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 the Terminal app.

  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:

    shasum -a512 ./clear-[version number]-[image type].[compression type] | diff ./clear-[version number]-[image type].[compression type]-SHA512SUMS -

If the checksum of the downloaded image is different than the original checksum, the differences will be displayed. Otherwise, an empty output indicates a match and your downloaded image is good.

Decompress the Clear Linux OS image

We compress all released Clear Linux OS images by default with either GNU zip (.gz) or xz (.xz). The compression type we use depends on the target platform or environment. To decompress the image, follow these steps:

  1. Start the Terminal app.

  2. Go to the directory with the downloaded image.

  3. Use the gunzip command to decompress either compression type. For example:

    gunzip clear-[version number]-[image type].xz
    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. Launch the Terminal app.

  2. Go to the directory with the decompressed image.

  3. Plug in a USB drive and get its identifier by entering the command diskutil list. See Figure 1.

    diskutil list
    Get USB drive identifier

    Figure 1: macOS - Get USB drive identifier

  4. Unmount the USB drive identified in the previous step. The command-line example below umounts /dev/disk2:

    diskutil umountDisk /dev/disk2
  5. Burn the image onto the drive using the dd command. The command-line example below burns an uncompressed image onto /dev/disk2:

    sudo dd if=./clear-[version number]-[image type] of=/dev/rdisk2 bs=4m

    Adding an ‘r’ in front of the disk identifier should help speed up the imaging process.

    You can press <CTL>-T to check imaging progress.

  6. Eject the USB drive.

    diskutil eject /dev/disk2