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mkusb-xscl - GUI for xorriso-dd-target

Extra Safe CLoner

xscl in 'mkusb-xscl' is an acronym for eXtra Safe CLoner.

This tool is extra safe because

  • It is only possible to write to removable devices (unless you copy and paste manually).
  • It is really difficult to write to a drive with a file system, that is not expected in an ordinary USB drive or memory card. Only such drives with an iso file system can be written to, and when asked for specifically (for example persistent live drives).
  • Adding a max size limit protects additional drives.
  • Using the plug-in method makes it almost fool-proof.
  • This version of mkusb can only clone from an iso file or other image file to a removable mass storage device, typically a USB pendrive or memory card.

mkusb-xscl is actually too strict for me (the developer), but I think that it can help you, if you are new to Linux. All versions of mkusb help you identify and select the correct drive. This version of mkusb has extra protection to help you write to the correct drive (and avoid overwriting valuable data in some other drive).

Experimental version

mkusb-xscl is a bash shellscript, that wraps a graphical user interface around xorriso-dd-target. It can help you manage all the options and save the settings, that work best for you.

  • Download this file: mkusb-xscl-plus-tools.tar.gz

  • extract in a local directory
  • cd to the extracted subdirectory xscl-dir/

  • run the shellscript installer to install and to remove mkusb-xscl.

sudo ./installer i
sudo ./installer r

The shellscript files will be installed into '/usr/local/bin' and '/usr/local/sbin'

$ mkusb-xscl -v
mkusb-xscl 1.1

$ md5sum ./mkusb-xscl-plus-tools.tar.gz
e2abcf078737f644505e442971f0a9f1  ./mkusb-xscl-plus-tools.tar.gz

There are checks for necessary programs, that you may have to install into your version or flavour of Ubuntu or Debian.

You can view the files at this link:

Graphical user interface

There is a graphical user interface, but still no desktop file, so you start it from a terminal window with


The terminal window will serve as console for the program. Most tasks are run via zenity windows:

  • Identification of the target device in a very safe way
  • Cloning in general

Some tasks can be managed via a text mode dialogue:

  • The plug-in method but mkusb-plug is dedicated for that task

  • Extra copies of the configuration file, "$HOME"/.mkusb/mkusb-xscl.cfg where the settings are saved


Settings that work for me when preparing and checking


Settings that work for me when writing


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mkusb/xscl (last edited 2020-01-11 20:23:43 by nio-wiklund)