Minoca OS runs on a number of platforms, and the process for installing an OS image onto the platform is generally the same: download the image file, burn it to an SD card or USB stick, and then boot the system from the SD card or USB stick. Below are the general steps that apply to most platforms and then some notes for each specific platform.

Grab the image for your favorite platform from our downloads page. Here are the platforms we currently support:

Open up the Win32 Disk imager tool. If you downloaded the Minoca OS x86 package, Win32DiskImager is included at Win32DiskImager\Win32DiskImager.exe. If not, Win32DiskImager can be downloaded separately here.

Note: Mac OS X and Linux users can use other tools (such as dd) to burn the image on an SD card or USB stick. This guide is geared primarily towards Windows users.

Select the image file corresponding to the platform you're trying to boot. These files usually end in .img.

Plug in an SD card or USB stick that's at least 1GB in size and select the drive letter for that device. Make ABSOLUTELY SURE you've selected the correct drive letter, as ALL DATA ON THE DRIVE WILL BE LOST. Since the image comes with a pre-formatted file system, there will be the same amount of free space on the drive once booted, no matter the physical capacity of the SD card or USB stick. This is normal. If you need to take advantage of the full size of your media, you'll need to use the msetup installer program to install directly onto that disk.

Select 'Write' in Win32DiskImager to write the selected image to your SD card or USB stick.

Win32 Disk Image used to write a Minoca OS image to a disk.

Remove the media, insert in into your desired platform, and boot Minoca OS!

Can't find your SD card's drive letter?

If you had previously written a Minoca image onto the drive and it is no longer showing up with a drive letter in Windows, you may need to wipe the disk. Certain platforms require partition configurations that Windows does not recognize on removable media. Run diskpart.exe, and do the following:

  • `list disk` to show the drives in your system.
  • Figure out which disk is your USB stick or SD card. We'll use the stand-in 'x' to refer to whichever disk is your desired USB/SD card.
  • `sel disk x` (replacing x with your disk number) to select the disk.
  • `clean` to wipe the contents of the disk. Be sure you have the right disk, as this erases all data.
  • `create partition primary` to create a partition that covers the whole disk.

At this point Windows should assign the disk a drive letter. If it doesn't, use `list vol`, `sel vol x`, and `assign` to give the disk a drive letter. You should then be able to use Win32DiskImager to write a new image.

The steps to boot an image are platform specific. Some platforms have power buttons, while others automatically boot once plugged in. Below are the basic steps for each platform along with any caveats.

Note: In the debug builds available for download, there is an articifial 10 second delay at boot. This is to allow the Minoca Debugger host time to connect to the Minoca OS target.

Raspberry Pi 1, 2, & 3

  • Minoca OS boots from the Raspberry Pi platforms like all other operating systems. Just apply power to the device while the SD card is in place.

BeagleBone Black

  • The Minoca OS image must be burned onto a microSD card in order to boot from the BeagleBone Black.
  • To boot from the microSD card, make sure to hold down the "boot" button while applying power. The boot button is located near the microSD slot, and it causes the board to try to boot from SD before eMMC. The effect of the boot button is latched at power up, and will survive resets, so you only need to hold it down while applying power.
  • We have the BeagleBone Black Rev B and Rev C in house. Other revisions are currently untested.

Generic PC

  • It is easiest to boot Minoca OS from a USB drive on a generic PC.
  • Proceed with the normal power-on sequence for your device, but make sure you've modified your boot order to prefer USB drives first. Some USB portable hard drives are considered fixed disks by the BIOS, and so it prefers its own internal disks to those drives.
  • There's a wide variety of PCs out there. It's somewhat likely that you'll encounter some ACPI or other platform variations that we haven't seen yet. Please report these to us. Kernel debugger remotes are especially helpful.
  • If you'd like to boot via UEFI, make sure to burn the pcefi.img image rather than just pc.img, which relies on BIOS interfaces.


  • To boot Minoca OS you'll need to enable developer mode and enable USB/SD booting. There are many great resources on the web that describe how to do this, we won't rehash it. The Chromium Project describes the process here for a Samsung device, but the steps are the same.
  • When you reboot, you should see the "OS verification disabled" screen initially. Hit Ctrl+U to boot from the microSD card. If the machine simply beeps and does nothing, then either USB/SD boot isn't enabled, or the Chromebook was unable to understand the contents of the microSD card.

Gizmo 2

  • On the Gizmo2, Minoca OS can be booted from a USB stick or a microSD card.
  • If you're booting via USB, make sure to plug the drive into the black USB 2.0 ports, and not the blue USB 3.0 ports.
  • With the drive in place, plug in the 12V power cable and hit the "power" button.
  • Keyboards must be plugged into a USB hub connected to the black USB 2.0 ports on the Gizmo 2. They cannot be plugged directly into any of the USB ports on the Gizmo 2, as Minoca OS does not yet support USB 3.0 or OHCI.


  • The Minoca OS image must be burned onto a microSD card in order to boot from the Galileo.
  • For the first boot, you may need to get into the EFI shell and run FS0:/EFI/BOOT/BOOTIA32.EFI manually. You can use the efiboot utility once booted into Minoca OS to change the boot order permanently. To get into the UEFI shell, hit 'c', then 'quit' when presented with the GRUB boot prompt. You'll then be able to select the UEFI Internal Shell option.
  • The serial port that comes out of the 1/4" headphone jack provides a console connection. Kernel debugging is currently disabled on this platform so that it doesn't take over the 1/4" serial port.
  • We have the Galileo Gen 1 in house. Other versions are untested.


  • The PandaBoard is booted via an SD card by plugging in the 5V power cable.

Something not working? Head on over to our troubleshooting page to see if we can help.