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Create a bootable Ubuntu USB stick on macOS from the command line

·115 words·1 min·

Ubuntu’s official guide Create a bootable USB stick on macOS works, but it currently requires Etcher, runs on x86 through Rosetta, and assumes you want to run on a Mac too. TIL how to use the command line to create a bootable Ubuntu Server amd64 USB flash drive.

Plug in your USB flash drive and look it up using diskutil:

diskutil list external

Erase and reformat using a Master Boot Record (MBR), then unmount it:

diskutil eraseDisk FAT32 UBUNTU MBRFormat /dev/disk4
diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk4

Download an Ubuntu ISO:


Copy image to the USB drive (note the r before the device name):

sudo dd if=ubuntu-22.04.1-live-server-amd64.iso of=/dev/rdisk4 bs=1m

Eject the USB drive:

hdiutil detach /dev/disk4