Follow these instructions to create a bootable Clear Linux* OS USB drive. Use an 8GB or larger USB drive. Download either a live image, clear-<version>-live.img.xz or an installer image, clear-<version>-installer.img.xz, from our image download page.

Instructions are also available for other operating systems:

The naming convention of a Clear Linux OS image filename is:

clear-[version number]-[image type].[compression type]
  • The [version number] field specifies the version number.
  • The [image type] field specifies the type of image and its corresponding file format.
  • The [compression type] field specifies the compression type. Two types of compressions are used: GNU* zip (.gz) and XZ (.xz).

Verify the integrity of the Clear Linux OS image

Before you use a downloaded Clear Linux OS image, verify its integrity. This action eliminates the small chance of a corrupted image due to download issues. To support verification, each released Clear Linux OS image has a corresponding SHA512 checksum file designated with the suffix -SHA512SUMS.

  1. Download the corresponding SHA512 checksum file of your Clear Linux OS image.

  2. Start a terminal emulator.

  3. Go to the directory with the downloaded image and checksum files.

  4. Verify the integrity of the image and compare it to its original checksum with the command:

    sha512sum -c ./clear-[version number]-[image type].[compression type]-SHA512SUMS

If the checksum of the downloaded image is different than the original checksum, a warning is displayed with a message indicating the computed checksum does not match. Otherwise, the name of the image is printed on the screen followed by OK.

For a more in-depth discussion of image verification including checking the certificate see Image content validation.

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