How to Boot from Disk in Linux? A Comprehensive Guide


When it comes to Linux, mastering the art of booting from a disk is essential for both newcomers and seasoned users. Whether you’re installing a new Linux distribution, recovering your system, or performing maintenance tasks, understanding how to boot from a disk can save you time and frustration. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the entire process, covering different methods, common issues, and expert tips.

How to Boot from Disk in Linux?

Booting from a disk in Linux involves several steps that may vary depending on your system and the type of disk you’re using. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of the process:

1. BIOS/UEFI Settings:

Access your computer’s BIOS or UEFI settings. This is usually done by pressing a specific key (like F2 or Delete) during startup. Navigate to the boot options menu and prioritize the disk you want to boot from.

2. Insert the Disk:

Insert the bootable disk (USB, DVD, or CD) into the appropriate drive.

3. Restart Your Computer:

Save the changes in your BIOS/UEFI settings and restart your computer. It will now attempt to boot from the inserted disk.

4. Boot Menu (Optional):

Some systems offer a boot menu accessed by pressing a designated key (often F12 or F8). This allows you to select the boot device on-the-fly. Choose the inserted disk from the menu.

5. Linux Boot Menu:

If successful, you’ll be greeted with the Linux boot menu. Here, you can choose different boot options like “Try Ubuntu without installing,” “Install Ubuntu,” or recovery options.

6. Follow On-screen Prompts:

Follow the on-screen prompts to proceed with your chosen boot option. This might involve language selection, keyboard layout, and user authentication.

7. Installation/Recovery:

Depending on your selection, you’ll either initiate the Linux installation process or access recovery tools. Follow the installation wizard or perform the necessary recovery tasks.

Troubleshooting Common Issues:

Encountering issues while trying to boot from a disk is not uncommon. Here are some troubleshooting tips to help you navigate potential problems:

Disk Not Recognized:

If your disk isn’t recognized during boot, double-check your BIOS/UEFI settings and ensure the boot order is correct.

Boot Error Messages:

Error messages like “Bootmgr is missing” or “No bootable device found” may indicate issues with the disk’s boot sector. Make sure the disk is properly created and functional.

Secure Boot Issues:

Secure Boot can sometimes prevent booting from external disks. Consider disabling Secure Boot in your BIOS/UEFI settings.

Corrupted Disk Image:

If you’re using a USB drive, the disk image might be corrupted. Try recreating the bootable disk using a reliable tool.


Ensure that the Linux distribution you’re trying to boot is compatible with your hardware. Some distributions might not work well with certain systems.


How can I access my computer’s BIOS settings?

Accessing BIOS settings can be done by restarting your computer and pressing the designated key (often F2, F12, or Delete) during startup.

Can I boot Linux from an external hard drive?

Yes, you can boot Linux from an external hard drive as long as the drive is properly formatted and set up for booting.

What if my system doesn’t have UEFI?

If your system doesn’t have UEFI, you’ll need to access the traditional BIOS settings to configure the boot order.

Is it possible to dual-boot Linux with Windows from a disk?

Absolutely. By creating separate partitions on your disk, you can install both Linux and Windows, allowing you to choose your preferred OS during startup.

Why is my bootable USB not working?

A non-functional bootable USB can result from improper creation of the bootable image, issues with the USB drive itself, or incorrect BIOS/UEFI settings.

Can I boot Linux from a CD on a laptop without a CD drive?

Yes, you can use an external USB CD/DVD drive to boot Linux from a CD on laptops that lack an internal CD drive.

How to make a bootable USB with Linux?

Use tools like Etcher or dd command to create a bootable USB with Linux.

How to make bootable USB from Linux?

Utilize applications like Etcher or dd command to create a bootable USB from Linux.

How to make bootable USB in Linux?

Create a bootable USB in Linux by using tools like Etcher or the dd command.

How to boot from disk Linux?

Boot Linux from a disk by configuring the BIOS/UEFI to prioritize the disk containing the Linux installation.

How to boot Linux on HDD?

Boot Linux from an HDD by selecting the HDD with the installed Linux OS in the BIOS/UEFI boot menu.

How to flash USB from Linux?

Flash a USB drive from Linux using tools like Etcher or the dd command.


Mastering the art of booting from a disk in Linux is an essential skill for anyone exploring the world of open-source operating systems. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you’ll be able to confidently boot Linux from various disk sources, whether you’re installing a new distribution, recovering your system, or troubleshooting issues. Remember, practice makes perfect, and as you become more comfortable with the process, you’ll unlock a new level of control over your Linux experience.

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