How to create an ISO from a bootable USB drive in Linux

Everyone knows how to create a bootable USB drive from an ISO. Create a bootable USB device using dd command, Etcher, Ice lolly, Bootiso, Multi CD And Muksub. Now do the reverse. Yes, this short tutorial will show you how to create an ISO from a bootable USB drive you have already created. This is very useful if you lose the actual ISO image and want to create an additional bootable drive.

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Create ISO from bootable USB drive

This can be easily done GNOME disk. As you may know, Gnome Disks is a graphical utility for managing disk drives and media. Provides utilities and applications required to handle storage devices. GNOME Disks is pre-installed on all GNOME desktop Linux editions by default. If it is not installed, install it as follows.

Arch Linux and its derivatives:

$ sudo pacman -S gnome-disk-utility

For Debian and Ubuntu:

$ sudo apt install gnome-disk-utility

For RHEL, CentOS:

$ sudo yum install gnome-disk-utility

For Fedora:

$ sudo dnf install gnome-disk-utility

For SUSE / openSUSE:

$ sudo zypper in gnome-disk-utility

Once installed, plug the USB drive into the system. Then open the GNOME Disks utility from the dash or menu.

The default interface of GNOME Disks looks like this:

I have a bootable USB drive for Ubuntu 18.04 at hand. If you don’t have one, use one of the USB Booth Creators described in the first paragraph.

Select a bootable USB drive from the list. Select the partition containing the ISO (this is ISO 9660). And click gear icon. Looks like two gearboxes under the partition. See arrow mark.

Select a bootable partition

Choose Create partition image Drop-down list options.

Create partition image

Enter a name and select a location to save the ISO image. you save Documents folder. Finally, click “Start creating” icon.

Save bootable ISO image

This will start creating an ISO image from a bootable USB drive with the GNOME Disks utility.

Progress of bootable USB creation

After creating the bootable USB, go to the location where you saved it and check if the ISO was created.

Ubuntu bootable ISO location

that’s it. You have successfully created an ISO image from a bootable USB drive. Boot the system with the newly created system to see if the ISO image actually works.

Ubuntu Live CD

Tested and worked with ISO in VirtualBox !!

Create an entire drive image

This will create an image of the partition containing the ISO. You can also create an image of the entire USB disk.

To do this, select a USB drive from the NOME Disks interface, 3 horizontal lines Located in the upper right corner.

Please select from drop down box “Creating a Disk Image” Optionally select a name and location to save the disk image.

Create a disk image

The entire disk image is saved .img format. To start up the system, you may need to find the right application and convert it to ISO format.

that’s it. You have now returned the actual ISO image. As mentioned earlier, this is useful if you lose your ISO image. Just plug in a bootable drive, open the GNOME Disks utility and create an ISO in minutes. If you lose your bootable USB drive, you have no choice but to download the ISO from the Internet.