Creating bootable USB drives the easy way
Rufus is a small utility that helps format and create bootable USB flash drives, such as USB keys/pendrives, memory sticks, etc.
It can be be especially useful for cases where:
- you need to create USB installation media from bootable ISOs (Windows, Linux, etc.)
- you need to work on a system that doesn’t have an OS installed
- you need to flash a BIOS or other firmware from DOS
- you want to run a low-level utility
Despite its small size, Rufus provides you with everything you need!
Oh, and Rufus is fast. For instance it’s about twice as fast as UNetbootin, Universal USB Installer or Windows 7 USB download tool, on the creation of a Windows 7 USB installation drive from an ISO (with honorable mention to WiNToBootic for managing to keep up). It is also marginally faster on the creation of Linux bootable USB from ISOs (1).
A non exhaustive list of Rufus supported ISOs is also provided at the bottom of this page (2).
Finally, please remember that once formatted, your drive is still usable as before to transfer data: it doesn’t have to be dedicated for DOS or ISO installation only.
Two versions of Rufus are provided for your convenience: one with FreeDOS support and one without.
- Rufus v1.1.7 with FreeDOS support (415 KB)
- Rufus v1.1.7 without FreeDOS support (154 KB)
- Other versions
Apart from the ability to select FreeDOS rather than the default Microsoft DOS, these versions are exactly the same. If you use a non-US keyboard, FreeDOS is recommended as it supports more keyboard layouts. In both cases, if you choose DOS, Rufus will try to set the keyboard locale for you.
If you use plan to use ISO images only, any version will do.
Once downloaded, the application is ready to use — no installation or other files are necessary.
Windows XP or later, 32 or 64 bit doesn’t matter.
If elevation is required, you will be prompted for it.
Download the executable and run it – no installation is necessary.
The current version of Rufus allows the creation of a bootable USB from an ISO image (.iso). In a futture version, we may add the ability to read files directly from a CD/DVD drive for from a folder, but the time being you have to provide a .iso.
However, creating an ISO image from either a CD or DVD or from a set of files is very easy to do using a CD burning application. The one we recommend, because of its ease of use, is the freely available CDBurnerXP.
GNU General Public License (GPL) version 3 or later.
You are free to distribute, modify or even sell the software, insofar as you respect the GPLv3 license.
Feedback, Bugs or Enhancement Requests
- Version 1.1.7 (2012.04.06):
- Fixes wrong bootable disk ID introduced in 1.1.6 (reported by Jeff Byers)
- Fixes support for minint WinPE 1.x images
- Version 1.1.6 (2012.03.27):
- Add ISO support for Windows XP (SP2 or later), Windows 2003 and BartPE
- Version 1.1.5 (2012.03.12):
- Fixes detection of devices without friendly name (reported by rschiang)
- Fixes support of WinPE/AIK ISO images (reported by Dmitry Sokolov)
- Fixes no disk at launch with empty card readers (reported by ChrisR
- Add download of vesamenu.c32 for ISOs that need it
- Version 1.1.4 (2012.03.03):
- Fixes ISO support for directories with extended characters (reported by ChrisR)
- Fixes bad blocks test issues (reported by steve6375)
- Read extended labels from autorun.inf when present
- Update FreeDOS files to latest versions
- Version 1.1.3 (2012.02.24):
- Fixes an issue on XP when using Windows ISOs (reported by wimb)
- Disable listing of fixed drives (eg. HDDs)
- Add ‘fake’ USB drive detection during bad blocks check
- Version 1.1.2 (2012.02.22):
- Fixes ISO support for Fedora, openSUSE and Hiren’s Boot CD
- Add icon and extended/international label support
- Version 1.1.1 (2012.02.16):
- ISO image support (syslinux) – targeted at Linux installation ISOs
- ISO fixes and UI improvements
- Version 1.1.0 Beta (2012.02.08):
- ISO image support (NTFS, bootmgr only – targeted at Windows installation ISOs)
- Version 1.0.7 (2012.02.02):
- Fixes a detection issue on platforms with multiple optical drives (with thanks to ElGaton)
- Add number of passes for bad blocks check
- Improved locale selection for FreeDOS
- Version 1.0.6 (2012.01.03):
- Log report when bad blocks are found
- Version 1.0.5 (2011.12.25):
- Keyboard layout detection & support
- Version 1.0.4 (2011.12.16):
- FreeDOS support
- Version 1.0.3 (2011.12.12):
- First public release
- Progress status improvements
- Filtering of invalid cluster sizes
- Disable Autoplay on Vista and later while the application is running
- Version 1.0.2 (2011.12.06):
- Beta release
- Support for bad blocks check
- Version 1.0.1 (2011.12.04):
- Alpha release
- Rufus v1.1.2 source (816 KB)
- Alternatively, you can clone the git repository using:$ git clone git://github.com/pbatard/rufus
- For more information, see the github project.
If you are a developer, you are very much encouraged to tinker with Rufus and submit patches.
(1) Speed comparison between Rufus and other applications
The following tests carried out on a Windows 7 x64 Core 2 duo/4 GB RAM platform, with an USB 3.0 controller and a 16 GB USB 3.0 ADATA S102 flash drive.
• Windows 7 x64: en_windows_7_ultimate_with_sp1_x64_dvd_618240.iso
Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool v1.0.30 8 mins 10s Universal USB Installer v220.127.116.11 7 mins 10s UNetbootin v18.104.22.168 6 mins 20s RMPrepUSB v2.1.638 4 mins 10s WiNToBootic v1.2 3 mins 35s Rufus v1.1.1 3 mins 25s
• Ubuntu 11.10 x86: ubuntu-11.10-desktop-i386.iso
UNetbootin v22.214.171.124 1 min 45s RMPrepUSB v2.1.638 1 min 35s Universal USB Installer v126.96.36.199 1 min 20s Rufus v1.1.1 1 min 15s
• Slackware 13.37 x86: slackware-13.37-install-dvd.iso
UNetbootin v188.8.131.52 >60 mins Universal USB Installer v184.108.40.206 24 mins 35s RMPrepUSB v2.1.638 22 mins 45s Rufus v1.1.1 20 mins 15s
(2) Non exhaustive list of ISOs Rufus is known to work with
Arch Linux, Archbang, BartPE/pebuilder, CentOS, Damn Small Linux, Fedora, FreeDOS, Gentoo, gNewSense, Hiren’s Boot CD, Knoppix, Kubuntu, Linux Mint, NT Password Registry Editor, OpenSUSE, Parted Magic, Slackware, Tails, Trinity Rescue Kit, Ubuntu, Ultimate Boot CD, Windows XP (SP2 or later), Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 Consumer Preview, etc.
Great find for making bootable USBs