Quirky Xerus 8.1.5 installation

Quirky Xerus is available as an ISO file, for x86_64 PCs and laptops. The usual method is to burn this to a CD or DVD, using an appropriate utility.

Burn to CD/DVD

In Puppy Linux, there is 'Burniso2cd', found in the 'Multimedia' menu.
Other Linux distributions have equivalent tools.

Windows has equivalent tools, see here:

Or, the ISO can be written to a USB Flash stick...

dd to USB-stick

If you have a PC/laptop that does not have an optical drive, no problem, the ISO file can be written to a USB Flash stick. Any old Flash stick will work, capacity 512MB or greater.

Note though, this is not an installation of Quirky, it is only booting an ISO from USB media -- you will still have to perform the install step after booting up Quirky (if install to USB-stick, a stick of 4GB minimum is required).

To write an ISO file to USB-stick, when running Linux, this is how (assuming USB-stick is 'sdc' and it is unmounted):
# dd if=xerus64-8.1.5.iso of=/dev/sdc bs=4M
# sync
Windows has tools to do the same, see my blog post:

Again I repeat, booting Quirky from ISO, whether on optical or USB media, is not an installation.
At first bootup, you are guided on how to perform an installation.
However, booted from ISO can be used on an on-going basis if you wish, as it does have a limited session-save capability -- again, you will be guided about this at first bootup.

Newbie notes:
Quirky, as a derivative of Puppy, is extremely easy to use. However, if you are a newbie to Linux, there might be some quite basic things that are initially confusing. Please read these notes:
  1. The above instructions are if you are already running Linux, and know how to open a terminal window.
  2. The "#" shown above is not to be typed, it is the prompt that you see in the terminal.
  3. It is important that you type in the correct drive name, not a partition name -- example, /dev/sdb is a drive, /dev/sdb1 is partition number one on that drive.
  4. If running Puppy or Quirky, type "probedisk" to verify correct drive name.
  5. If running Puppy or Quirky, check no partitions of the drive are mounted (if they are, you will see a little closebox on the desktop partition icon -- click it to unmount).
  6. If running some other variety of Linux, partitions may automount as soon as you plug in a drive -- and the drive may be assigned a very odd name. Follow the instructions for that Linux distribution to unmount and determine the correct drive name.
  7. If still confused, ask on the Puppy Forum: http://murga-linux.com/puppy/
An extra note about automounting: Puppy and derivatives do not automount partitions, as our experience is that it is more of a hassle than a help. When you plug in an SD-card or Flash stick, partition icons will appear on the desktop, and you may click on one to mount it (once mounted, you can read/write its files). You always know when a partition is mounted, by the little closebox that appears on the desktop partition icon.

Installation alternatives

Look in the 'alternatives' folder. If you do not want to be bothered with an ISO file, there are alternatives. This is a direct installation, bypassing the ISO.


The ISO (on optical CD/DVD or USB-stick) will boot on any computer with 64-bit x86 CPU, which is most of them, and any with BIOS-firmware or UEFI-firmware.

All PCs manufactured from 2012, with Windows 8 or later, are of the UEFI-firmware type. The main thing that you have to do is turn off "Secure Boot" to be able to bootup an external operating system, as explained here:


A note about USB Flash sticks. If you install Quirky to a USB-stick, I recommend use a USB3 stick, even if your PC only has USB2 sockets.
The reason is, I found, from testing two USB3 sticks, is that even when plugged into a USB2 socket, their read speeds are about twice that of USB2 Flash sticks.

Personally, I do not use optical media anymore, and consider it to be a "legacy media". I only provide ISO files as users still ask for them. I recommend that you look in the 'alternatives' folder!

Special note

Most people will probably get Quirky running from an optical disk, or plugin flash media. That's fine, but if you want to install to the internal hard drive of a modern UEFI-firmware desktop PC or laptop (which is all of them manufactured since 2012), I recommend that you read this blog post:

Barry Kauler
December 25, 2016