As a very satisfied VPS customer, the author of this application recommends:
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 especially useful for cases where:
Despite its small size, Rufus provides 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.
From version 1.2.0, a single version of Rufus is provided, that includes FreeDOS support.
If you create a DOS bootable drive and use a non-US keyboard, Rufus will attempt to select a keyboard layout according to the locale of your system. In that case, FreeDOS, which is the default selection, is recommended over MS-DOS as it supports more keyboard layouts.
Once downloaded, the application is ready to use — no installation or other files are necessary.
Download the executable and run it - no installation is necessary.
The signature should state "Akeo Consulting" (1.3.0 or later) or "Pete Batard - Open Source Developer" (1.2.0 or earlier).
A Rufus FAQ is available here.
There's no usage guide for now, as I prefer concentrating on adding features...
The current version of Rufus allows the creation of a bootable USB from an ISO image (.iso). In a future version, we may add the ability to read files directly from a CD/DVD drive or from a folder...
Creating an ISO image from a physical disc or from a set of files is very easy to do however, through the use of a CD burning application, such as 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.
$ git clone git://github.com/pbatard/rufus
Since I'm getting asked about it on regular basis, there is no donation button on this page.
The main reason is I feel that the donation system doesn't help software development and worse, is guilt-inducing for users. Instead I believe that "mécénat", or developer patronage, from companies who benefit the most from a healthy FLOSS ecosystem, is what we should all aim for. Unless they are backed by a company, software developers who want to provide quality Open Source software cannot realistically sustain full time development, no matter how generous their software users.
Also, unless you are blocking them (hint, hint), you'll notice that there are ads on this page, which I consider sufficient enough.
Finally the fact that I have the freedom to develop Free Software in my spare time should indicate that I'm well-off enough, and therefore that you should direct your generosity towards people who need it a lot more than I do. Or, you can always make a donation to the Free Software Foundation, as they are the main reason software like Rufus is possible.
At any rate, I'll take this opportunity to say thank you for your continuing support and enthusiasm about this little program: it is much appreciated!
But please feel free to use Rufus without feeling guilty about not contributing for it financially; you shouldn't have to!
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 v188.8.131.52||7 mins 10s|
|UNetbootin v184.108.40.206||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 v220.127.116.11||1 min 45s|
|RMPrepUSB v2.1.638||1 min 35s|
|Universal USB Installer v18.104.22.168||1 min 20s|
|Rufus v1.1.1||1 min 15s|
• Slackware 13.37 x86: slackware-13.37-install-dvd.iso
|UNetbootin v22.214.171.124||>60 mins|
|Universal USB Installer v126.96.36.199||24 mins 35s|
|RMPrepUSB v2.1.638||22 mins 45s|
|Rufus v1.1.1||20 mins 15s|
Arch Linux, Archbang, BartPE/pebuilder, CentOS, Damn Small Linux, Fedora, FreeDOS, Gentoo, gNewSense, Hiren's Boot CD, LiveXP, 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, etc.