Tools to record Elive Linux in an USB drive

Select your version

USB type

You must use a good quality and fast USB with at least 4GB of capacity:

The quality is important because if the device is slow to start up, your computer bios may not recognize it in the first seconds and Elive may not boot from it.

To use persistence you need a fast USB thumb drive, our recommendation is a model like the Sandisk Extreme or Ultra.

DVD? You can record Elive into a DVD too, but using USB's are suggested for improved speed and reliability.

Stable version

The Stable version '3.0 Opal' includes an ISO image that can be recorded in a DVD.

If you want to boot from a USB you should use the .IMG image which includes persistence, but if you are unable to boot your computer with it, you can try using the UnetBootin tool to record the .ISO image instead (it has a different way to boot so it may boot when the other image doesn't, but you will lack persistence).

Older stable versions like '2.0 Topaz' strictly requires to use the Unetbootin tool if you want to boot it from a USB.

Beta version

The newer versions (since 3.7.1) uses an Hybrid type ISO that can be used for both USB's or DVD's and includes persistence features too.

When you record it into a USB its important to use tools records the contents in raw and doesn't modify the internal system! So just check the recommended listed tools, like dd or etcher, but not unetbootin.


Unable to boot from USB:  If your computer is too old (+10 years old) or unable to boot from a USB you can still do it, first record it into a CD / DVD device, and then add the boot parameter "changedevice", you will be allowed to continue the boot process switching to the USB

Persistence: Since the version 3.8.30, Ventoy is well supported for persistence, on that way you can update the version of Elive just copying the newer ISO into it and maintain your persistence partition (leave free when creating it). Important: using tools like this one makes your USB less compatible to boot in some computers! for example in the Legacy mode bioses or Apple computers cannot boot from it.

Recommended tool


Unless you have an old computer from where to record it, we recommend using the Etcher tool for the recent versions of Elive, which is easy to use and there's versions for Windows, Linux, and Mac.

Note: Do not use other tools than the recommended ones in order to ensure a correct structure of the recorded data, there are some tools that fail to boot Elive correctly!

Issues? Check all the common issues with different computers if you still having problems booting from USB.

  • Etcher

Other tools


From windows, you can use the UsbWriter tool to record your USB with your downloaded Elive, since this tool records the contents in Raw mode without modifying them.

Check which image you need to use for which version of Elive for more details.


In Mac you can use too the ‘dd’ command, with the help of diskutil too.

$ diskutil list

$ sudo dd if=your_downloaded_elive_image.img of=/dev/yourdeviceusb bs=1M

$ sync


From a graphical tool:

Some Linux distributions have a tool available, called USB-ImageWriter which is compatible with our format, you can use both the .img or the .iso images with it.

From terminal (advanced):

You should use the famous ‘dd’ from a terminal, the syntax is very simple, but for that you should better follow a howto in google since there's some details you need to know about it.


Use the usb-bootable-elive included tool which is simple to use and safe, you can also record images of other Linux distributions.

Important Notes:

  • You need to have disabled in your BIOS the options “Secure Boot”, “UEFI”, and also, enable “Legacy Mode” and “CSM”
  • Some computers can only boot from one of their USB ports, make sure to try from all of them if doesn’t boots
  • You can use "plop bios linux extender" tool to make it boot old computers, or to switch to USB boot by using the boot parameter "changedevice"
  • Older versions of Elive like 2.0 Topaz must use the unetbootin tool to record your USB
  • Issues? Check all the common issues with different computers if you still having problems booting from USB.



Samuel F. Baggen

Founder and Developer of Elive