How to Create a UEFI Bootable Mageia Linux USB Drive

screenshot of How To Create A Live Linux USB

Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Debian, Fedora, and openSUSE are fairly well known Linux distributions, but also riding high up in the top 10 is Mageia.

The Linux distribution Mandrake changed its name to Mandriva, and then it disappeared (although there is now an openMandriva available). Mageia is based on a fork of the code from Mandriva.

This guide shows how to create a bootable live USB drive for Mageia which will boot on a machine with a UEFI bootloader. (Generally modern computers built to run Windows 8 and up and above have UEFI).

Step 1 - Download Mageia

The latest version of Mageia available is Mageia 5 and it can be downloaded from

The options on the downloads page include Classic, Live Media, and Network Installation.

Click on the Live Media option.

Two options will now appear asking whether you want to download a LiveDVD image or an English only CD.

Click on the LiveDVD option.

Two more options will appear asking whether you want to download the KDE or GNOME desktop version of Mageia.

It is up to you which one you choose but the installation guide that I will be producing for Mageia will be based on GNOME.

Again there are two more options, 32-bit or 64-bit. Your choice here will depend on whether you are planning to run the Live USB on a 32-bit or 64-bit computer.

Finally, you can choose between a direct link or a BitTorrent download. It is up to you which you choose and depends on whether you have a BitTorrent client installed on your computer or not. If you don't have a BitTorrent client choose direct link.

The ISO for Mageia will now start to download.

Step 2 - Get the Win32 Disk Imaging Tool

The Mageia website lists a couple of tools for creating a bootable USB drive using Windows. One of the tools is Rufus and the other is the Win32 Disk Imaging Tool.

We only had success whilst using the Win32 Disk Imaging Tool and so this guide shows how to create a bootable USB drive using that over Rufus.

Step 3 - Installing The Win32 Disk Imaging Tool

To install the Win32 disk imaging tool double click on the icon within the downloads folder.

Now follow these steps:

  • Click next at the welcome message.
  • Accept the license agreement.
  • Choose where to install the tool and click next.
  • Click next to get past the start menu folder.
  • Leave the Create a desktop icon checked and click next.
  • At the "Ready To Install" screen click Install.
  • Click Finish.

Step 4 - Create A Live Linux USB Drive

If you left the checkbox for Launch Win32DiskImager checked whilst installing the software you should now have a screen similar to the one in the image. If the tool hasn't started double click on the Win32DiskImager icon on the desktop.

Insert a blank USB drive into one of the USB ports on your computer.

Click on the folder icon and locate the download Mageia ISO image from step 1. Note that you will need to change the drop down that reads "disk images" to show "all files".

Change the device dropdown so that it points to the drive letter where your USB drive is located.

Click Write.

The image will now be written to the USB drive.

Step 5 - Boot Into the Live USB Drive

If you are booting on a machine with a standard BIOS then all you need to do is reboot your computer and choose the Boot Mageia option from the menu that appears.

If you are booting on a machine running Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 you will need to turn off the fast startup.

To turn off fast startup right-click in the bottom left corner of the screen and choose Power Options.

Click on the Choose what the power button does option and scroll down until you see the option Turn on fast startup. Remove the tick from the checkbox and click Save Changes.

Now hold down the shift key and reboot the computer with the USB drive still inserted. A UEFI setup screen should appear. Choose to boot from EFI drive. The Mageia boot menu should now appear and you can choose the Boot Mageia option.

Step 6 - Setting up the Live Environment

When you boot into the live image a set of dialog boxes will appear:

  • Choose your language from the list and click next.
  • Accept the license agreement.
  • Choose your location from the list in order to set the timezone and click next.
  • If more than one time appears, choose the best one from the list and click next.
  • Choose your keyboard layout and click next.


Mageia should now boot into the live environment and you can try out its features. There is a decent splash screen with links to documents. There is also a very good Mageia wiki page which is worth reading.