Installation to a USB stick using Suse Studio Image Writer

I’m trying to use the image writer and it isn’t working. The help page (SDB:Live USB stick - openSUSE) says:

2b. Or install SUSE Studio ImageWriter for Microsoft Windows

  1. Insert your USB stick (1 GB minimum). Note: Any data on it will be lost!

  2. Launch SUSE Studio Image Writer (It’s located in the application menu under Utilities, Archiving, USB Key Writer)

  3. Now simply drag the downloaded Live CD ISO file from the file manager, and drop it on the Imagewriter Window. Then click “Write”. And in a minute or two you’re done and ready to go!

Well, my image writer looks different than what shows in the help page. I try to drag n drop and can’t do it. If I “choose file”, the image writer only allows me to pick a .raw file, not .iso.

BTW, I’m running XP.

I want to install Suse 11.3 on my 4Gb USB stick and have it work like it’s on a hard drive, not like a “live cd”. I want to be able to install programs and add files and have it still be there the next time I boot.

How can I install on a USB stick?

As I understand the 11.3 CD images can now be persistent…

But you must realize that USB sticks are not made to be active devices. Due to limitation on cheap flash memory they will wear out quickly if ther are lots of erase write cycles.

I’m just trying to make a bootable device so I can use it to boot up windows pcs and virus scan them. I found a help topic that gives a boot script to make use of the leftover partition of a usb after installing suse one so it works like a hard drive install, but that didn’t work for me. I wiped the usb and went to re-install with new version 11.3 and I can’t install it with the image writer.

I have tried aswell with the tool but it only accepts .RAW archives, no .ISO archives.
Currently I am trying to see if the makers of LiLi Linux Live USB Creator can make LiLi compatible tool for Live persistent USB for openSUSE.
On their website you can submit new Linuxes for inclusion in their appliance, and I call upon all on this forum to submit the regular openSUSE Linuxes for inclusion
for if there is demand for it they said they would make it work for LiLi.
So don’t submit your own creation for inclusion as those do not qualify, but submit the openSUSE linuxes as posted on DistroWatch and when they include that it should make any self made openSUSE compatible aswell I think.

Your better of to use SuSE Studio and build your own image (as a .raw) and use that. You can then customize and test before downloading and installing on a usb device.

Welcome - SUSE Studio

As a simpler method, try scrolling down the sdb page till you get to ‘Install the hard way’.
There is a link to the dd tool for windows.
Try using this.
This will allow you to copy the live kde or gnome iso to the stick.
I take it that what you want to do is create a persistent install that will remember your settings. The 11.3 live isos do this atumatically on first boot. They format the unused partition as the pesrsistent storage…

If you are wanting to add extra programs to the default live iso, you are better off using MalcolmLewis’s suggestion of creating your own build image in suse studio.

Hi, thanks for your tips.
Currently I am at my seventh version of my own built at suse studio.
After posting I solved the problem the following way:
The iso I installed to my usb using UNetbootin. Ofcourse no perstistence made there.
Then I used PDL-Casper-RW-Creator from Pendrivelinux website to create a 3 GB image file to store my settings etc.
Now I have my own suse linux running from my usb.

I do think though that there should be a tool made specificly for opensuse to install to usb with persistent feature.
If I knew how to I would make it.


an easy way to let the studio recognize the image is just change the format of the image. In windows under folder option under the show hidden button just unclick the "show hidden formats’ then jus change the iso to raw on the image file and it would work thanks

When you run the Image Writer it loads up click on select then where it ask you to open a *.raw file, click on in the text box where it is labeled file name type . click the open button next to it you can now open *.ISO image files too instead of just *.raw files then copy them to a USBdrive with the writer. . stands for all file types or just all files.

Opensuse ImageWriter Windows, Linux Live USB Creator (2.7), Unetbootin (502), Win32 Disk Imager, dd for Windows - none can create a Live of 11.4 that boots (KDE 64-bit in my case). There’s either a blinking cursor or in the case of Unetbootin some continuously printing message of grafx something error.

I also have Linux Mint 10 KDE installed on another machine, but don’t know what tools it might have that would help me.
So what is it with Windows (XP) and are there any Mint solutions?

It works and boots every time if you use the windows dd tools.
It will create a persistent live usb after the 1st boot. (see my earlier post in this thread)
If you have another version/distro, just boot this and use dd to write the image to the usb stick.

You can just install to a USB stick and use it! I have a 64gig flash voyager, and plugged it in w/ no HDD’s in my system, and installed to it. (regular install… nothing special) Now I can plug it in anywhere and use it. (do a little research about running off a flash drive, or get one w/ a lifetime warranty)

I don’t know why, but every other Linux distro I’ve tried boots just fine from USB, but OpenSUSE fails no matter what I try. I need the newest OpenSUSE with the new kernel, because I have a HP dc7700 and the NIC doesn’t work in 64-bit kernel before 2.6.36.

Just tried to make the usb in Mint with dd, all went fine, but the stick still doesn’t boot.

Let’s get things clear:

  1. Are you trying to make a bootable live usb from the 64bit gnome or kde image,
  2. Are you trying to make a complete new installation to the usb stick.

In the case of 1:
Since you seem to already be able to create a ubuntu/fedora or whatever live usb, use that to create your live opensuse stick.
(Since 11.3 or so, unetbootin et al don’t work for opensuse.)
the steps are:
Download the live opensuse image to your system using win/linux or whatever.
Boot from your working other live linux distro.
Open a teminal and become root (su, sudo or whatever, depending on distro)
Now type ‘fdisk -l’ (lowercase L) and check the output - you should get a listing of your discs attached to the systm: /dev/sd1, /dev/sdb, etc)
Now insert your usb stick that you want to use for opensuse and do another fdisk.
Note the new drive name (/dev/sdx)
Now, still as root, cd to the place you downloaded the opensuse live image and type:
dd if-openSUSE(rest-of-image-name).iso of=/dev/sdx (the sdx is the drive you identified for the usb stick)
Sit back and wait. When it’s done, you can boot from the new usb and it will ceate a persistent live disk on the first boot.

As an aside, since it seems the only reason you want to use the live opensuse is for scanning pcs for viruses, etc, why not use one of the other distros that specialise only in system rescue/virus scans?

Yes as I said I tried dd in Linux Mint, but it didn’t give me a bootable usb. I am just hoping I could install OpenSUSE on my harddisk and I will now try burning a full DVD instead. As I said, the network doesn’t work with the older kernels on my HP machine, I need a new major distro and OpenSUSE happened to be released at a convenient time. I will also install it to my pensioner neighbor’s comp :). Thanks for taking the time to write the advice.

When you run fdisk -l, does the usb drive have a bootable flag? (there should be a * next to the disk name)?
Also, have you checked the iso is not corrupt.

Yes, it had the asterisk in “Boot”. I downloaded with torrent, so I think corruption is out of the question.

Perhaps for your own peace of mind do a checksum on it and see if it’s not corrupt.
It should be:
5f6d6d67c3e256b2513311f4ed650515 openSUSE-11.4-DVD-i586.iso
or KDE
0e3d683efa9f5500c55bd413eb13ba64 openSUSE-11.4-KDE-LiveCD-i686.iso