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Re: New dual boot laptop: Best file system for a USB live image for installation?


Tom Browder wrote:
> As I
> understand it, I believe I can just copy the Debian CD live iso image file
> onto the USB and it will be found and booted from fine.

Not necessarily. The question is: found by what ?

The computer's firmware (BIOS or EFI, i assume) will ignore such an ISO 9660
image file in any filesystem.
So you would need some bootloader or EFI tool to (kindof) mount the ISO image
and to start the Linux kernel with initrd and appropriate options.

The Debian ISOs for "i386" and "amd64" are prepared for being copied
flatly onto USB sticks. This overwrites the partition table and BIOS boot
code by bytes at the start of the ISO which take over those jobs.
or a bit more elaborate with backup of the stick's old state

> 2. If a straight copy works as in question 1, is there any problem with
> adding other files on the USB?

The partition table of the ISO image is intended for booting the ISO, not
so much for creating more partitions for other payload. It is possible,

If you have more USB sticks at hand, use one for the ISO and the others
for extra data.
Else remove the GPT debris and create a new MBR partition as proposed in

This does not answer the question which filesystem to install in the
new partition. Something that can be mounted read-write on GNU/Linux and
on MS-Windows, obviously. Just try and be prepared to try again.

Have a nice day :)