Many newer, smaller laptops that are available these days no longer have an optical drive (i.e. a CD / DVD drive), so the easiest option to install Fedora on a new machine is to use a USB storage device. Fedora distributes two main types of images that allow you to install the live image ISO (approximately 1GB in size), and the install image ISO (approximately 4GB in size). When you boot into the live image, it provides a full Fedora experience so you can try it out, and then install. The install image boots straight into the installer, allowing you to install that way.

This short guide will help show you how to create a bootable USB media for Fedora by using the GNOME Disks utility provided in Fedora and other common Linux distributions.

Copying to USB with GNOME Disks GUI

  1. Insert your USB Drive, open up GNOME Disks, and choose the USB drive you just inserted from the list of disks on the left-hand side. In this example, the USB drive I inserted is the 8GB Lexar JC Firefly.

    Choosing the USB drive to install Fedora ISO

    Choosing the USB drive

  2. In the Volumes section in the main section, under the blue partition box, press the square icon to unmount the partition (in this case, the USB drive has a FAT32 partition).

    Square button unmounts the USB partition

    The square button unmounts the partition

  3. Now that the partition is unmounted, click the button with the gears on it in the top-right corner of the window and choose Restore Disk Image. Note that you will be prompted for root / superuser privileges at this step.

    Restore the disk image on the USB drive

    “Restore Disk Image…”

  4. Next, choose the DVD install ISO you want to copy over, And choose the “Start Restoring…” button.

    Start restoring the Fedora ISO to the USB drive

    Start restoring the ISO

  5. The image will now be copied to your USB drive. When the progress bar completes, you will be done! Eject the drive, and you will be all set!

    Wait for restore, then eject the USB drive

    Wait for restore, then eject