Now that Fedora 12 has been released you may want to take it for a test drive. Traditionally, this is the role of a livecd. However, even though it is 2009, CD burning remains somewhat of an art. I proved this to myself after making five attempts to burn a Fedora image using two different burning programs and two different burners. None of the CD’s could pass a checksum test. Oh well, CD’s are cheap. So let’s burn a live USB stick instead.
I will assume that you know how to boot into your BIOS setup and cause your machine to boot from live media. Your first step is to visit the Fedora site and download a livecd iso image. Fedora provides several ways of doing this but the preferred way is to use a bittorrent client. The bittorrent protocol has built-in error control that will ensure your downloaded image is good.
Next insert a USB stick into an available port. The Fedora image is 654 MB in size, so your stick must be at least as large. At this point Windows users can use the popular unetbootin utility to burn the iso image to the stick but GNU/Linux can do it easier from the command line.
Bring up a terminal and issue the “mount” command. This will give you a listing of mounted file systems. Look and see what device is assigned to the USB stick. On my machine it shows ‘/dev/sdc1’, on yours it may be different. The numeric ‘1’ is a partition number and is not required in the next and final command.
Navigate to the directory where you downloaded the image. Issue the command “sudo dd if=Fedora-12-i686-Live of=/dev/sdX bs=4M“, substituting your device letter for X. This will copy the image to the stick and will delete any data previously on it.
You are done. Reboot and have fun!