Ubuntu 10.04 Desktop i386 bootable USB image

Clonezilla does it. Arch Linux does it. A lot of other distros do it. But Ubuntu still doesn’t offer an image you can flash to a USB hard drive to make a clean installation with.

It’s true, there is a Startup Disk Creator tool that will write out an Ubuntu system to a USB connection, but you still have to get Ubuntu running to get to that point. For example, in my case I downloaded the ISO, burned it to a CDRW, booted into a live system, and then I could access the disk creator.

unetbootin is an option — and really, it’s more than just an option. That’s a fantastic program and good to have on hand no matter what system you’re using. With that you can usually spit any ISO onto a USB drive and it will start up like a CDROM. Usually.

But what would be nice is if some kind soul made a bootable USB drive, wrote out the image to a file with dd, and uploaded it. Then everyone could share in the quick download and dd it to a drive and just boot. …

Why is everybody looking at me? 😯

Okay, here is the Ubuntu 10.04 desktop ISO for i386, flashed out to a 1Gb USB drive with the Startup Disk Creator, and written back with dd. The image has been tested on my end, but of course that’s no guarantee it’ll work as planned. But there are no customizations in place, no freaky wallpaper or third-party repositories.

Write this to a USB drive by inserting the USB stick, then checking the drive assignment with fdisk -l. Once you know the drive label, you can type

dd if=ubuntu-10.04-desktop-i386.img of=/dev/sdX

Make sure you change the X to the letter for your USB drive. And remember that anything you have on that drive is going to be overwritten. Permanently. Forever. The end.

I might be able to do this for the x86_64 architecture too, but I won’t be able to test the results, since I don’t have a machine that will boot the stick after it is written. If you decide to do the same thing and share it, please test and tell us where to get it. Cheers, all.

P.S.: Thanks to markp1989 for reminding me of this.

15 thoughts on “Ubuntu 10.04 Desktop i386 bootable USB image

  1. foo

    Ubuntu (like Debian) offers hd-media images that you can use to create bootable usb sticks that run the installer. You’re looking for the boot.img.gz from
    which comes with syslinux and creates a 256MB single partition on your device. Just zcat it to your usb device and place a copy of the netinstall CD on the device as well.

    As always, you can find more information on the process in the official installation manual.


  2. fuxter

    you know what? among all the other ubuntu images i seed yours is having the highest speed and ratio!
    that should say something =)

  3. Pingback: Links 3/5/2010: Lubuntu 10.04 Released; Peppermint OS Reviewed | Techrights

  4. binhng

    Hi K.Mandla,

    How to use that nice SyntaxHighlighter like in your post with a free wordpress account. Or this is only possible with a paid one?

  5. Pingback: Thinking things through: dd over USB1.1 « Motho ke motho ka botho

  6. guy

    looking for a distro the will run on a gateway pent II 350
    puppy and AntiX would not install. BeOs looks like it is…
    196 ram 6 gig HD.

  7. fbsduser

    I got a x86-64 box. If you make the usb image and upload it somewhere (my u/l bandwidth is a joke, and my ISP have the BT ports closed) I’ll test it out for you.

  8. Pingback: Ubuntu 11.04 Desktop i386 bootable USB image « Motho ke motho ka botho

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