In my twenty plus years of working on PCs, I have seen external media formats change from 5.25 inch floppy disks (which really were floppy) to 3.5 inch (not-so) floppy discs to CD to DVD and USB (thumb) drives. I’ve had PCs at one time or another that have used all of those formats, but over the past couple of years, the push has to been to move away from external media whenever possible. Thus the last two PCs I have purchased did not come with anything other than USB slots. One is my ZBox computer that I use for development, and I change operating systems on it fairly frequently.
Rather than burn a DVD of an ISO every time I want to reconfigure the development box, its should be easier to make a boot-able USB. Using Windows there are a host of different GUI tools to create bootable USB drives, and most Linux distributions are similar. If you are on a Mac running OS X Yosemite, the solution isn’t quite as simple. A number of websites include directions, but generally I’ve found they don’t work.
But this week, I found a successful method, and created both Fedora and CentOS bootable USB drives (unfortunately it doesn’t seem to work with Windows ISO’s). Because this requires enabling the root user account on your system, be sure to exercise caution when following these steps. Read on for more information.