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Preparing to install

The first step to installing Solus is acquiring the correct media. The Solus Project provides ISO images, which contain the contents of Solus for installing.

Getting the ISO

You can download a Solus ISO by going to our Download page.

Verifying the ISO

Linux and Mac

Download the relevant Solus ISO SHA256SUMS: File, Signed File and Public Key from the Download page.

Note: It is advisable that the files are all placed in the same folder.

Import the Public Key

gpg --import <Public Key>.gpg

Verify SHA256SUMS file signature

gpg --verify <Signed File>.sign <File>.sha256sum

Verify ISO

sha256sum -c Solus-4.3-Budgie.iso.sha256sum | grep OK

Getting the Right Tool

There is a multitude of tools which enable the writing of our ISO image to DVDs or USB thumb drives. Below, we break it apart across Linux, Windows and macOS.



We recommend using Brasero for writing the ISO to a DVD.


Graphical Tool

We recommend using Gnome Multi-Writer. Please note that unetbootin will not work.


For those comfortable with the command-line / terminal, we will walk you through using dd.



You can easily burn an ISO image to a DVD, on Windows 7 and newer, by using Window’s built-in file manager (Explorer), right-clicking on the ISO image file, and clicking Burn disk image.


You can easily burn an ISO image to a USB by using graphical tool Rufus.



On a Mac, burn an ISO image to a DVD by using the macOS “Finder” file manager, right-clicking on the ISO image file, and clicking “Burn Disk Image”.


Graphical Tool

One of the easiest ways to burn an ISO image to a USB thumb drive is by using a graphical tool called Etcher.


For those comfortable with the macOS Terminal app, we will walk you through using dd.

Writing the ISO

To write the ISO, you will need:

  1. Either a blank DVD or a USB drive larger than 1GB.
  2. If using a USB, the ability to boot from the USB.
  3. ISO from the “Getting the ISO” section.



  1. Insert blank DVD (DVD-R or DVD+RW is suitable) into your DVD writer.
  2. Open Brasero.
  3. Select the option “Burn image”.
  4. Click the “Click here to select a disc image” button and using the file dialog, choose the ISO.
  5. Ensure the correct DVD is selected in the “Select a disc to write to”.
  6. Click Burn and wait.
  7. Upon seeing “Image successfully burned to DVD”, click Close.


Graphical Tool

Upon opening Gnome MultiWriter, you will likely be shown a window similar to the one below, in the event your USB drive is already plugged in.


If your USB drive is not plugged, you will be prompted with an image indicating to plug it in.

Next, click the “Start Copying” button, and you will be prompted to select the ISO. Choose the ISO you downloaded in the “Getting the ISO” section. The USB will automatically be written to.


Upon completion, you will be prompted with the following dialog and your USB is now ready for use.

Command Line

Please follow the steps below, which guide you through installation using the utility dd:

First, insert the USB drive into your computer and open your Terminal. Proceed to type lsblk into your Terminal. It should output something along the lines of:

sda      8:0    0 111.8G  0 disk
├─sda1   8:1    0   350M  0 part
├─sda2   8:2    0  39.7G  0 part
└─sda3   8:3    0  71.8G  0 part /
sdb      8:64   1   7.5G  0 disk
├─sdb1   8:65   1   712M  0 part
└─sdb2   8:66   1  17.2M  0 part

You will see one disk, in my case /dev/sdb, that is roughly the size of my USB Drive. Yours should be similar (difference being in size). Write this device down somewhere.

Next, locate the downloaded ISO. It will most likely be in your Downloads folder. In the event that it is, type: cd ~/Downloads

If it is not in your Downloads folder, use cd to navigate to the correct directory.

Dangerous Below

This is where we overwrite the contents of your USB drive so please ensure you identified the current drive in the lsblk stage above. My command is below, however you may need to replace sdb with the drive we located above:

sudo dd if=Solus-4.3-Budgie.iso of=/dev/sdb bs=1M;sudo sync;sudo eject /dev/sdb

This will write the contents of the ISO to the thumb drive so you can boot it and also make sure the data is synchronised so you can eject the USB safely.



  1. Open Window’s built-in file manager (Explorer).
  2. Right click on the ISO image file and click Burn disk image.
  3. Select the correct Disc burner.
  4. Click Burn.


  1. Open Rufus.
  2. Ensure your device is correct by checking the contents of the Device dropdown.
  3. Click the CD icon found in the image below, and select the ISO.
  4. Untick all options except “Create a bootable disk using” and use the dropdown to select “DD Image”.
  5. Click Start.



Since OS X El Capitan (10.11), the easiest way to burn a DVD is:

  1. Insert your DVD and open Finder.
  2. Right click on the ISO image.
  3. Click on “Burn Disk Image ‘Solus-4.3-Budgie.iso’ to Disc…”
  4. Then click “Burn”.
MAC Burn Dvd


Graphical Tool
  1. Open Etcher.
  2. Click on “Select image” and then select the ISO and click “Open”.
  3. Etcher will automatically select your USB drive. If it has selected the wrong one, click “Change” and select the correct one.
  4. Click “Flash!”.
  5. You may be prompted for your macOS user password.
  6. Once Etcher has finished it is safe to remove the USB drive.
MAC Etcher

You may see a message stating “The disk you inserted was not readable by this computer.” once Etcher finishes, this can be ignored.

Command Line

First, insert the USB drive into your computer and open Terminal (found in Applications/Utilities).

Now you’ll need to identify your USB drive by listing your storage devices with the following command:

diskutil list

You should see output similar to this:

/dev/disk0 (internal, physical):
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *1.0 TB     disk0
   1:                        EFI EFI                     209.7 MB   disk0s1
   2:                  Apple_HFS Macintosh HD            999.3 GB   disk0s2
   3:                 Apple_Boot Recovery HD             650.0 MB   disk0s3

/dev/disk1 (external, physical):
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *15.6 GB    disk1
   1:                        EFI EFI                     209.7 MB   disk1s1
   2:                  Apple_HFS Ultra                   15.3 GB    disk1s2

From this output, we can see the USB drive is listed as - /dev/disk1 (external, physical). In this example, the IDENTIFIER is disk1. Please note, your USB drive may have a different identifier. You should be able to tell which is your USB drive by checking the name and size.

macOS usually auto-mounts USB drives so you’ll need to unmount it first before proceeding. Use the following command and replace IDENTIFIER with the correct identifier we found in the diskutil list step.

diskutil unmountDisk /dev/IDENTIFIER

Now navigate to the folder that has the downloaded ISO. This could be your Mac’s Downloads folder. The following command will get you there:

cd ~/Downloads

This step is dangerous. Using the wrong drive identifier could result in data loss.

We will use the dd command to write the contents of the ISO to the thumb drive. Replace IDENTIFIER in the command below with your drive identifier. Note the extra r before the identifier (i.e rdisk1). This is for raw mode, which along with bs=1m, makes the transfer faster.

sudo dd if=Solus-4.3-Budgie.iso of=/dev/rIDENTIFIER bs=1m

Be patient! After a few minutes you’ll receive a message saying how much data was transferred. You can now safely eject the usb drive.

diskutil eject /dev/IDENTIFIER

Boot the Image

Now it is time to restart your computer to boot the DVD or USB. Most computers will automatically boot from DVDs and USB, however if you experience issues booting the media, you may need to select to boot from DVD or USB.

This is usually accessible by pressing F9 or F12 while your computer is booting. On some devices it may also be ESC.

Macs will boot to the “Startup Manager” by holding down the Option (Alt) key. The DVD or USB drive will most likely show up as “EFI Boot”.

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