Bug#660776: Installation guide instructions for creating bootable USB stick don't work
Section 4.3 of the installation guide (I'm using http://www.debian.org/releases/stable/i386/ch04s03.html.en) contains the following instruction for creating a bootable USB stick:
The CD or DVD image you choose should be written directly to the USB stick, overwriting its current contents. For example, when using an existing GNU/Linux system, the CD or DVD image file can be written to a USB stick as follows:
# cat debian.iso > /dev/sdX
This may work on debian, but I suspect most users are not going to have access to a debian system at this step. On ubuntu the cat command above results in a "permission denied" error, even if done as root.
The command that works on ubuntu is "dd". Suggest the instructions be changed as follows:
The CD or DVD image you choose should be written directly to the USB
stick, overwriting its current contents. For example, when using an
existing unix or linux system, the CD or DVD image file can be written to a
USB stick as follows:
# dd if=debian.iso of=/dev/sdX
(Not sure if the "sync" is really required, is it? Also, perhaps we should add a "umount" command in front of this, because if you insert a USB into most modern distros, it will automatically mount a file system on it, and may also automatically do other things, like open a file explorer. It seems unsafe to have a file system mounted when we start writing to it with dd.)
I suspect that the dd command is much more likely to work on other linux and unix distributions than the "cat" command above. (Does this actually work on debian?) If it also works on debian (I can't check, because I haven't completed the install yet) then I suggest the documentation be changed to use the dd command.
It might be nice to also give people instructions for how to do it on Windows, but unfortunately there's no simple way to provide that. Might be a good idea to include something like: "If you are using a different operating system, search the web for instructions on how to make a bootable USB stick from an iso image."
p.s. Sorry, couldn't use "reportbug" to create this, since I don't yet have debian up and running. Why isn't "reportbug" something that runs in a browser, so it can be invoked from anywhere?