Learn how to create a bootable Windows 10 USB on Ubuntu or Linux Mint using a free application called ‘WoeUSB’, all detailed in this guide.
While I don’t use Windows 10 as my main OS I sometimes need to use it to try things out for this site. When I need to create a bootable Windows 10 USB to install from, I like doing it from my main OS, which is Ubuntu.
There are a few ways to perform this particular task, but the steps in this use what I consider to be the easy way to create a bootable Windows 10 USB (plus one that actually boots).
Ready to learn more?
How to Create Bootable Windows 10 USB on Ubuntu
WoeUSB is the (oddly named) app to use to make a bootable Windows 10 USB stick on Ubuntu. A fork of an earlier tool called WinUSB, WoeUSB is free, open-source software that’s available as a graphical app (GUI) or a command-line (CLI) client.
In this tutorial I use WoeUSB GUI app.
Using WoeUSB you can make a bootable USB for a number of Windows releases, including Windows Vista, Windows 7, Window 8, and Windows 10.
All languages and all variants of Windows, including Pro, Home, N, 32-bit, and more, are supported, and the tool works with both ‘legacy’ and ‘UEFI’ boot-modes.
For advanced needs you may prefer to use the WoeUSB CLI as it offers an array of flags, arguments, and switches to curate a custom install for specialist needs.
But for most of us, the GUI WoeUSB app is all that’s needed.
Before you begin make sure you have all of the following things handy, as all are required to create a bootable Windows 10 USB on Ubuntu:
- WoeUSB app
- USB flash drive (4GB minimum)
- Windows 10 ISO file
You can download Windows 10 disc images from the Microsoft website, so if you don’t have one you can go there to get one. You will need a valid Windows license to activate and use Windows, but you don’t need one to create an installable USB of Windows, or actually perform the install.
1. Install WoeUSB on Ubuntu
First the drawback: WoeUSB is no longer actively maintained upstream, meaning you can’t download the tool direct from its original GitHub page.
However, since the tool is so frickin’ useful the community has stepped in to fork the app and continue development. A personal package archive (PPA) makes it easy to install WoebUSB on Ubuntu 18.04, 20.04, and 22.04 LTS versions (only).
Add the WoeUSB PPA to your list of software sources by running the following two commands from the terminal app:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tomtomtom/woeusb
sudo apt update && sudo apt install woeusb-frontend-wxgtk
If you use a 32-bit version of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS you will need to download an older 32-bit WoeUSB installer, and then install it.
2. Run WoeUSB
Once the WoeUSB app is installed on your system, open it. You’ll find a shortcut for it in the application menu/grid, or on Ubuntu Ubuntu you can press the
Super key and type ‘WoeUSB’ to find it.
The app is quick to open and is easy to use.
First, select a valid Windows 10 .ISO image using the file selector button, then select the USB drive you want to write it to from the ‘Target device’ section.
If you don’t see a USB device listed in the ‘Target device’ section do make sure it’s plugged in correctly, and then click the ‘refresh’ button to update the list of attached devices.
3. Create Windows 10 Bootable USB
Before you hit ‘install’ to create your bootable Windows USB please double-check yo have selected the correct drive first. The install process will totally wipe/erase the contents of the selected USB drive, and you will lose any data stored on it.
Other than that, the tool does the rest. Let it run its course
Once the image write is complete a small notification appears. Close WoeUSB, eject the USB drive you made, then use plug it in to a laptop or PC and boot from it to install Windows 10.
Let me know how you get on down in the comments!