Learn how to create a bootable Windows 10 USB on Ubuntu and Linux Mint using a free application called ‘WoeUSB’.
While I don’t use Windows 10 often I do know that, every now and then, I might have need to. And should I need to create a bootable Windows 10 USB I’d like do it from my Ubuntu desktop.
Now, the method I show you in this post is just one of several ways to perform this particular task. So while I think it’s the easy way to create a bootable Windows 10 USB (one that actually boots) it’s not the only way.
How to Create Bootable Windows 10 USB on Ubuntu
WoeUSB is the (oddly named) app we are going use to make a bootable Windows 10 USB stick on the Ubuntu desktop. It’s a fork of an earlier tool called WinUSB.
This tool is free, open-source software. It is available as both a GUI app and CLI client. In this tutorial we only focus on the GUI steps.
WoeUSB lets you make a bootable USB for most modern Windows releases, including Windows Vista, Windows 7, Window 8, and Windows 10. The tool supports all languages and all versions of Windows, including pro, home, N, 32-bit, etc. It will work with both ‘legacy’ and ‘UEFI’ bootmodes, too.
For advanced usage you can dive in to the WoeUSB CLI which has all sorts of flags and switches. Most of you will be fine using the GUI client though.
To create a bootable Windows 10 USB on Ubuntu you will need:
- WoeUSB app
- USB flash drive (4GB minimum)
- Windows 10 .iso file
Microsoft lets you download Windows 10 disc images from their website so if you don’t have one, you can go grab one. Be aware that you will need a valid Windows license to activate and use the OS, but you don’t need one to create an install USB or install it.
1. Install WoeUSB on Ubuntu
WoeUSB is no longer actively maintained so you can no longer download the tool from its Github page.
The easiest way to install WoeUSB on Ubuntu is to use the following PPA. This repo provides pre-built packages of WoeUSB for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and 20.04 LTS:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tomtomtom/woeusb
sudo apt update && sudo apt install woeusb
Installers for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (32-bit) are also available.
2. Run WoeUSB
Once WoeUSB is installed you can launch the app from the applications menu on your desktop.
The app is very easy to use.
First, select a valid Windows 10 ISO image using the file selector, and then select the correct USB drive you want to install it to from the ‘Target device’ section.
If you don’t see your USB device listed in the ‘Target device’ section make sure it’s attached and then click the ‘refresh’ button to update the list of attached devices.
3. Create Windows 10 Bootable USB
Once you’re ready to roll you can go ahead and hit install.
But before you do this please, please double-check that you’ve selected the correct drive first. The install process will reformat and wipe the contents of the selected USB drive. You will lose any data stored on it.
Other than that, the tool will do the rest. Just let it run its course. Once done you can close the app, eject the USB and use it to install Windows 10 on a different device.
Everything should work as normal — though I’m told the app may spit an error out but the USB will still boot/install fine — but if it doesn’t you can file bugs on the WoeUSB Github page.