UNetbootin is an open source and multi-platform application that provides users with a straightforward way to create bootable Live USB flash drives with various Linux- and BSD-based operating systems that are distributed as hybrid ISO images.
It is a “Universal Netboot Installer” application runs on Linux, Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X operating systems, allowing people who want to install Linux on a computer that doesn't have a CD/DVD-ROM drive, such as ultra-portable laptops and netbooks.
Getting started with UNetbootin
First of all, we should mention that UNetbootin will always require elevated privileges for its operation, because of its built-in ability to write on hard disk drives, also known as a "frugal install." This means that every time you open the program it will ask for your password.
Second of all, the application presents users with two operation modes, Distribution and Diskimage. While the first one allows you to select a Linux or BSD flavor, as well as a version, the second one can be used if you already downloaded an ISO image.
Be aware that when using the first method, the application will downloaded the respective operating system from the Internet, which could take a while depending on your connection. Both methods require you to choose the installation type (USB Drive is recommended) and press the OK button to begin.
Two installation types are available
There are two installation types available, one that uses an attached USB flash drive and another one that can create a poor man's install (also known as frugal install) on your local disk drive, which means that it will just copy files of the selected distribution or ISO image allowing users to boot it using an existing bootloader. It can be removed by reopening the application.
Supported operating systems
Supported Linux distributions include Arch Linux, BackTrack, CentOS, CloneZilla, Damn Small Linux, Debian, Dreamlinux, Elive, Fedora, Frugalware, GeeXboX, gNewSense, Kubuntu, LinuxConsole, Linux Mint, Lubuntu, Mandriva, MEPIS, openSUSE, Puppy Linux, Sabayon, Salix, Slax, SliTaz, xPUD, Xubuntu, Zenwalk, and Ubuntu.
While it also supports the FreeBSD, FreeNAS and FreeDOS OSes, UNetbootin can be used to load some well known system rescue/recovery tools like SystemRescueCD, Dr.Web Antivirus, Parted Magic, Super Grub Disk, F-Secure Rescue CD, Kaspersky Rescue Disk, Ophcrack, NTPasswd, Gujin, and Smart Boot Manager.