How to Install Ubuntu Onto a Flashdrive

Introduction: How to Install Ubuntu Onto a Flashdrive

Hi! In this Instructable, I will be teaching you how to install Ubuntu onto a flash-drive.

First of all, I recommend you open this page on another device because the computer that you use to install Ubuntu will have to be restarted before the process is finished.

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Step 1: Supplies

Supplies you will need:

A Computer with access to the boot manager BIOS

USB flash-drive : 4GB or over

The ISO image of Ubuntu downloaded from their website. * (

Universal USB Installer (download from :

* Before you download the ISO image, check and see which type of processor your computer has (64bit or 32bit).

Most modern computers are 64 Bit. There will be a choice whether to download the 64 bit or 32 bit and you can click the appropriate choice.

Step 2: Format Your Flashdrive - CAUTION! Read Carefully!

Now that you have everything, insert your flash-drive into your computer's USB port.

When it shows up in Windows Explorer, right click it, and select format.

Please make sure that you have copied/backed up all your data on the flash-drive or all your data WILL be lost!!! I will NOT be responsible for ANY data loss.

In the format drive window, make sure that the appropriate flash-drive is selected, select FAT32 as the file system, and click the "Format" button on the bottom of the window. Wait for a few seconds until a message will pop up and say that the format has been completed.

Step 3: Extract Ubuntu to Your Flash-drive.

Once that is done, open the Universal USB Installer (this is a portable application therefore no install is needed.)

Accept the agreement, and when the main window opens, click the Linux Distribution drop-down menu labeled as "Step 1" and select "Ubuntu". Now in "Step 2", click browse, and select your Ubuntu ISO you just downloaded. Now in "Step 3", select your flash-drive which you have just formatted. After all that, click "Create" on the bottom right of the window. Now you have to be patient and wait. It will take about 6-10 minutes to complete making the flash-drive bootable.

Step 4: Restart...

When the process is finished, keep your flash-drive in the computer and restart the computer.

When has shut down completely, press the power button, and when you see the PC manufacturer's logo, press the F12 key. (The key to enter into the bios may differ with your computer. Please verify the certain key/ key combonation before trying.)

When the multi-boot menu appears, select "USB Memory" with your arrow keys and then hit "Enter" on your keyboard.

It might show a bi of terminal but ignore it until... (next step)

Step 5: Get to This

When you get here, you have a choice. You can either install Ubuntu to the hard-drive, or try it out by running the live version off of the flash-drive. If you choose to run it off the flash-drive, files that are saved while you are logged in will be deleted during the next login. You can also choose to install Ubuntu side-by-side with Windows. We will try Ubuntu for now.

Once again, choose your choice with the arrow keys, and hit enter.

You might see some more terminal, and then you will see the Ubuntu boot logo! Don't give up, you're almost there!!

Step 6: And...You're Finished!!!

When you see the Ubuntu desktop pictured above, that means you're finished!!! Remember, no files will be saved while you are in live mode.


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    2 Discussions


    Reply 3 years ago

    I actually have unetbootin! :) I prefer the Universal USB installer though.