To prepare the USB stick, you will need a system where GNU/Linux is
already running and where USB is supported. With current GNU/Linux systems
the USB stick should be automatically recognized when you insert it. If
it is not you should check that the usb-storage kernel module is loaded.
When the USB stick is inserted, it will be mapped to a device named
/dev/sdX, where the “X” is a letter
in the range a-z. You should be able to see to which device the USB
stick was mapped by running the command dmesg after
inserting it. To write to your stick, you may have to turn off its write
The procedures described in this section will destroy anything already on the device! Make very sure that you use the correct device name for your USB stick. If you use the wrong device the result could be that all information on for example a hard disk could be lost.
An alternative way to set up your USB stick is to manually copy the installer files, and also a CD image to it. Note that the USB stick should be at least 1 GB in size (smaller setups are possible if you follow Section 4.3.2, “Manually copying files to the USB stick — the flexible way”).
There is an all-in-one file
which contains all the installer files (including the kernel)
Note that, although convenient, this method does have one major disadvantage: the logical size of the device will be limited to 1 GB, even if the capacity of the USB stick is larger. You will need to repartition the USB stick and create new file systems to get its full capacity back if you ever want to use it for some different purpose.
After that, mount the USB memory stick
which will now have
on it, and copy a Debian ISO image (netinst or full CD) to it.
Unmount the stick (
umount /mnt) and you are done.
If you like more flexibility or just want to know what's going on, you should use the following method to put the files on your stick. One advantage of using this method is that — if the capacity of your USB stick is large enough — you have the option of copying any ISO image, even a DVD image, to it.