WoeUSB is a free, open-source tool that allows you to create bootable Windows USB sticks from ISO images. This tool is handy for those who want to install Windows on their Ubuntu machine or for those who want to create a bootable Windows USB stick for use on other devices.
Features of WoeUSB:
- Create bootable USB drives from ISO images
- Supports multiple file systems, including NTFS, FAT32, and exFAT
- Graphical user interface (GUI) for easy use
- CLI support for advanced users
The following comprehensive guide will provide you with detailed, step-by-step instructions and accompanying screenshots to assist you in installing WoeUSB on either Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish Long-Term Support (LTS) or 20.04 Focal Fossa LTS. Whether you are a seasoned Linux user or just starting, this guide is designed to make the installation process as straightforward and seamless as possible. With its user-friendly format, even those with limited technical expertise can follow along and successfully install WoeUSB on their Ubuntu system.
Step 1: Update Ubuntu
Updating your Ubuntu machine is the first step in installing WoeUSB. This ensures that your system has the latest security updates and bug fixes. To update Ubuntu, open the terminal and enter the following command:
sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade
Step 2: Import WoeUSB LaunchPAD PPA
Before importing the LaunchPAD PPA containing WoeUSB, installing the necessary packages is necessary.
sudo apt install dirmngr ca-certificates software-properties-common apt-transport-https -y
For individuals who have not previously imported a GPG key from the Ubuntu keyserver, the command line terminal may encounter difficulties importing GPG keys from LaunchPAD PPAs as the directories have not been established. However, this can be quickly resolved. Utilize the following command that will generate the necessary directories.
sudo gpg --list-keys
This step can be omitted, but if any issues arise, execute the command and attempt again.
Next, import the necessary GPG key for all repositories.
sudo gpg --no-default-keyring --keyring /usr/share/keyrings/woeusb.gpg --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-keys CEC312CC5ED8215A6E0EFC49B90E9186F0E836FB
gpg: keybox '/usr/share/keyrings/woeusb.gpg' created gpg: key B90E9186F0E836FB: public key "Launchpad PPA for tomtomtom" imported gpg: Total number processed: 1 gpg: imported: 1
The most efficient method of utilizing the APT package manager is to install the tomtomtom PPA. Utilize the following command to import it to your Ubuntu LTS distribution. It should be noted that this command will also work on short-term release versions.
echo "deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/woeusb.gpg] https://ppa.launchpadcontent.net/tomtomtom/woeusb/ubuntu $(lsb_release -cs) main" | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/woeusb.list
Before proceeding, perform an APT update to incorporate the newly imported PPA.
sudo apt update
Install WoeUSB easily, using either the GUI method or the CLI version for those who prefer to use the command line interface.
Install WoeUSB with GUI
sudo apt install woeusb woeusb-frontend-wxgtk -y
Install WoeUSB without GUI (Headless)
sudo apt install woeusb -y
How to Launch WoeUSB
Start using WoeUSB by exploring the different launch methods available. In the following section, learn how to launch WoeUSB through the GUI method or how to run it using CLI commands.
Launch Terminal WoeUSB
WoeUSB is versatile and can be utilized in headless server environments and desktop terminals as long as the necessary hardware, such as the USB device, is connected. To access the commands and open the help menu, use the following command.
Here are five examples of using WoeUSB terminal commands:
- To list available storage devices.
- To create a bootable USB drive from an ISO image.
woeusb --device /path/to/image.iso /dev/sdX
- To create a bootable USB drive from a physical CD/DVD drive.
woeusb --device /dev/sr0 /dev/sdX
- To clone an existing bootable USB drive:
woeusb --clone /dev/sdX /dev/sdY
- To display detailed information about a USB drive.
woeusb --info /dev/sdX
Launch Graphical WoeUSB
The WoeUSB graphical user interface can be launched by executing the following command.
For desktop users, WoeUSB can be easily opened by utilizing the application icon, which can be accessed through the following path.
Activities > Show Applications > WoeUSB.
Once WoeUSB is open, you can start by selecting the disk image and installing it on your connected USB drive. The graphical user interface is user-friendly and easy to navigate. If you’re a desktop user, using this method over the terminal is recommended for a more intuitive experience.
Additional Commands & Tips
How to Update WoeUSB
The most effective way to keep WoeUSB updated is by opening the command line terminal and executing the following command.
sudo apt upgrade && sudo apt upgrade
The above command will also guarantee that all other packages managed by the APT package manager, including those for your system, are up-to-date. New Linux users must frequently run this command to ensure their system operates smoothly, even if they have automatic updates through the graphical user interface or notifications.
How to Remove WoeUSB
Users who no longer need WoeUSB can use one of the following commands to remove the application, depending on their original installation method.
sudo apt autoremove woeusb woeusb-frontend-wxgtk -y
After removing WoeUSB, it is recommended that users who will not be using the application again also remove the PPA.
sudo rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/woeusb.list
Installing WoeUSB on Ubuntu is a straightforward process. This comprehensive guide lets you easily create bootable Windows USB sticks from ISO images on your Ubuntu machine. Whether installing Windows on your Ubuntu machine or creating a bootable USB stick for other machines, WoeUSB is the perfect tool.
Is WoeUSB only available for Ubuntu?
No, WoeUSB is available for various Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, Fedora, and Debian.
Why use WoeUSB on Ubuntu?
WoeUSB provides an easy way for Ubuntu users to create Windows installation USB drives, making installing Windows on a computer much more straightforward.
Can I use WoeUSB to install other operating systems?
No, WoeUSB is specifically designed to create bootable Windows USB sticks from ISO images.
Is WoeUSB a paid tool?
No, WoeUSB is a free, open-source tool.