Linux

Bootable Live USB Creator UNetbootin 700 Released With Qt5 Support


UNetbootin, a tool to create bootable live Linux USB drives, has been updated to version 700. With this release, the application finally uses Qt5 (5.12; previously it used Qt4).

UNetbootin can create bootable Linux USB drives using either an ISO image you provide, or by automatically downloading a Linux distribution from a predefined list. The tool may also be used to install the ISO do disk; this hard disk install mode is the same as if you had booted from a live CD or live USB.

Among the supported Linux distributions are Ubuntu and derivatives like Xubuntu or Kubuntu, Linux Mint, Debian, openSUSE, Arch Linux, Fedora, Gentoo, and many more, as well as FreeBSD and NetBSD. The tool can also be used to create bootable USB drives with various utilities, like Parted Magic, SystemRescueCD, Backtrack, Smart Boot Manager, and more. It runs on Microsoft Windows, Linux and macOS.

Yet another UNetbootin feature is the ability to create bootable USB drives with persistence. This only works for Ubuntu – to create a persistent live USB drive, enter the amount of persistent space you want to use under “Space used to preserve files across reboots”.

UNetbootin is missing from the official repositories of some Linux distributions, like Debian and Ubuntu for some time. Maybe with the latest release which updates UNetbootin to use Qt5, the maintainers will consider it for re-inclusion.

Thanks to being updated to use Qt5, UNetbootin doesn’t look broken any more on recent Linux distributions, e.g. here is how UNetbootin 700 looks on my Ubuntu 20.10 desktop, compared to the previous UNetbootin version (681):

Unetbootin version 700

UNetbootin version 681

Besides this, Unetbootin 700 also adds Ubuntu 20.10, Linux Mint 19.3 and 20 to the supported distributions list. This release also removes deprecated sudo helpers like gksu, kdesu, etc.

Still, the application continues to require root to be able to create the bootable live USB. When ran without root, the application notifies users to run it as follows: sudo QT_X11_NO_MITSHM=1 /path/to/unetbootin.

I’d also like to mention here that in case you want to use UNetbootin to create a bootable USB drive of a Linux distribution, and no USB drive is displayed in the application even though you’ve inserted a USB drive, you can use GParted to format that USB drive to FAT32. You may need to plug it out and then plug it in again, and it will show up in UNetbootin.

Other tools for creating bootable USB drives:

Download UNetbootin

You’ll find binaries for Microsoft Windows, Linux and macOS.

On Linux, the developer provides binaries as stand-alone executables. Download the 32-bit or 64-bit binary in your home folder, then install it to /usr/local/bin as unetbootin using (this is a single line command):

sudo install unetbootin-linux64-700.bin /usr/local/bin/unetbootin

There’s also a PPA which has UNetbootin 700 for Ubuntu 20.10 Groovy Gorilla and Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa, as well as Linux distributions based on these, like Pop!_OS 20.04 and 20.10, Linux Mint 20, etc.

For Arch Linux / Manjaro, the latest UNetbootin can be installed from AUR.

Once installed, run UNetbootin as root to create a bootable live USB using the following command:

sudo QT_X11_NO_MITSHM=1 unetbootin

If the unetbootin executable is not in your PATH, replace unetbootin in the command above with the full path to the application executable.