How to Install Solus 4.4 from USB [Step by Step Screenshots Guide]

This is a step by step screenshots guide shows beginners how to install the Solus 4.4 Linux Distribution in your machine!

NOTE: Solus 4.4 does not use Grub as its boot-loader. For multi-boot OSes, user need to use either UEFI or BIOS settings to boot them.

Requirements

To follow this tutorial, you need to prepare the following thing first:

  • USB stick with 4 GB+ space.
  • PC/laptop with Linux, Windows, or MacOS for burning .iso into USB.
  • Internet connection for downloading the .iso image.

Step 1: Download Solus 4.4

Firstly, download the .iso image from its website via the link below.

Depends on your favorite desktop environment, select between Budgie, GNOME, MATE, and KDE Plasma.

Step 2: Verify ISO file integrity

After downloading the .iso file, also click the “SHA256SUMS: File” in the download page to see the hash code.

Then, you can run one of commands below to check the hash code of the local file that you just downloaded:

  • If you downloaded the file in a Linux system, run command:
    sha256sum ~/Downloads/Solus-4.4*.iso
  • If you got it in a Windows PC, open ‘cmd’ and run command:
    cd Downloads && certutil -hashfile Solus-4.4-Budgie.iso SHA256
  • For MacOS, check the hash code of downloaded file by running command:
    shasum -a 256 ~/Downloads/Solus-4.4*.iso

NOTE: In the commands above, replace file-name to yours! And replace ‘Downloads’ if you saved it in another location.

Once you got the hash code for local .iso file, compare it with the one in the download web page. They must be same before continuing the following steps!

Step 3: Burn .iso file into USB as boot-able installer

There are quite a few tools for burning .iso file into USB, and I’ve written a tutorial about it. For USB stick with large storage, I’d recommend to use Ventoy.

For Windows, just download and use Rufus:

Rufus USB creator

For Ubuntu, Fedora, and other Linux with GNOME, search for and open “GNOME Disks”. When it opens, highlight the USB device, and go to “⋮ -> Restore Disk Image”. Finally, choose the .iso file in pop-up dialog and click “Start Restoring”.

The screenshot was taken for NixOS, though it works for Solus 4.4 in my test!
Create boot-able USB installer for Solus, from Linux with GNOME Desktop

Step 4: Boot from the USB stick

Once you created the boot-able USB installer for Solus, plug it into the destination computer/laptop. And boot it!

Depends on your machine, you have to press ‘Esc’, ‘Del’, etc shortcut key while booting. So to get into UEFI menu or BIOS to choose which device to boot!

Once you successfully boot the USB, you’ll get into the menu looks like below:

Just choose the first 2 option depends on your hardware, and hit Enter to boot into the live system.

Step 5: Start installing Solus 4.4

Once you boot into the live system, do following steps one by one to start installing Solus OS to your machine.

1. Create Partitions Manually for Solus

Unlike other Linux distributions, the Solus installer wizard does NOT have ability to create, delete, manage partitions in manual mode.

So, if you want to delete unused file partitions to free up space, and/or manually create partitions for this Linux file-system, then this step go first!

But, you can SKIP this step in the following cases:

  • Use the whole hard disk (either VirtualBox Virtual Disk or real disk) for Solus.
  • Replace an existing file-system for Solus.
  • Resize an existing system for Solus.

1. Firstly, search for and launch “GParted Partition Editor” from start menu. When the app opens, do:

  • Select destination disk from the top-right corner.
  • If NO enough free space (10 GB at least), select un-used partitions and delete them (DO THIS CAREFULLY!)

2. Then, choose the unallocated (free space) space, and create following 3 partitions one by one for Solus:

  • 500 MB fat32 file-system for boot-loader.
  • linux-swap with as large as RAM size. Optional if there’s already one, or you have large RAM but don’t need hibernation feature.
  • 10 GB or as large as possible for long time use, ext4 file-system for Solus OS.

3. After creating the partitions, click on checkmark icon to apply changes. And, here’s my partition table after doing that.

4. Finally, right-click on the “500 MB fat32 partition” you just created, then select “Manage Flags“. In pop-up dialog, tick both ‘boot’ and ‘esp’ then close it.

IMPORTANT: If you have other Linux OSes in disk with EFI partitions marked as 'boot,esp', right-click on them one by one, choose 'Manage Flags' and un-check 'boot', 'esp' flags. Or, Solus MAY install boot-loader to wrong EFI partition!!!

2. Start the Installer Wizard

Now, double-click ‘Install Solus’ icon either on desktop or ‘Activities’ overview (for GNOME) to start the installer wizard.

When the wizard opens, follow the first few pages to setup language, keyboard layout, timezone, etc.

3. Choose partition method

Next, it will show you the page to choose destination disk, and select install method.

Depends on your current disk status, it will show you following options:

  • Install alongside an existing Operating System – It does not use unallocated space, but re-size an existing OS partition to free up disk space for Solus.
  • Replace an existing OS with Solus.
  • Use the whole disk for Solus.
  • Manually assign mount points.
Re-size an existing OS, to free up space for Solus

If you’ve manually created partitions via gparted partition editor, choose the last option. Then, double-click the mount point for that partitions one by one, and set from ‘Unassigned’ to ‘/’ or ‘swap’ accordingly.

2. Setup Computer Name, Create User, and start installing process

Finally, input a computer name, create user account (it allows create more than one users).

As mentioned, it may choose wrong EFI partition for boot-loader. In the case, you need to close the wizard and use GParted to disable ‘boot,esp’ flags for all other Linux’s EFI partitions.

When done, it shows an overview all of the setting you did. If that’s OK, click “Install” button to start the installing process.

If Solus’ successfully installed, it will show you “Installation complete” with option to “Restart now”.

In case you’ve disabled ‘boot,esp’ flags for any EFI partitions, re-launch GParted partition editor and re-enable ‘boot,esp’ flags for them.

Hi, I'm Merilyn Ne, a computer geek working on Ubuntu Linux for many years and would like to write useful tips for beginners. Forgive me for language mistakes. I'm not a native speaker of English.