Install Ubuntu from USB: Any news?

Almost two years ago I was trying to trick the Ubuntu alternate installer into running off a USB key, but I wasn’t having much luck. I see now that there’s a menu option in the Gnome-based Ubuntu that allows you to install an ISO to a USB key.

I tried it with the alternate CD image for 8.10 and it worked fine on a 1Gb flash drive, but I don’t have a machine that will boot from USB, so I don’t know if it really worked or not.

If anybody has tried it, and can vouch for it working with the alternate image, I’d be curious to hear about it.

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8 Responses to “Install Ubuntu from USB: Any news?”


  1. 1 JLC 2008/11/06 at 9:00 AM

    You probably would like to give this one a try:

    UNetbootin can install to your local hard disk or make a bootable liveUSB drive. It can also load floppy/hard disk images, or kernel/initrds, or (some) ISO (CD image) files, for installing other distributions.

    http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UNetbootin

  2. 2 reacocard 2008/11/06 at 2:48 PM

    I’ve used both UNetbootin and the usb creator in intrepid to create USB sticks of the livecds, both have worked great. USB sticks are now my preferred method of install in fact, as they perform MUCH faster than the cd does. The live environment becomes almost as responsive as an installed version would be and the install itself completes 2-3x faster.

    Now I just need to find a way to make a CD image that can chainload a USB drive boot for systems that can’t boot from USB and I’ll be all set. ^____^

  3. 3 Vladimir 2008/11/06 at 5:45 PM

    It seems to me they had broken their “alternative” installer in 8.10. It gets as far as “Media change:” stage, then it infinitely requires to insert installation CD-ROM into /cdrom/ device, despite it’s already there. I couldn’t get any further. Though I’m not a very linux-wise person.

    But except for that issue, I successfully built an USB Flash dongle from Ubuntu-8.10 realease i386 ISO. And more, as I got an U3 Flash drive, I re-burned its U3 cdrom-like partition and installed GRUB there. It boots on several machines for me, including ASUS eeePc.

  4. 4 Angus77 2008/11/07 at 12:40 AM

    I like isotostick.sh

    http://www.startx.ro/sugar/isotostick.sh

    I used it to install Intrepid to my Eee-PC and to my desktop. CDs are so painfully sloooooooooooowwwwwwwwwww…

    And I think the “Create a USB startup disk” is just for booting up a currently installed system (for faster bootup from a flash drive), rather than creating an USB installer.

  5. 5 MrException 2008/11/07 at 4:38 AM

    In August, when I purchased my eeepc, I used the isostick.sh script that Angus77 just posted about to install Hardy onto it. Worked perfectly. (The eeepc doesn’t even have a optical drive, so this is pretty much the only practical way to install Ubuntu on it).

    I haven’t tried Ubuntu’s new ISO to USB utility yet, but I’ll probably give it a go when I upgrade to Intrepid.

    But, yes, it’s definately possible, and not even that hard, to install Ubuntu from a USB stick, they’ve had instructions to do just that on their Wiki for quite some time: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Installation/FromUSBStick

    PS. Your blog is awesome, and thanks for introducing me to Openbox, rtorrent, and a bunch of other cool stuff. :)

    Cheers!

  6. 6 oren 2008/11/12 at 6:37 PM

    MrException, and don’t forget ‘My Neighbour Totoro’.
    I have heard about this movie here!

  7. 7 jcdadam 2008/11/28 at 10:11 PM

    I have no idea about alternative-CD, but I do really install ubuntu-8.04 on USB with Japan local version. It works fine on my Thinkpad X61.

  8. 8 Eric 2009/01/09 at 3:21 PM

    I have the same problem with the server installation from a burned CD of 8.10. Seems like a Ubuntu screw up…


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