- 1 Outline
- 2 Introduction
- 3 Known Issues
- 4 Prerequisites
- 5 Copying Files to USB Stick
- 6 Booting the Computer From USB
- 7 Alternative method
- 8 Installing Ubuntu directly on a USB Flash drive
- 9 9.04 and Earlier .img for Netbook
- 10 Create Bootable USB Manually
The recommended way to install Ubuntu 9.10 from a USB flash drive is to use the usb-creator program, point it at a CD ISO image, and let it create a bootable USB that you can use instead of the CD.
- Acquire the correct Ubuntu installation files and tools
- Put Ubuntu onto your USB drive
- Configure your computer to boot from USB drive and boot from it
- Try Ubuntu or install to your hard drive.
This page gives instructions on how to run Ubuntu from a USB flash drive for installation or to try it out. This may be necessary for netbooks and other computers without CD drives and is handy for others because a USB flash drive is so convenient. The Ubuntu 9.10 CD/DVD ISO images come with the necessary Windows and Linux utilities to get the system on a USB drive. For custom, manual, older versions, and technical instructions and troubleshooting see USB Installation Media. There are also network installation options available. You can also see the instructions for USB drives from the official Install Guide. Note: This article uses the terms USB stick, USB drive, thumb drive and flash drive interchangeably.
The 9.10 CDs and DVDs are missing the usb-creator.exe program used by the Windows installation processes discussed below. To install the i386 desktop version to a flash drive from a disk image on Windows, use the incredibly easy process described at http://www.pendrivelinux.com/create-a-ubuntu-9-10-live-usb-in-windows/ . When you boot the resulting live persistent USB, you can install to your hard disk if you wish at any time, or not. If you just get a black screen when running from USB, using the setting "Discarded on shutdown, unless you save them elsewhere" in usb-creator might help. Forum: 9.10 NBR issues 9.10 Netbook Remix does not bring up Broadcom WIFI automatically. Poll and install a few packages manually with dpkg to get networking up. https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/jockey/+bug/449268 If you get "Incorrect CD-ROM detected" error on detection stage, reboot, press F6 and then ESC to go to manual boot line editing, and add the option 'cdrom-detect/try-usb=true'. On Ubuntu 9.10 server edition the install menu will be shown right after reboot. Chose "Help" and then press F6. At the boot prompt type "install cdrom-detect/try-usb=true" and hit enter. Some BIOS's (eg., the Eee PC netbook') have trouble recognizing that the USB is bootable. You may have to trick it into booting using the following method: At boot, enter the BIOS by pressing F2. Then, right as you exit the BIOS, hit the Esc key. For some systems, this will bring up the boot menu. "Can not mount /dev/loop1 on /cow" message because usb-creator.exe is not creating a valid casper-rw file holding ext2/ext3 filesystem. Fix: After running usb-creator.exe, recreate casper-rw using cygwin tools or http://www.pendrivelinux.com/casper-rw-creator-make-a-persistent-file-from-windows/. (As of April 2010) There is an unresolved issue in that you cannot create a bootable USB stick from within Mac OSX. You must create the stick in Linux or Windows.
- Virtual Clone Drive or other ISO-reading software (or Ubuntu installation CD)
Mac OS X
- Administrator privileges on computer used to set up thumb drive
- Administrator privileges on computer used to set up thumb drive
- Install and run usb-creator
- 1GB thumb drive with everything backed up elsewhere, because these commands will over write the partition table.
- ISO image file, or CD and another computer ubuntu-netbook-remix ISO, or kubuntu-netbook ISO, or
- Optional, large capacity SD card for storing ISO and or backing up data
Desktop or Server
- 2GB thumb drive, or just do network install
Ubuntu CD or ISO
- Netbook: http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/download-netbook
- 32bit/64bit: http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/download
Get a disk from a friend, download, order one ... etc.
Copying Files to USB Stick
From Ubuntu Linux
- The usb-creator utility can be installed using Synaptic|Package Manager if not already present on your system. Some people have problems with usb-creator. You can also install and use UNetbootin to do the same thing.
- Run usb-creator
- Top pane, you will have to click "other", locate and select the ISO image
- Plug the to-be-nuked USB stick into the computer, it should show up in the bottom pane titled "USB disk to use". (You may have to use GParted to format the USB Stick--I used 'ext3' as the format and it worked.)
- Make sure you have the correct device selected before proceeding to create a USB startup disk!
- There may be bugs during the formatting which will show up as two partitions when booting from the USB stick. Try selecting each of them and one should work. If not, restart the computer and try booting from the USB stick again.
If you get a DBus error with usb-creator, this bug report may be helpful: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/usb-creator/+bug/458334
You can use Unetbootin to create a bootable usb drive. http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/ You won't be able to select the USB drive if it wasn't formatted in a way that Windows can see it. You may have to format it using explorer, then it will show up in the creator tool. Versions of Ubuntu before Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) included a file called usb-creator.exe in the CD image. To install one of these versions, download the ISO file and burn the Ubuntu ISO file to a disk or mount the ISO file in a virtual drive to access the files within the image. You can also use 7Zip to extract the ISO so you can work with the files inside.
