How to Make Your Own "Ubuntu LiveUSB"





Introduction: How to Make Your Own "Ubuntu LiveUSB"

Ubuntu is a remote computer operating system based on Linux. It is a free and open source software, using its own desktop environment. (Somwhat simmilar to Windows.)

A Live USB is a USB that has a bootable OS (Operating System) on it.

This instructable will help you create one!

(Please bear in mind that this is my first instructable article. Suggestions are welcome!)

Step 1: Preparation

What you will need:
- A 4GB USB Drive (The OS itself is about 2.5GB, which will leave you with plenty of space for your own files)
- A fast internet connection (to download the necessary files)
- A computer that can boot a USB
- Windows XP/Vista/7 (To run the installer)
- A bit of common sense (to put it all together!)

Step 2: Backup


Back up all the data on your USB safely onto your computer, as this will erase your USB!
(Although it is possible to keep your data and have the OS installed, I do not recommend it!)

Step 3: Downloading

There are two files that you will need to download:
- The Ubuntu virtual image (.iso) file - Get it from here: Size: 712MB
- The USB Installer (.exe) file - Get it from here: or get the older version from my attachments. Size: 981KB

Step 4: Install

1. Open up the file named "Universal-USB-Installer-" or whatever you named it.
2. Puch the "I agree" button.
3. Select the version of Ubuntu that you are installing (you do not need to check the "Download .iso" checkbox, as you have already downloaded the file).
4. Click the "Browse" button and find the ".img" file (NOTE: This step will be done automatically in some versions of the installer when the two files are in the same folder.)
5. Then find your USB Drive from the selection (I do not suggest checking the "SHOW ALL DRIVES" button)
6. IF YOUR USB IS BACKED UP: Check the "Format drive" checkbox - !!! THIS WILL ERASE ALL DATA ON YOUR USB !!!
7. Slide the slider completely to the right (this will give you usable space on the USB).
8. Punch the "Create" button

Step 5: Double-check

This will be said as a pop-up, but I will say it anyway: CHECK THAT THE DIRECTORY YOU HAVE SELLECTED AS YOUR USB IS YOUR USB, otherwise you will have a different drive erased and dumped now useless files into.

Step 6: Process

Let the installer finish (NOTE: If you have a large USB, this will take quite long. The bar will not move for quite a while during the last operation.)

Step 7: Boot

Restart your computer. (Not yet. First finish reading...)

This is the tricky bit:
During start-up, you will see a black/blue boot screen flash. During that time-frame (usally 1-3 seconds), press the "alternate boot key". This will be the "esc" or one of the function keys, but you never know which one - each computer has a different one (In my home laptop it is the "esc" key and the school computers are F2, F8 or F10). The good part is that (in most cases) the computer will tell you which key it is! Search the screen and press the "pause" button if the screen flashes for too short.
Good luck.

Step 8: What Next?

What next? You have a few choices.
- Customize (Ubuntu can easily be transformed into MacBuntu)
- Show off
- Use it when your computer gets slow (I sometimes use it when I want to play high CPU-demanding games that my Windows simply cannot run)
- Retreive your locked up files (when you put a password onto your Windows account and forgot it, you can still get your files using this handy program, as you can use "file explorer" to view your hard disk like USB) PLEASE DO NOT USE FOR MALICIOUS PURPOSES
- use it as a portable OS (use it at home, use it at school, use it anywhere you want!)

A fair bit of WARNING: Some Ubuntu versions are unstable and will fail to boot after a few uses. Just repeat these steps to reinstall.

Thank you for reading this instructable and GOOD LUCK!



    • Microcontroller Contest

      Microcontroller Contest
    • Spotless Contest

      Spotless Contest
    • Science of Cooking

      Science of Cooking

    We have a be nice policy.
    Please be positive and constructive.




    Help me


    idk what to do


    I can't do part 1 of step 4 because I'm on a mac. This is all I get,

    You can’t open the application “Universal-USB-Installer-” because Microsoft Windows applications are not supported on OS X.

    Another tool that is compatible with Mac OS X is called UNetbootin (link: ).
    Try use it, see how it goes.

    When I do this my installer is only for installing on the computer, I can't install Ubuntu on the USB. I'm new to this, it'd be great if you could help. :) Thanks

    Hi, if you followed the instructions step-by-step then you should've been able to create a bootable USB. When you boot from the USB, you will be given the option to install Ubuntu onto the PC, but if you just want to run it from USB, then do not select this option, and go for live mode instead. This will only use your USB and will not touch the hard disk

    Is moving the slider all the way to the right neccessary?

    Not necessary but recommended. If you have a fairly small (~8GB) USB, you really want all the space to be available for your Ubuntu USB. If you have a larger USB, then you can choose how much space you want to let Ubuntu have, and the rest you can use even under Windows for whatever you want

    All worked great - thanks for the effort and time involved in creating the Instructable. Matt, Syd. Australia


    Thanks for this one. It's very useful and educative. But I'm wondering if it could be possible to coupling this with - say - a gParted Live image in a multiboot device for much more utilities and handfulness on a single stick. Or in short: can we do multiboot USB pendrives with this?