Bootable USB Size


After years of live upgrades from one OpenSUSE version to the next, the new LEAP 15.2 version will be installed onto a new completely blank system replacing my 8 year old one.

For this purpose, I am trying to get started with the Bootable USB option. The Install Page claims the disk image requires 3.99GB but have not been able to write onto any of my USB drives which are all 4GB. The issue is that the OpenSUSE Studio Image Writer seems to think they are 3.84GB disks! This could be due to formatting overhead but I fully expect to overwrite the entire USB disk and so don’t mind losing whatever is eating up those missing 0.16GB.

  1. Is there a way to write the Bootable USB image directly into the RAW USB disk so that it ignores any file-system overhead?
  2. Is there a way to wipe the USB clean so that it is correctly recognized as having 4GB?

Although not entirely related to the problem, would the Bootable USB image be usable on a device indirectly? Specifically, I have tons of SD and MicroSD cards that are over 4GB and I could use those if it is possible to boot from a USB card-reader, of which I also have plenty.

Thank you,

  • Itai

I use the wipefs -a command to clean up disk partitions, make SURE you use the right device reference!

I see Size: 4.0G (4287627264 bytes) [3.9932 GB] at

Here it says the image size is 4.287.627.264 bytes

= 3,99 GiB (2x)

= 4,29 GB (10x)

Storage device manufacturers in general use GB (10x). What means a 4 GB storage device can hold bytes (but not 4.287.627.264 bytes).



I always use an 8G USB drive for writing the DVD installer. A 4G USB is too small, though it is fine for the live media.

Walmart sells a 32GB USB 3.0 flash drive for less than $7.00 - Why use an old slow 4GB or 8GB flash drive.

I have retired all my USB 2.0 flash drives - I have moved all my USB 2.0 Hard Drives to cases that support 3.0 USB.

The speed differences is unbelievable.

Yeah, if that’s the issue, then it’s an easy problem to fix :slight_smile: Will just go and buy a larger one.


  • Itai

How about trying the netinstall image? It is just 138 MB.

120 mm DVDs have 4.37 GiB = 4.70 GB volume, that is bigger than 4 GB = 4’000’000’000 bytes = 3.72 GiB.

It may work.
Even CF cards may works.

Some cheap new USB 3.x flash drives that is made with s??t flash dies runs slower than some old USB 2.0 drives.

I still use some USB2 8G drives for installing. They work fine. Most of the install time is in writing to the hard drive (the install destination). The time for reading the install USB is smaller. So the benefits of moving to USB3 seem minor.