Install Slackware Using A USB Flash Drive

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Installing Slackware using a USB flash drive is very easy.

Slackware includes a usbboot.img in the usb-and-pxe-installers directory of the official installation media, which is a minimal image very handy for FTP or other kinds of network installations.

In the same directory one can also find, a script that will dump the usbboot.img image to a flash drive, useful in case the above image does not work for you out of the box.

Additionally, AlienBOB has written two articles in his blog on how to install Slackware using a USB flash drive from either

Microsoft Windows or Linux.

This document describes yet another way of creating an image capable of booting from USB, containing all of the packages neeeded for an installation, using Isohybrid.


A USB flash drive that can fit the ISO image

Syslinux >= 3.72

Additionally you should either have:

a) official Slackware installation media, preferably the DVD ISO one, available on any Slackware mirror


b) a local copy of the Slackware tree.

That may be the tree of a stable release, or even the tree of the Slackware current development cycle.

If you choose to use a local copy of the tree you should be able to create your own ISO image using a script such as:

Pat's DVD script, AlienBOB's mirror-slackware-current script or even a custom one of your own.

Using isohybrid

At this point you should have a Slackware ISO lying on your hard disk

Make it hybrid:

isohybrid slackware-13.1-install-dvd.iso

Copy the ISO to the USB flash drive

All that is left to do now is copy the ISO to the USB flash drive.

This can be done using the dd command as the root user.

The following command will overwrite all the files currently present on the USB drive so prior backups are highly advisable:

dd if=slackware-13.1-install-dvd.iso of=/dev/sdX

PS1. dd expects the name of a device, not a partition, so you should use eg. /dev/sdb instead of /dev/sdb1.

PS2. the USB drive should NOT be mounted during dd invocation.


Boot the machine using the USB drive. Experience should be no different than using the official installation media.