Burn Live Linux Distro's the Easy Way!

Note: This is my first instructable, please bare with me if there any mistakes I apologise in advance.

Unetbootin (Universal Netboot Installer) is a piece of software for creating live Linux USB disk's.

It comes with a range of preselected distro's all of which are regularly updated with the latest release. The following list is not the full list of Linux distro's but here are a few:

Arch linux

Anyway you get the idea. In this instance we are going to burn Ubuntu to the USB disk.

Step 1: Download and Install Unetbootin.

OK, quite a simple step go to http://lubi.sourceforge.net/unetbootin.html and download and install Unetbootin.

It works for both Linux and Windows, in this instance I am using Windows Vista. After you have got to the homepage, click and install either the linux or windows installer (Windows XP and Vista users click the windows button).

Click run to start the install.

Step 2: Format USB Disk

This is very simple, insert the disk and find out the path (In Vista and XP it pops up, in my case it was G:).

The open up a command window(in XP it's Start -> Run -> CMD. In Vista it's Start (windows icon) -> All programs -> Accesories -> Command Window) and type format (in my case it would be format G:)

It will then ask you to insert a disk. If you haven't already done so, then do it, else press enter. Go through the motions and when it is done leave it in.

Step 3: Start Unetbootin and Burn the Distro to the Disk

Quite simple, click Unetbootin to start it off, you will then be presented with a few options including which Distro and which version.

As you can see from the screenshot, it also allows you to download and burn legacy versions of various distro's, the Ubuntu one goes all the way back to 6.06 the previous LTS install.

And that is pretty much it, once you have selected the distro and version of choice it will download, it will install a small file to the disk (saving you having to use hacky code to make the install live bootable) and start to download the files from the net.

All you simple have to do now is wait for the install to finish.

If you are unsure about how to boot from USB, there are a few guides on the net, it's quite a simple thing to do, it's changeable in the BIOS settings.

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact me.



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    9 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I would advise against formatting from the command line for beginners... It's easy to mix the drive letters and format your external HD that is full of your favorite music.

    You can go to "My computer" right click on the USB and choose "Format" from the menu.

    Cheers :)

    2 replies

    Of course! And if you ask me, one should be able to handle a little bit of old command line in general. It's good, no?

    I still remember though, how my cousin came crying for help after following some instructions a friend gave her and as a result she formatted the USB drive containing her CV and other documents she did not have stored anywhere else... Boy, you wouldn't want to be there :D


    10 years ago on Introduction

    With Ubuntu 8.10, a USB disk creator wizard is included with the operating system. So, for example, you can download a USB image file and burn it directly to USB.

    2 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    That application actually erases the content of your usb. Unetbootin leaves the original contents in place. Just one advantage. It's also simpler.

    Good comment there. It does indeed preserve the contents of a USB disc (which speeds up the transfer of files on to a new installation) It is in my opinion an all round neater way to do it.

    build a BOOM

    10 years ago on Introduction

    My bios dosn't allow booting from USB. How would I updade BIOS in order to do so.


    10 years ago

    This is a great Instructable, but you need to add a main image of the final project to the intro step. Please do that and leave me a message when you have so that we can publish your work. Thanks!