NixOS Installation Guide/Unetbootin

From NixOS Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

NOTE: Using Unetbootin to produce a USB flash drive is not supported.

It is possible to install NixOS from a USB stick, rather than from a CD. This is useful if you want to install NixOS on a machine that doesn't have a CD-ROM drive (such as most netbooks), or if you don't want to waste a blank CD. Here is how to do it:

  1. Download a NixOS ISO image or #Build a custom installation image.
  2. Obtain a USB stick formatted with the VFAT/FAT32 filesystem with enough free disk space to hold the contents of the ISO image.
    Note: It's not necessary to erase the USB stick.
  3. Install UNetbootin, a tool that allows you to create a bootable USB stick from an ISO image. UNetbootin runs on both Linux and Windows. If you already have Nix/NixOS, you can install it by running nix-env -i unetbootin. Other tools may also work.
  4. Insert the USB stick, start UNetbootin, select the ISO file and target USB drive, and press Ok. This copies the contents of the ISO to the USB stick and installs the GRUB boot loader.
  5. You should now be able to boot NixOS from the USB stick, and perform the installation as usual.
Note: For EFI support you may need to change the label of the FAT filesystem. You can do this on Linux with mlabel, and on OS X with diskutil: `sudo diskutil rename OLDNAME NIXOS_ISO`.