How to Create a USB Debian Live Flash Drive using Windows and the Ubuntu Win32 Disk Imager (Image Writer for Windows). In the following tutorial, we cover the process of installing Debian Live to a USB Flash Drive from Windows. Debian Live is a continuing project headed by Daniel Baumann, that offers (usb-hdd) Debian Images and ISO’s of the Debian Live operating system with the Gnome, KDE, lxde or Xfce desktops.

In addition, for those running from a Linux environment, a custom Debian Live ISO or USB Image can be easily created using the Live-Helper scripts.

Debian Live 5.0 Desktop Screenshot

Debian 5.0 Desktop Screenshot

Debian and Debian Logos: Trademarks of Software in the Public Interest, Inc.

Win32Disk Imager: win32-image-writer

Distribution Home Page:

Minimum Flash Drive Capacity: 1GB

Persistent Feature: No (not by default, but possible)

Installing Debian Live to USB using Windows

Warning: The contents on your Flash Drive will be wiped out. Backup anything you want to save before proceeding.

  1. Insert a 1GB or larger Flash Drive
  2. Download a Debain-Live Gnome, Xfce, KDE or lxde img (and save it to your desktop)
  3. Download the Win32 DiskImager (and extract it’s content to a folder on your desktop)
  4. Navigate to where you extracted the contents of the Win32DiskImager and run Win32DiskImager.exe

    Note: you may notice a window saying: An error occurred when attempting to get the device information. Error 8:

    – simply click OK to continue
    Error 8

  5. (1) Browse to and select your Debian-Live .img file (2) Select your USB Device (3) Click Write to write the image to the device Win32DiskImager - usage for Debain Live Image
  6. A progress bar will indicate the progress of the write. Once it has finished, simply reboot your PC and set your BIOS or Boot Menu to boot from the USB Device

If all goes well, you should now be booting from your own Portable USB Debian Live Flash Drive.