These instructions guide you through the installation of Clear Linux* OS on bare metal using a bootable USB drive.

Before you begin, check that your system meets the requirements to install Clear Linux OS:

Download the latest Clear Linux OS installer image

Get the latest Clear Linux OS installer image from the image directory. Look for the clear-[version number]-installer.img.xz file. You can also use this command:

curl -O$(curl | grep "installer")

Once you have downloaded the image, verify and decompress the file.

Decompress the Clear Linux OS image

Released Clear Linux OS images are compressed with either GNU zip (.gz) or XZ (.xz). The compression type depends on the target platform or environment. To decompress the image, follow these steps:

  1. Start a terminal emulator.

  2. Go to the directory with the downloaded image.

    To decompress an XZ image, enter:

    unxz clear-[version number]-[image type].xz

    To decompress a GZ image, enter:

    gunzip clear-[version number]-[image type].gz

Burn the Clear Linux OS image onto a USB drive


Burning an image formats the USB drive, thus destroying all existing content. Backup your data before proceeding.

  1. Open a terminal emulator and get root privilege.

    sudo -s
  2. Go to the directory with the decompressed image.

  3. Plug in the USB drive.

  4. Identify the USB drive using the lsblk command. This shows all drives attached to the system, including the primary hard disk. In the example output below, there are 4 drives (/dev/sda, /dev/sdb, /dev/sdc, and /dev/sdd) attached, where /dev/sda is primary drive in this case. The remaining are 3 USB drives. The output also shows the mounted partitions (under the MOUNTPOINT column) for each drive.


    Example output:

    sdd      8:48   1    15G  0 disk
    ├─sdd2   8:50   1     5G  0 part /run/media/user1/960c184f-3bb7-42b7-bcaf-0c1282
    ├─sdd3   8:51   1     8G  0 part /run/media/user1/704f3382-b26d-4f34-af1b-cb9aab
    └─sdd1   8:49   1     2G  0 part
    sdb      8:16   1  14.8G  0 disk
    └─sdb1   8:17   1  14.8G  0 part /run/media/user1/PATRIOT_USB
    sdc      8:32   1   7.3G  0 disk
    └─sdc1   8:33   1   7.3G  0 part /run/media/user1/LINUX MINT
    sda      8:0    0 335.4G  0 disk
    ├─sda4   8:4    0    28G  0 part
    ├─sda2   8:2    0   3.7G  0 part [SWAP]
    ├─sda7   8:7    0     6G  0 part /home
    ├─sda5   8:5    0     1G  0 part /boot
    ├─sda3   8:3    0   954M  0 part /boot/efi
    ├─sda1   8:1    0    28G  0 part
    ├─sda8   8:8    0    30G  0 part /
    └─sda6   8:6    0   7.9G  0 part [SWAP]
  5. Before an image can be burned onto a USB drive, it should be un-mounted. Some Linux distros may automatically mount a USB drive when it is plugged in. To unmount, use the umount command followed by the device identifier/partition. For example: From the above lsblk output, /dev/sdd has 2 mounted partitions. To unmount them, enter:

    umount /dev/sdd2
    umount /dev/sdd3
  6. Burn the image onto the USB drive. The command-line example below burns an uncompressed image onto /dev/sdd:

    dd if=./clear-[version number]-[image type] of=/dev/sdd bs=4M status=progress

Install Clear Linux OS on your target system

We formatted the previously created USB drive as a UEFI boot device. Our target system has a hard drive installed containing a single primary partition. The target system needs a wired Internet connection with DHCP.

Follow these steps to install Clear Linux OS on the target system:

  1. Insert the USB drive into an available USB slot.

  2. Power on the system.

  3. Open the system BIOS setup menu by pressing the F2 key. Your BIOS setup menu entry point may vary.

  4. In the setup menu, enable the UEFI boot and set the USB drive as the first option in the device boot order.

  5. Save these settings and exit.

  6. Reboot the target system.

  7. The Clear Linux OS boot menu will start as shown in figure 1. Select Clear Linux OS and press the Enter key or wait five seconds to automatically select it.

    Boot menu

    Figure 1: Boot menu

  8. This will take you into the Clear Linux OS installer menu as shown in figure 2 and explains how to navigate through the Clear Linux OS installer setup menus.

    Installer menu

    Figure 2: Installer menu

    Press the Enter key.

  9. The Keyboard selection menu shown in figure 3 allows you to set up the keyboard layout that you will be using to navigate within the Clear Linux OS installer setup menus.

    Keyboard Selection

    Figure 3: Keyboard Selection

    For this guide we will select Keyboard Selection ‣ < * us > for the keyboard mapping, which should already be highlighted. Press the Enter key to continue to the next menu.

Network requirements

The Network Requirements menu, the first step of the Clear Linux OS installer setup process, will attempt to connect to the Clear Linux OS update server where the installer image is located. Once the connection to the Clear Linux OS update server is established, you will see a screen similar to the one shown in figure 4.

Network Requirements

Figure 4: Network Requirements

If you need to configure any Proxy Settings to gain access to the update server, enter the appropriate address and port of your proxy server in the HTTPS proxy: field. Select the < Set proxy configuration > button and press Enter. You will then see the connection to the update server established.

