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IsoDumper is a tool primarily for writing downloaded bootable ISO images to a USB stick.
It can write ISO images which are intended to be burnt to disc support and which are rendered hybrid, thus which can be written on USB stick or memory. It works like the command dd, i.e. writing its own partition table. All Mageia images are writable with IsoDumper, like other OS images when they are provided to be written with dd. In addition of writing feature, you will find also these features:

  • backup of a bootable USB stick to free it up for other use - but the backup (saved as an .img file) can simply be restored to the stick if required
  • formatting of a USB stick in a simple manner
  • since 1.05 release, an option to add persistent partition alongside the image, useful with Mageia Live media

The tool will check some things before writing:

  • the partition of the USB device is unmounted
  • the size of the ISO should be smaller than the size of the USB device
  • if the size of the stick is greater than 32GB, you will be asked to confirm that it is actually the intended target device

This guide was written using the Qt version of IsoDumper v0.59, within the KDE Plasma desktop environment and Mageia 6.
However, this guide may be used against v0.41 & 42 (Mageia 4) and v0.42 to 48 (Mageia 5).


Isodumper is available in Mageia software repositories.
If not yet done, you can install it via the MCC. Or, as a root (Administrator) user, via the command-line by typing:

urpmi isodumper-qt or dnf install isodumper-qt for release using Qt, or

urpmi isodumper-gtk or dnf install isodumper-gtk for release using GTK3.



Launch IsoDumper via any of the following methods:

  • pressing Alt+F2 at the desktop, and typing isodumper in the field that pops up
  • clicking the 'Start' menu icon and then typing IsoDumper in the search field
  • clicking the 'Start' menu icon and then Tools > System Tools > IsoDumper
  • the command-line by typing: isodumper

If you use any of the first three methods, you will have the option of launching either the Qt (for KDE Plasma-based desktops) or Gtk (GNOME-based desktops) interface.
If starting via the command-line, it will launch the version corresponding to your desktop environment.


The writing method overwrites the entire target device, and any existing data on the device will be erased!

  • select target device from the Device to work on drop-down field.
(this may be blank, even if a USB stick is plugged in, until you click on the field. Or you can try clicking the refresh button)
  • the selected device is shown in the Report window
  • Click on the Write image field
    • in the file window that opens up, select the ISO to be written to the USB device
  • the ISO file is now shown in the Report window
  • ensure that the ISO and target device (especially) is correct
  • if your image is a LiveDVD of Mageia, you can check "Create a persistent partition in the remaining space"; it will create an ext4 partition named "mgalive-persist" which will be used to save data from the Live session. This data will be recovered at start of the next session, including documents, configuration files, compiled drivers or installed packages.
  • click on the Write to device button.
  • a confirmation warning will then appear
  • if you are satisfied with your choices, then click Yes
  • You will be asked for the root (Administrator) password to continue:

  • the writing progress is now displayed
  • this can take a while, as the entire space on the USB device is overwritten
  • once the ISO file has been written to the USB device, it is then checked
  • SHA512 checksum on the USB device is computed and displayed in the Report window

The signature file will be searched and if available, the sum is checked against the signed file. The USB device may now be safely removed


  • in the Device to work on drop-down field, highlight the USB device you would like to backup
  • then use the Backup to field to chose the destination for the backup
  • when you are happy with your choices, click Backup the device
  • the backup progress is now displayed
  • the 'success' window pops up and the backup is complete and it is safe to remove the USB device


  • from the Device to work on drop-down field, choose the USB device that you wish to format
  • the selected device will appear in the Report window
  • if you are happy that you have the correct device, then click Format the device
  • a pop-up window will appear, for choosing the file-system type to format the device (if you are unsure, use FAT32)
  • you may optionally use the Label field to name the device
  • click Execute to proceed
  • a confirmation window will appear
  • having read and understood the warning, click Yes and the formatting will begin
  • all being well, a 'success' window will pop up
  • you may now remove your freshly formatted USB device
  • the report window showing the results of the formatting process

See also