July 23, 2010

262 words 2 mins read

Ubuntu (or any Linux) Install from USB

On Monday I covered how to install Windows 7 via USB drive, but leaving it on it’s own would be unfair to our Open Source brethren.  Fortunately, if you want to make a bootable USB drive (under Windows or Linux) with a copy of Linux, it just just as easy.  All you need is UNetbootin and optionally an ISO of your favorite Linux distribution.

UNetbootin makes preparing a Linux install USB drive very easy.  Here’s all you need:

  1. Download UNetbootin
  2. Optionally download the ISO of the distribution you wish to install onto the USB drive.
  3. Launch UNetbootin
  4. It will ask you if you want to select a distribution (It will download the necessary files right there and then), select a disk image (ISO), or custom.
  5. You will be able to select your desired USB drive — do be sure to verify which drive it is you want (it will nuke the drive).  As usual, try and use a fast USB drive, like a Cruzer Titanium, for best results.
  6. Click OK

Wait and Enjoy.  The tool will download any necessary files, then run through nuking your drive, reformatting, and copying over the files.  Depending on download size/speed/drive performance, it can take a bit of time.  When it is done though, you should be able to take the USB drive and use it to install Linux onto any machine.  I’ve used UNetbootin a number of times previously with great results.

Additionally if you need more help on installing Ubuntu from USB drive (say for an icky Mac) you can check out the Ubuntu Wiki.