How to Easily Create Windows 10 Bootable USB on Ubuntu or Any Linux Distro

This tutorial is going to show you an easy way to create a Windows 10 bootable USB on Linux. I use Ubuntu 16.04 as an example. The method applies to any Linux distribution. I use Windows to do online banking because my bank doesn’t support Linux and sometimes play games that can’t run on Linux.

First, you should download Windows 10 ISO from Microsoft official download link. I chose Windows 10 Creators Update English 64 bit version. Note that you may not be able to download the ISO from this link on a Windows computer. The download link is visible to users on a Linux computer. Once downloaded, follow the instructions below.

windows 10 usb linux uefi

Creating a Windows 10 Bootable USB for UEFI Firmware

This method works for UEFI firmware and is very simple. You create a GUID partition table on your USB stick, create a FAT32 file system on it, and then mount Windows 10 ISO image and copy those Windows 10 files to your USB stick and you are done. The following is a step-by-step guide.

First, install GParted partition editor on your Linux distribution. Ubuntu users run the following command.

sudo apt install gparted

Then insert your USB stick to your computer. Make sure you back up important files in your USB stick if there’s any. Next, launch Gparted. You will need to enter your password in order to use GParted.

make a windows 10 bootable usb

Select your USB stick from the drop-down menu on the upper-right corner. My USB stick is /dev/sdb. Yours may be different.

make a windows 10 bootable usb on linux

If there’s a key icon after the partition name, that means the partition is mounted. Make sure all partitions on your USB stick are unmounted. To unmount a partition, simply right-click on it and select unmount.

make windows 10 bootable usb on ubuntu

Next, on the menu bar, select Device > Create partition table.

create bootable windows 10 usb on linux

Choose GPT as the partition table type and click Apply.

windows 10 bootable usb uefi

Then right-click on the unallocated space and select New to create a new partition.

windows 10 usb gpt fat32

Change file system type from ext4 to fat32 and click Add.

windows 10 usb ubuntu 16.04

Next, click the green check button on the toolbar to apply this operation. Once that’s done, close GParted and find your Windows 10 ISO in file manager. Open it with disk image mounter.

mount windows 10 iso on ubuntu

Open the mounted file system. Select all files and folders and copy them to your USB stick.

windows 10 usb native UEFI

If you you can’t find the mounted Windows 10 ISO file system, then you can use the following commands to mount.

sudo mkdir /mnt/windows10/

sudo mount -t auto -o loop /path/to/window-10-iso /mnt/windows10/

Now in your file manager, go to /mnt/windows10/ and copy all files and folders to your USB stick.

Once the file and folders are copied, your windows 10 bootable USB is created! You can shut down your computer, boot it from this USB stick and install Windows 10 in UEFI mode. Keep in mind that you may need to disable compatibility support module (CSM) in the firmware in order to boot in UEFI mode. You may also need to remove USB stick from your computer and insert it back in order for the firmware to detect the boot loader on your USB stick.

Creating a Windows 10 Bootable USB for Legacy BIOS Using WoeUSB

WoeUSB is a fork of WinUSB. Both of them are open-source software (licensed in GPL) for making Windows bootable USB sticks on Linux platform, but the latter hasn’t been updated since 2012. You may be wondering why it’s named WoeUSB. The author said it’s a GNU convention to abbreviate software that support Windows to “woe”.

To install WoeUSB on Ubuntu 14.04/16.04/17.04, you can use the following PPA. Simply open up a terminal window and run the following commands one by one. Other Linux distro users can compile this software by following the instructions on the Github project page.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8

sudo apt update

sudo apt install woeusb

This PPA contains many other software. If you don’t need them, you can now remove this PPA from your system.

sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8

sudo apt update

You can launch WoeUSB from Unity Dash or your application menu.

woeusb ubuntu

You can also start it from command line with:

woeusbgui

It’s very easy to use the WoeUSB GUI. Select Windows ISO image and your target USB device. Make sure your data on the USB device is backed up before hitting the Install button.

woeusb ubuntu install

Then wait for the installation to complete.

make windows 10 bootable usb on ubuntu

Once done, you can use the bootable USB to install Windows 10 on your computer.

How to Use WoeUSB From the Command Line

First, find the device name of your USB stick using the following command.

lsblk

woeusb command line

Mine is /dev/sdb. Make sure your USB is unmounted with the following command. Replace /dev/sdb1 with your own partition name.

sudo umount /dev/sdb1

Then create a bootable Windows 10 USB like below. Red texts shoudl be adapted to your own ISO file name and USB device name. The -v (--verbose) option will give more detailed output.

sudo woeusb -v --device windows-10.iso /dev/sdb

In my test, the Windows 10 USB created with WoeUSB can boot in both legacy and UEFI mode on my old computer. On my new computer, it can boot in legacy mode but failed in UEFI mode. I don’t know the exact reason, but it’s probably because of bug in this software.

That’s it! I hope this tutorial helped you create windows 10 bootable USB on Ubuntu or any Linux distribution. As always, if you found this post useful, then subscribe to our free newsletter to get new tutorials.

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11 Responses to “How to Easily Create Windows 10 Bootable USB on Ubuntu or Any Linux Distro

  • Rajib Alam
    2 months ago

    Hi! That worked perfectly. Thanks for sharing your expertise with FOSS amateurs like me. Cheers.

  • Ahyani Pavlov D'eouvre
    2 months ago

    Thank you… successfully without headache

  • tb thomas
    2 months ago

    I’m assuming that when you said this would “install Windows 10” on my computer, you meant to say: this will enable me to boot Windows 10 running on the usb stick (while leaving my hard-drive partitions alone, untouched).

    Is that correct? Thanks for the helpful tutorials. Well done.

  • SAKHAWAT Hossain
    2 months ago

    After successfully wasting one day this thing work out for me very easy and effective thankx man lots of thanx bottom from heart ❤❤

  • Brigadier Pepis
    2 months ago

    Another way to mount the Windows ISO is using the mount command with root privileges like this:

    sudo mount -t auto -o loop “/path/to/windows.iso” /destination/path

    Thanks for sharing!

    • tb thomas
      2 months ago

      Seems like running the .iso off the hard-drive would be the better way to go, right?
      Not sure why Microsoft is willing to give Win-10 away. (Not that I want to use it for anything other than temporary/compatibility issues !;)

      Regardless, once you’ve mounted it, how do you boot into it?
      (thanks!)

  • Zoopediua
    2 months ago

    This worked for me! 🙂 Thanks

  • Keith Chasse
    1 month ago

    My Chromebook wouldn’t allow me to do squat with my USB or ISO so I broke out the trusty UBUNTU shovel and dug my way out with your excellent guidance. You just saved my gaming rig.

  • Mysterion
    1 month ago

    Thanks! You saved my day.

  • Mathias
    3 weeks ago

    Good stuff! Thanks a lot!

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