Endless Key for USB drives is no longer developed
The latest experience is available only with the downloadable app for Windows and ChromeOS
How to download, verify, and prepare a USB flash drive
Note that the .zip file includes many large files and special hidden files, so follow these instructions carefully! Otherwise, the Endless Key may not work or may be missing content.
The steps are as follows:
Download the Endless Key .zip (large file) and .sha256 (smaller verification file) from the Endless Key page, or your custom version provided to you by Endless OS Foundation. The download can be several gigabytes, so it will take some time! While it downloads, you can prepare the flash drive.
Choose a 128 GB USB 3 flash drive to use for your Endless Key. Note the flash drive must be USB 3.0 or newer, as a USB 2 drive will take a very long time to create and will not perform well, if at all, as an Endless Key.
Since Endless Key includes large files and special hidden files, you must use the exFAT format for the USB flash drive. This process differs based on your operating system, but it will erase all files currently on the flash drive. Connect the drive to your computer, then follow the instructions for your operating system:
These directions may differ based on your exact Windows version, but generally:
Open the File Explorer, then right-click your flash drive in the sidebar
Under “File system,” choose exFAT, and under “Volume label,” enter Endless Key, then press “Start.”
These directions may differ based on your exact operating system and version, but generally:
Open GNOME Disks and select your flash drive
In the menu at the top-right, choose Format Disk and choose the default options.
Create a new partition with the + button, name it Endless Key, choose “other” for the type, then “exFAT” as the custom format on the next screen.
Once the .zip file is downloaded, we’ll first want to verify the download; this ensures you have the full, complete file we provided from the website, and that it is not corrupted.
You verify it by comparing a “checksum” (a long string of numbers and letters) between the .zip and the .sha256 file. If they do not match each other, you will need to re-download your copy of the Endless Key .zip file (and ensure it completes downloading), then repeat this step to verify it.
This process differs depending on your operating system:
Assuming you downloaded the Endless Key .zip and .sha256 files to your Downloads folder, open the Command Prompt in Windows and type the following command, substituting
endless-key.zip with the downloaded .zip file name—note you can tab-complete this on recent Windows versions:
CertUtil -hashfile Downloads\endless-key.zip sha256
It should produce output similar to:
SHA256 hash of Downloads\endless-key.zip: 0d40ea7b03f17d4fc9e259120b93072df162a857415c0f1c0f4b276320dbf978
Compare this to the output of this typed command, again substituting the actual file name of the downloaded .sha256 file:
Which should produce output similar to:
If the two shasums match, you’re good to go; otherwise, you’ll want to re-download the .zip file.
Assuming you downloaded the Endless Key .zip and .sha256 files to your Downloads folder, open a Terminal and type the following commands, substituting
endless-key.zip.sha256 with the downloaded .sha256 file name—note you can tab-complete this:
cd Downloads; sha256sum --check endless-key.zip.sha256
This should output something like:
If you get
OK, you’re good to go. If you instead get
FAILED or a different message, you’ll want to re-download the .zip file.
Now that the download is verified, you’re ready to copy the files onto your prepared flash drive. You will be extracting the compressed files from the .zip directly onto the flash drive. As you may have guessed, this process varies depending on your operating system:
In the File Explorer, navigate to the folder containing the downloaded .zip file
Right-click the .zip file and choose Extract all…
In the resulting window, select Browse and select the Endless Key, then press Select Folder
This process will take quite some time as your computer simultaneously extracts the files and copies them to the flash drive.
Safely eject the drive from Windows, either from the notification area or the sidebar in File Explorer.
Extracting a .zip file in GNOME tends to extract the contents into its own folder which is nice for organization, but makes this a little more complicated as we have to ensure the files are on the root of the flash drive—not in a folder. We also have to ensure all the hidden files are copied, which takes extra effort.
In the Files app, navigate to the folder containing the downloaded .zip file
Right-click the .zip file and choose extract the files
Navigate into the folder where the files were extracted; for example, you should see a KOLIBRI_DATA folder, and a bunch of .dll files
Ensure hidden files are shown: in the Files menu, ensure that “Show Hidden Files” is selected, or press Ctrl+H; you should see a folder called .kolibri-windows
Copy all the files in the current folder to the root of the flash drive; i.e. press Ctrl+A to select them all, press Ctrl+C to copy, navigate to the flash drive, then press Ctrl+V to paste
Even if Files shows it has completed copying the files, it may take more time for your operating system to catch up copying the files from memory to the flash drive. Always use the “Eject” feature in Files before removing the drive, and wait until you get a notification stating it is safe to unplug the device.
If nothing happens, you may want to retry copying the files onto the drive, ensuring you copied all of them, including any hidden folders and files.