Create bootable USB drives the easy way

[rufus screenshot]

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:

  • you need to create USB installation media from bootable ISOs (Windows, Linux, UEFI, 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 everything you need!

Oh, and Rufus is fast. For instance it’s about twice as fast as UNetbootinUniversal USB Installer orWindows 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).

 >> Download <<

From version 1.2.0, a single version of Rufus is provided, that includes FreeDOS support.
Once downloaded, the application is ready to use — no installation or other files are necessary.

System Requirements:

Windows XP or later. 32 or 64 bit doesn’t matter.


Download the executable and run it – no installation is necessary.
If elevation is required, you will be prompted for it.

The executable is digitally signed and the signature should state:

  • “Akeo Consulting” (v1.3.0 or later)
  • “Pete Batard – Open Source Developer” (v1.2.0 or earlier)

Notes on DOS 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.

Notes on ISO Support:

All versions of Rufus since v1.1.0 allow 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.

Notes on UEFI & GPT support:

Since version 1.3.2, Rufus support UEFI as well as GPT for installation media, meaning that it will allow you to install Windows 7, Windows 8 or Linux in full UEFI/GPT mode.
However, Windows Vista or later is required for full UEFI/GPT support. Because of OS limitations, Windows XP restricts the creation of UEFI bootable drives to MBR mode.

Notes on the Chinese version:

  1. Unfortunately, I don’t speak Chinese. The translation is someone else’s work, which I wouldn’t mind crediting, but they didn’t contact me and (as far as I know) they didn’t release the modified source (which they should have done to comply with the GPLv3 license).
  2. This is very much WORK IN PROGRESS. No, I don’t know when it will be completed. No, I’m not ready to accept translations for other languages or all the messages that haven’t been translated to Chinese yet. If you want more info, please follow what happens with the source repository on github, and especially the localization branch. And yes, I will let everyone know when I am ready to accept more translations. Please just be patient!
  3. UPDATE: The latest version should now properly display Chinese characters on Windows XP and prompt for the update policy in Chinese. If you picked a version before 2013.07.24, please download it again.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

A Rufus FAQ is available HERE.
There is no usage guide yet, as I prefer concentrating on adding features…

How to provide feedback, report a bug or request an enhancement:

Please use the github issue tracker. Or you can send an e-mail.


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.

Rufus is produced in a 100% transparent manner, from its public source, using a MinGW32 environment.


    • Version 1.3.4 (2013.07.15)
      • Syslinux v5 support (NEW)
      • UDF formatting support (NEW – Vista and later only)
      • More drive handling improvements, to avoid “Could not open media” errors
      • Fixed support for ISOs containing files larger than 4GB
      • Fixed elevation request for unprivileged users
      • Fixed download of c32 files into the application directory
      • Better compression algorithm for the executable
      • Other bug fixes and improvements (spelling, UI, etc.)
    • Previous Versions

Source Code

If you are a developer, you are very much encouraged to tinker with Rufus and submit patches.


Since I’m getting asked about this on regular basis, there is no donation button on this page.

The main reason is that I feel that the donation system doesn’t actually help software development and worse, can be guilt-inducing for users who choose not to donate.

Instead, I think that “mécénat”; or developer patronage, from companies who benefit the most from a healthy FLOSS ecosystem, is what we should be aiming for. This is because, unless they are backed by a company, developers who want to provide quality Open Source software cannot realistically sustain full time development, no matter how generous their software users are.

Also, unless you are blocking them (hint, hint), you’ll notice that there are ads on this page, which I consider sufficient revenue 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, if you really insist, 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 continue to feel free to use Rufus without any guilt about not contributing for it financially – you should never have to!

(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 v1.8.7.5 7 mins 10s
UNetbootin v1.1.1.1 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 v1.1.1.1 1 min 45s
RMPrepUSB v2.1.638 1 min 35s
Universal USB Installer v1.8.7.5 1 min 20s
Rufus v1.1.1 1 min 15s

• Slackware 13.37 x86: slackware-13.37-install-dvd.iso

UNetbootin v1.1.1.1 >60 mins
Universal USB Installer v1.8.7.5 24 mins 35s
RMPrepUSB v2.1.638 22 mins 45s
Rufus v1.1.1 20 mins 15s

 Article courtesy of Rufus

(2) Non exhaustive list of ISOs Rufus is known to work with

Arch LinuxArchbangBartPE/pebuilderCentOSDamn Small LinuxFedoraFreeDOSGentoo,gNewSenseHiren’s Boot CDLiveXPKnoppixKubuntuLinux MintNT Password Registry Editor,OpenSUSEParted MagicSlackwareTailsTrinity Rescue KitUbuntuUltimate Boot CDWindows XP (SP2 or later)Windows Server 2003 R2Windows VistaWindows 7Windows 8, etc.


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