dusty in the cabinet or trashed.
And then I don't even mention the earlier DOS floppy disk era ...

Fortunately, the situation is different today. Now there are USB 2, 3 ports that allow you to install any operating system very quickly, because computers can boot from USB as well.

Now that we're a little nostalgic, let's see how we can build an installation flash drive with the free program called Rufus.

In the meantime, this description has been completed by more recent version. However, anyone who works with the older version should use this description.

Obtaining a Rufus program

Download the latest Rufus program from your site:
The program does not require installation and can be started immediately.

Creating a bootable installer flash drive

At the time of writing this, I have the latest version of Rufus 2.18 (2017.11.07 release).

Once started, the one-panel program will run:

Rufus - Homepage


  • Device: Select the target flash drive for which you want to create the installer.
  • Partition schema and target system type: Leave by default, as shown in the picture
  • Filesystem: Default setting
  • Cluster size: Default setting
  • New volume label: Enter a name, for example, the installation system name, verb, or leave it blank.

Formatting options

  • Quick Format: Be
  • Creating a bootable disk: Select the ISO image file here, then select the image file with the navigation icon next to it.
  • Create extended label and icon files: It can stay.

When browsing the ISO image, the New Volume Label field is filled in with the title in the ISO file, so no need to change it above.


Rufus - Startup - Download required

At startup, depending on the operating system you want to write to the flash drive (I have 8.10 Debian Netinstall), a panel may appear to confirm certain downloads. Rufus needs to download some of the files needed to set up the bootable system, so press Yes here.

Rufus - Startup - ISOHybrid image detected

Then another window will pop up immediately, leave it at the recommended option, then press OK.

Rufus - Start - Cancel warning

And there is only a warning window to let you know that the contents of the entire flash drive will go into the soup. But we're not even scared of it, let's get this down.

Rufus - Booting - Creating a File SystemRufus - Startup - Copy ISO files

And here the copying of the files starts. It took me about 5-6 minutes to write the 260 Mb image file.

You have the bootable flash drive ready to install your favorite operating system.