Creating A Live USB Of Manjaro Linux in Windows & Linux

Brief: Learn how to create a bootable live USB of Manjaro Linux in Windows and Linux.

Manjaro Linux has come a long way since its inception. It is one of the most popular Linux distributions around, and one of the more highly regarded ones. It’s even considered one of the best Linux distro for beginners.

As the first step to try Manjaro Linux, I had to create a live USB. A live USB basically allows you to use Linux straight from the USB without the need of installing the OS on the system. This is a convenient way of testing out a Linux distribution before installing it. If you liked the Linux distribution, you can use the same live USB to install the Linux distribution.

And in this tutorial I’ll show you how to create a live USB of Manjaro Linux in Windows as well as in Linux.

Create live USB of Manjaro Linux in Windows

Creating a live USB or disk is really easy. Follow the steps below:

Step 1: Download Manjaro Linux ISO

Download the ISO image of Manjaro from the download page. There are three main versions available based on the desktop environments. Choose whichever you prefer. I chose GNOME.

Step 2: Download ISO burning tool

Now we need a tool to write this ISO image to a USB/disk. There are plenty of such applications available for free. Manjaro recommends Rufus.

Win32DiskImager is also an option — but it is no longer actively maintained. So, I’d recommend using Rufus. It’s easy to use and also offers advanced options. Hence, we’ll go with that.

Step 3: Prepare the USB

Once you have downloaded and installed Rufus, insert the USB or disk and launch Rufus.

It should automatically detect the USB drive you’ve plugged in. But, make sure it’s the correct drive before destroying the data on the selected device.

Once you’re confident about the device selected as shown in the image below, you can click on “SELECT” and then grab the ISO file from your computer.

Rufus Select

It will automatically choose the default partition scheme and target system (BIOS and UEFI). You can tweak it if you want to change them. It shouldn’t be an issue if you don’t change the settings — but I’ll recommend you to explore more about the disk partition scheme and your target system in case you have no idea about it.

Once you’re sure about the settings, just hit “START” to get started.

Step 4: Write the ISO image to the USB

Rufus Start Manjaro

Next, you might see a pop up asking you to choose the correct mode. Here, select the ISO Image mode as shown in the screenshot below:

Rufus Iso Image Mode Manjaro

You’ll see a progress bar to keep track of what’s happening.

Rufus Manjaro Iso Progress

After it’s done, you’ll get a popup saying that the USB drive is ready.

That’s it, your drive is ready to be booted from. Now restart the computer, press F10/F12 and boot from the USB drive/removable disk.

Creating live USB of Manjaro in Linux

If you are already using a Linux distribution like Ubuntu or Linux Mint and you want to try Manjaro, you can create bootable USB of Manjaro in Linux as well.

Download Manjaro Linux ISO first and then follow these steps:

Step 1:

I recommend you use Etcher to create live USBs. To install Etcher, go to Etcher’s website and download the Linux Package.

After downloading the package, extract it to get an .AppImage file. Before you use the AppImage file, change the permissions to make it executable.

Balena Etcher Open

Double click the file to launch Etcher.

Balena Etcher Screenshot
Balena Etcher Window

Step 2:

Click on ‘Flash from file. You will get a prompt to select the downloaded ISO file. You can also opt to flash from URL — which will basically download the file for you and select it.

Manjaro Iso Select

Step 3:

Now, click on ‘Select target’ in the second column to select your USB drive. After selecting your drive, click continue.

Balena Etcher Device Select

Step 4:

Now click ‘Flash‘ to begin writing the ISO contents to the USB drive. You will get a password prompt so that Etcher can access the drive. Enter your password to continue.

You can see the progress and remaining time of the process as its going on.

Balena Etcher Progress

Once the process is complete, it will verify/validate the USB drive and you will be greeted with a screen telling you that it is done.

Balena Etcher Complete

Now, your USB drive is ready to be booted into Manjaro Linux. You can reboot your computer and press F10/F12 (the specific key combo for your device) to boot using the USB drive.

Did it work for you?

I hope you found the tutorial to create live USB of Manjaro Linux in Windows and Linux helpful. Any questions or suggestions are always welcome!

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  • Instructions don’t quite work for me. When I download Manjaro image, it arrives as a .img.xz file, not as .iso. I unzipped using “unxz” in Linux, and ended up with a .img file, still not .iso. I went ahead and used Etcher anyway, with the .img file. It completed fine, but I was never able to boot from that USB. Do I need to find a way to create the .iso file? How?

    • This seems like the image for the Raspberry Pi like devices.

      Those are different than ISO. The ISO file is the one that is used to for creating live USBs. The IMG file burned to SD cards can be directly used on Raspberry Pi (no need to install it).

      If you are not using a Raspberry Pi device, I suggest downloading the correct file from Manjaro’s website.

  • What if the (brand new) USB turns out to be “read only”? I Cannot find a workable situation…..Or I am not seeing something that could be obvious.

  • This is does not create a LIVE usb! only a bootable usb! the distinct difference is, that a LIVE usb allows storing userdata and other modifications!

    • “the distinct difference is, that a LIVE usb allows storing userdata and other modifications”

      No. That’s a live USB with persistence. Most live USB allow you to boot from the USB and try the OS without installing. It’ll save the data and modifications only when it is a persistent live USB.

      The bootable USB only allows you to boot from the USB and starts the installation immediately. You don’t get to experience the OS without installing as it does in the live USB.

  • Rufius is notorious for not working with those images, unfortunately. I never could make a Manjaro bootable disk for any computer with it.

  • I wanted to create a bootable usb from a Manjaro ISO file on Kubuntu 21.04 but Startup Disk Creator didn’t accept the file for some reason.
    Etcher did the trick.
    Thanks!