Ubuntu 10.10 Desktop i386 USB image

Good old Ubuntu. Five years on, and still not offering an image that can be written to a USB stick and booted from.

I really thought this time the Ubuntu overlords would have seen that tiny crack in the armor, and done something about it. But looking over the download page, it seems like it’s still something nobody has mentioned.

I guess it’s still a new idea — I mean, 2.7 is the first time Crux has offered it. Arch Linux just got a nifty hybrid version in its last release. Clonezilla will load the whole system into memory from a USB stick, although a little acrobatics might be involved. But the concept has been around for a while.

And yeah, I know, the netbook version supposedly will boot from USB. Netbook users have all the fun, don’t they?

Ah well. I suppose Ubuntu’s oversight is my charity work. Here is a bootable 1Gb image that should work almost exactly like the installation disc, if everything goes right.

Note that this is i386 only. I know I mentioned about a week ago that I’d try to push through a version for AMD64 and I still might. We’ll see how that goes; I want a little time to experiment. And I can’t test it, so we might have to do some sort of “beta” release.

In case you miss the boat on how to use it, basically download the file and use dd to write it to the disk of choice. For example,

dd if=ubuntu-10.10-desktop-i386.img of=/dev/sdXY

Where X and Y are the drive assignment labels you can find with fdisk -l. Cross your fingers, cycle the power, and if the gods are willing and the stars are aligned, it should boot to the installation greeting.

In the mean time, I will be filing a bug report. Or tracking down the half-dozen or so that have probably already suggested it, and adding my +1 to them. Delays, delays. …

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11 Responses to “Ubuntu 10.10 Desktop i386 USB image”

  1. 1 bonico 2010/10/11 at 6:55 PM

    I’m not the biggest fan of new relases on Ubuntu (still remember one in particular wich take down a fresh install due a bug) but in the case of an iso for usb (great idea, much faster and have less read errors) it’s very easy to use the CD iso with an usb stick, and the instructions of how to do are in the ubuntu web.

    The instructions are for windows only but for almost any Linux distribution you can use usb-creator, wich is easier than window’s by the way.

  2. 2 Klink 2010/10/11 at 7:36 PM


    I think almost every Ubuntu release so far has worked if you “burn” the iso to a USB stick.

  3. 3 evidex 2010/10/11 at 8:42 PM

    Generally, there’s an option to create a LiveUSB from the Live Disk. It’ll work just like a standard LiveCD, but if you’ve space left over, you’ll be able to allocate any unused space to save files in.

    I think it’s under System>Administration>Create a USB startup disk.

    I’ll be grabbing a copy of your image though, just to try it out, and I’ll leave it seed for a few weeks.

    Found it in Ubuntu Docs

  4. 4 hecatae 2010/10/11 at 9:25 PM

    seems strange that OpenSUSE, Fedora and Mandriva all offer hybrid isos and Ubuntu do not.

    having to use additional tools to dd the iso to usb is not user friendly.

  5. 5 tomas 2010/10/11 at 10:07 PM

    LiveUSB doesnt count? or am I missing something. So far I’ve managed to boot all the distro’s (including *buntu) I’ve tested from a usb (having a netbook and no external CD/DVD unit…).

  6. 6 Calvin 2010/10/11 at 10:22 PM

    I find Debian doesn’t seem to work with UNetbootin for getting on it a stick with the ISO: it boots the netinstaller, but doesn’t want to actually configure the network because it can’t find drivers for the network card I know works in another PC which installed from the CD fine. This is on a PC with a DOA CD drive too.

  7. 7 anjilslaire 2010/10/13 at 1:59 PM

    Agreed with most comments above Ubuntu has had the ability to boot/install from usb for a couple of years now.

    Step 2: Burn your CD or create a USB drive

  8. 8 totalizator 2010/10/13 at 4:57 PM

    There is a wonderful tool for that, called Multiboot. You can make almost every ISO bootable in a matter of seconds just by drag&drop. What is more interesting there is GRUB involved and you can have as many distros as you want on the same pendrive. Check this out: http://www.webupd8.org/2010/03/how-to-create-multiboot-liveusb-using.html

  9. 9 peterix 2010/11/10 at 5:09 AM

    My solution:
    Get virtualbox and the ubuntu iso.
    Plug in an USB drive, blast everything on it with gparted.
    Make a vbox profile for the iso, add a filter for the USB drive.
    Boot the iso.
    Make bootable ubuntu drive without having to exit your real OS (arch in this case).

  10. 10 Tom 2010/12/07 at 6:50 PM


    System->Administration->Startup disk creator

    Works to boot from USB with any standard image works for years already. Simple and fast.

  11. 11 Merula 2011/02/28 at 2:05 PM

    The stupid part is, if you’re not using Ubuntu, their ISOs aren’t like every *other* distro released: you can’t just dd the ISO to a drive and be ready to go.

    While it’s been possible to create a USB disk “for years,” it’s a stupid PITA for anyone who isn’t using Ubuntu already. It’s an arrogant move by Canonical/Ubuntu and I don’t see them pulling their heads out of their rears to fix it any time soon.

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