Booting the Computer From USB
Most newer computers can boot from USB. If your computer does not automatically do so, you might need to edit the BIOS settings. Restart your computer, and watch for a message telling you which key to press to enter the BIOS setup. It will usually be one of F1, F2, DEL, ESC or F10. Press this key while your computer is booting to edit your BIOS settings. (On HP Mini Netbooks, they correct key is usually F9.) You need to edit the Boot Order. Depending on your computer, and how your USB key was formatted, you should see an entry for "removable drive" or "USB media". Move this to the top of the list to force the computer to attempt to boot from USB before booting from the hard disk.
Some computers can see the USB thumb drive and have the option to boot from USB but cannot actually boot from USB. All hope is not lost.
- Windows running on the computer
- USB drive, ready to boot (shown below)
- PLoP Boot Manager - Your alternative USB boot method (http://www.plop.at/en/bootmanager.html#runwin)
Just follow the instructions on the PLop website. Note: When you use this method, the files on the USB drive are changed during boot. To use this method more than once, you must delete all files from the USB drive and prepare the USB drive again as described below.
Creating a bootable USB Drive
- Check the USB drive for files and back them up if needed, all contents will be destroyed.
- A minimum of 1GB space is required for a netbook install. Other install types may require more space.
- The Windows utility won't let you select the USB drive if the drive isn't properly formatted and mounted.
Booting from a USB drive created with this utility will behave just as if you had booted from the install CD. It will show the language selection and then the install menu, from which you can install Ubuntu onto the computer's hard drive or launch the LiveCD environment.
The Ubuntu USB desktop image creator is available in the package usb-creator, usb-creator-kde on Kubuntu, or usb-creator-gtk on 9.10. From the 8.10 release on (9.10 on for Kubuntu), Ubuntu includes the usb-creator by default on all LiveCDs and installations. You can find it in System-->Administration-->Create a USB startup disk (Ubuntu Desktop) or K-Menu-->Applications-->System-->USB Startup Disk Creator (Kubuntu), if it is not there then run the following command in the Terminal :
sudo apt-get install usb-creator
Make sure the software-sources are activated if you are on a LiveCD (software sources or `sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list`). You may need to install the python-gnome2 package as well. It should do everything needed you just need to have a LiveCD in you CD-Rom or show the usb-creator the ISO image of it and the rest of the process is automatic! (for more info on how to use this tool by just popping in a LiveCD to a drive in a computer running Ubuntu desktop see "Live USB creator" below, note that it also works with downloaded .iso images). If the progress bar proceeds very slowly (1% every 10 seconds or so) you may want to make sure your USB stick is mounted without the "sync" option. This seems to work around single-byte writes bug in Jaunty's usb-creator. 模板:Https://wiki.kubuntu.org/Kubuntu/Netbook?action=AttachFile&do=get&target=screenshot-usb-creator.png
This method is recommended if you are creating Linux installation to coexist with your existing Windows installation.
- Find a usb-creator app and run it
Installing Ubuntu directly on a USB Flash drive
In order to install a fully working Ubuntu operating system on your USB Flash drive make sure that:
- Your Flash Drive has more than 2GB of memory
- Your Flash Drive is bootable
- Your Flash Drive has a high read/write speed and is USB 2.0 enabled
The process is described in detail in an external source.
9.04 and Earlier .img for Netbook
If you have downloaded an .img file, please refer to the .img writing documentation
Create Bootable USB Manually
Here is a way to create bootable USB manually. The advantage is you don't have to empty your USB as long as you have enough space for the files. Also it allow multi boot, so you can have your USB holding both 32bits and 64bits Ubuntu and so other Boot CD tool. In order to do so you need :
- Bootable Flash Drive ( NTFS / FAT32 / FAT 16 ), Disk with MBR, you can do this with gparted in linux or HP format in Win, fdisk ....etc
- Ubuntu ISO of your choice
- Tools to extract files in the ISO ( ISO Mount, WinZIP, WinRAR, 7Zip, etc....)
First you need to install grub on to the USB's MBR. Follow the link to the Grub4DOS Wiki: Simple example:
For more details, visit:  Next, you open up the ISO file and extract the files in casper directory.
total 701060 -rwxrwxrwx 2 adrian adrian 704487424 2010-04-29 05:38 filesystem.squashfs* -rwxrwxrwx 1 adrian adrian 9365872 2010-04-29 05:34 initrd.lz* -rwxrwxrwx 1 adrian adrian 4029792 2010-04-16 06:01 vmlinuz* /media/Fujitsu 60GB USB/bootimg/ubuntu.10.4.x86$
Copy grldr to the root of the drive.
drwx------ 1 adrian adrian 4096 2010-05-05 16:49 bootimg/ -rwxrwxrwx 1 adrian adrian 220049 2009-09-24 17:30 grldr* -rwxrwxrwx 1 adrian adrian 2760 2010-05-04 23:08 menu.lst* /media/Fujitsu 60GB USB$
Now create menu.lst at the root of USB. Example of menu.lst:
default /default title Ubuntu 10.04 LiveCD find --set-root /bootimg/ubuntu.10.4.x86/initrd.lz kernel /bootimg/ubuntu.10.4.x86/vmlinuz boot=casper live-media-path=/bootimg/ubuntu.10.4.x86/ ignore_uuid initrd /bootimg/ubuntu.10.4.x86/initrd.lz boot
Make sure the path match where the files you copy to. Now, reboot.