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dd (command)


dd is a command-line utility for Unix and Unix-like operating systems whose primary purpose is to convert and copy files” (Wikipedia). dd can make perfect byte-for-byte images of just about anything digital, and is most commonly used to copy entire drives. It is, therefore, one of the options offered by MX Live-USB Maker. It is very powerful and runs on a low level, so users must be extremely careful with the commands they use.


The most common use by most MX users is to copy an ISO to a device. The command is straightforward: 

# dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb

if = the source drive you’re taking the data from

of = the file or location where you want your data saved

Be sure to make changes in the above code as needed.

  • the version of MX-18 (e.g., MX-18-b1 to MX-18)
  • the identifier of your USB stick (e.g., sde to sdb)

WARNING: be careful to identify your destination USB correctly in the dd command line string listed above, as the dd command will completely write over the destination device or medium named! You do not want to accidentally write over your data backup drive, for example. To ascertain the correct device name/letter for your destination USB, open a terminal and type:


Then press ENTER. A list of all devices connected to your system will be listed. You should be able to identify your destination USB by its listed storage size.

Many other uses can be found in the resources linked below.


v. 20181106

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