Install OpenSUSE on USB

Hello everyone,

I am trying to install OpenSUSE on a USB-drive. I have tried different programs (LiLi USB-creator and YUMI) and different OpenSUSE ISOs. However, these programs seems outdated and thus I cannot get OpenSUSE installed (I get different errors) on my USB-drive. Could anyone provide me a link or tutorial on how to install OpenSUSE on a USB-drive?


I hope I am understanding your question correctly, because it is a little ambiguous.

I think you are wanting to put the install iso on a USB, so that you can use that USB for installing.

That’s the way I install.

I usually prepare the USB in a linux system. I’m not sure I have ever done it from Windows.

There’s a web page SDB:Live USB stick which explains how to do it for opensuse.

Some of the software that you have tried is known to not work properly with opensuse. That’s because the iso is already created so as to be read for directly writing to the USB device (note that is “device” rather than “file system”).


SUSE Studio ImageWriter. Has always worked for me.

Maybe somebody got it to work.

I’ve been using “dd_rescue” to create my install USBs.

as in:

# dd_rescue  eopenSUSE-13.2-DVD-x86_64.iso /dev/sdd

The USB is usually “/dev/sdd” on this box, but change that to what is appropriate on your box.

I just use the cp command to the device not a partition on the device.

I have, at different times, used each of these:

SUSE Studio ImageWriter. Has always worked for me.

dd_rescue  eopenSUSE-13.2-DVD-x86_64.iso /dev/sdd

I just use the cp command to the device not a partition on the device.

All have worked without fail every time I have used them.

I belive he’s asking how to install openSUSE on a USB so you can take your OS with you kind of like the Live CD iso’s, it’s not as simple (maybe it is I haven’t tried) as installing on a hard drive, but a google search revealed a couple of hits, read these pages about installing Suse on an usb hdd and an usb stick
the first place to look is at
SDB:Live USB stick

some older pages that might help
USB SUSE Installation to a USB Hard Drive
Install SUSE to a USB Flash Drive using the CD
apparently you need to run a script to convert the regular to a live OS

and if you’re under windows and need to do a iso->usb write try it works quite well

That did not work for me when I tried it.

that’s how I installed 13.2, got the net install iso, used rufus to make a bootable usb the rest is history, you should note that some older PC’s can not boot all types of USB’s meaning I have an old pc that will boot a dos image from usb but will not boot a linux image, if that’s the case there’s nothing that can be done maybe check and see if there is a bios update for your machine.

I tried rufus with a 64-bit iso (live KDE, as best I recall). Maybe it would have worked with 32-bit.

The thing about the 64-bit iso, is that it is specially formatted to support both UEFI and traditional booting methods. I think that confused rufus.

I have only one older computer whose BIOS cannot boot a USB with an opensuse iso. So I use the PLOP boot manager with that, to get around the problem.

it could be I am/was using the 32 bit network iso.
there are other iso-> usb utilities for win
ImageUSBfrom PassMark

There is also a workaround for that where it uses a floppy boot to then boot from the DVD drive.

Thanks everyone. I meant to install OpenSUSE *on *my USB-stick not from my USB-stick :wink:


Then it is mostly a matter of doing a regular install, but being very careful during the partitioning section of install. After going through the main steps, there is a summary screen where you can click on section headers. You will want to click on the Boot section to make sure that you get the booting right.

Use “grub2” as the bootloader.

I recommend booting from the MBR.

On that boot settings page, there is a button “Boot Loader Installation Details”. Click on that. It will list the order of the disks. Make sure that your USB is first.

Note that this will not allow UEFI booting. If you want UEFI booting, then it’s a bit trickier.

Note also that the Live versions are persistent . That is they work like you’d expect keeping data and configuration. Also note that these live images are better at detecting and running from arbitrary hardware. If you “install” to the USB then things are set your current haredware and it may not boot correctly if you plug it into another machine.

So if you plan to only use the USB on one machine configuration then installing is an option (it will boot faster) but If you want it to boot on arbitrary hardware just copy the live iso to you USB as per instructions above.