Creating Windows and Ubuntu USB Boot Drives from the mac

Seems like i have to do this every six months. Well here’s the latest update on how to do it:

  • howtogeek.com has a new graphical method rather than the command line approach of Ubuntu. It uses an open source tool cleverly named Mac Linux USB Loader. It even downloads a distribution for you and then installs it. Kind of what unetbootin was supposed to do. This worked with ubuntu as well as pfsense and opnsense which are BSD based.
  • The only issues I found were that you need to make sure the USB is formatted ahead of time as FAT (not ex-FAT) and with Master Boot Record and not GPID. It also asks this question about having an EFI BIOS. Since you don’t know ahead of time if you will have it, then I normally leave that unchecked.
  • opnsense installation note. One peculiarity is that opnsense.org has disk images with the operating system, but the wiki.opensense.org has things without the operating system. You can tell by looking at the image size. It is 768 MB with BSD and 200 MB or so without it.
  • intowindows.com explains that the Bootcamp Assistant actually allows you to create a USB bootable Windows which is pretty cool, but this doesn’t work.
  • Finally if this doesn’t work, you can do the command line process that Ubuntu documents for just about anything.

I finally had to find Windows to get this to work:

  • The only way I could get this to work successfully was with Windows and rufus