Create Bootable Windows USB in Linux

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Running Linux is great, but at times you will most likely need Microsoft Windows for one reason or another, or at least need to install it to a computer. And the best option to do this is through a flashdrive.

This option works for Windows 8 along with 7 and 8.1. I tested them all out today and have a lot of success with it, and not a single thing went wrong.

Below I am going to explain how you can use the software called WinUSB in Linux to create a bootable flashdrive to then install Windows from. In other tutorials, people mention using UNetBootin, but this no longer works, for the past few years. That’s enough of an intro, lets get to it.

Installing WinUSB to Linux

These commands were tested on Ubuntu 13.04, and various install methods are for Ubuntu but can usually easily be “ported” over to various distros.

Ubuntu Software Center

Yes, you can just open up your Ubuntu Software Center program, search for “WinUSB” and install. No need for anything more complicated.

Terminal Install

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:colingille/freshlight
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install winusb

Download The Packages

If you would like to install WinUSB more manually, you can visit their website over at and download whatever packages you require.

Getting Windows on the Flash Drive

  1. Insert Flash Drive & Get your Windows ISO (I used windows 8.1) or insert the Windows CD/DVD
  2. Start WinUSB and, nothing else really needs to be explained.
  3. Select your Source, either ISO or CD Drive
  4. Pick your Target (USB) Device. If it doesn’t appear, hit refresh and make sure it’s mounted.
  5. Click on “Install” and enter your SUDO Password (required to mount devices and write directly to drives)

When you boot your computer now with the USB inserted, enter Boot Options or Select Boot Device, or you could change the order your computer boots and place your USB Device before your main harddrive. Just to note, not all computers support USB Boot devices, but nearly every computer after the year 2005 do support it.

If you would like to see more programs and software developed by the same person, you can visit their website over at

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