How to build bootable Debian installation USB media from Windows

Debian 7.0 (Wheezy) came out this weekend, and I want to mess with it. Here’s how I wrote the installation media to a USB thumb drive for it using a Windows box. Because sometimes that’s all you have available to work with. If you prefer another Linux distribution, like Ubuntu or CentOS or Fedora, the same trick will work for them too.

First, download Win32 Disk Imager.

Next, download the Debian installation ISO.

While you wait for the ISO to download, extract Win32 Disk Imager to its own directory someplace handy.

After the download completes, rename the file extension from .iso to .img.

Plug in your USB flash drive, run Win32DiskImager.exe, select your installation image under “Image File” and your USB key under “Device,” then click “Write.”

Wait a few minutes, and now you have Debian boot media. Plug it in to your fresh machine and you’re ready to build your new Debian system, and without having to buy and register any commercial software beyond what’s already running on the machine.

My machine is building now, and it thinks it has 90 minutes left, so I don’t have any first impressions of the new system just yet. But I’m looking forward to messing with it, and trying to put it through its paces.

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