Optionally, set up a static IP configuration to your Clear Linux OS installer image. Enter the required information in the Interface, IP address, Subnet mask, Gateway and DNS fields and then select the < Set static IP configuration > button and press the Enter key.

The information displayed in the lower right quadrant of the screen shows the current IP configuration for the Clear Linux OS update server where the installer image is located.


If you are having difficulty establishing a connection to the update server and you see the message none detected, install will fail, you can press the Tab key to highlight the < Refresh > button and press Enter to attempt to reconnect to the Clear Linux OS update server. If this fails to establish a connection after multiple attempts, reboot your system and return to this step.

Once the connection to the Clear Linux OS udpate server is established, use the Tab key to advance to the < Next > button and press Enter to advance to the next Clear Linux OS installer setup menu.

Choose Clear Linux OS installer action

The Choose Action menu is where you can choose to install, repair, open a shell, or exit the Clear Linux OS installer. This menu is shown in figure 5.

Choose Action

Figure 5: Choose Action

  1. Select the Choose action ‣ Install menu item to continue the installation process.

    The Choose action ‣ Repair menu option will run the swupd –fix command to correct any issues found with the system software that has already been installed on your system and correct any issues found by overwriting the incorrect file content, adding missing files, fixing permissions and any additional changes required to return the file to it’s original content and permissions.

    The Choose action ‣ Shell menu item opens a terminal session on your system as the root user and you will be able to manage your system from this console. When you are finished, type exit to return to the Choose Action menu.

    The Choose action ‣ Exit menu option terminates the Clear Linux OS installation process and the system will shut down.

  2. You will be prompted to join the Stability Enhancement Program as shown in figure 6. Press the Spacebar or Enter key until the cursor appears in the [ ] Yes. button. Press tab to highlight < Next >, and select Enter to advance.

    Stability Enhancement Program

    Figure 6: Stability Enhancement Program

    If you choose not to enable this functionality during this step, you can install the telemetrics software bundle at a later time. As stated in the menu, this feature only collects anonymous information about your system to help improve system stability and no personally identifiable information is collected. Please visit our website to learn more about telemetry.

Choose Clear Linux OS installation type

Figure 7 shows the next step of the Clear Linux OS installer: Choose installation Type. Chose whether to install Clear Linux OS automatically or manually. To end the installer process and shut down the system, select the < Exit > button.

Choose installation type

Figure 7: Choose installation Type

If you select < Automatic > as the installation type, the Clear Linux OS Installer will add the minimum amount of functionality required for a fully functional Clear Linux OS system. You will not be able to modify the disk layout, add a user or any other tasks that the manual installation process will allow.

With the < Manual(Advanced) > option, you can do the following additional tasks during Clear Linux OS Installer setup:

  • Modify the disk layout using the cgdisk utility.
  • Add additional command-line parameters to the kernel.
  • Create a hostname for your system.
  • Create an administrative user.
  • Add additional software bundles to enhance the functionality of your initial Clear Linux OS installation.
  • Optionally, set up a static IP address for your system.

If you want to perform any of these additional tasks, select the < Manual(Advanced) > menu item and follow the steps in our Install Clear Linux* OS on bare metal (manual) to complete the Clear Linux OS manual installation process. Otherwise, you can follow the Clear Linux OS automatic installation steps.

Clear Linux OS automatic installation

  1. To install the minimum components for your Clear Linux OS implementation, select the < Automatic > menu item shown in figure 7 and press the Enter key.

    The Choose target device for installation screen shown in figure 8 appears.

  2. Move the cursor to the desired target and press the Enter key.

    Choose target device for installation

    Figure 8: Choose target device for installation

    In this example, we selected the single primary partition from our hard drive.

    With all the Clear Linux OS installer setup information gathered for the automatic installation option, the Clear Linux OS Installer prompts you to begin the actual installation as shown in figure 9.

    Begin installation

    Figure 9: Begin installation

  3. When you are satisfied with the information you have entered, select the < Yes > button and press Enter to begin installing Clear Linux OS.

    Clear Linux OS Installation begins and each step shows its status as it progresses through the automated installation process.

    Once all steps have completed, you will see the Successful installation status message and the < Ok > button is highlighted as shown in figure 10.

  4. Press the Enter key to continue.

    Installation complete

    Figure 10: Installation complete

    Figure 11 shows the final installer screen, showing that the installation completed successfully and the system will reboot.

  5. Press the Enter key and remove the USB media while the system restarts.

    Successful installation

    Figure 11: Successful Installation

Set up your root account

Once the Clear Linux OS installation is complete and the system boots, a full screen console requests your login as shown in figure 12:

Login screen

Figure 12: Login screen

  1. At the initial login prompt, enter: root
  2. Once prompted, enter a new password.
  3. Re-enter the password to verify it.

You have now set your root password and are logged in with root privileges.


You have successfully installed Clear Linux OS on a bare metal system using the automatic installation method and set the password for the root user.

Next steps

The automatic installation of Clear Linux OS is designed to install with minimal software overhead. Some housekeeping and package installations could be needed before you can take full advantage of the Clear Linux OS operating system.

See the Create and enable a new user space guide for additional information and instructions.