Installing Ubuntu 9.10 from a USB Stick

Linux distributions tend to come as ISO images – files which are images of CDs/DVDs. I’ve always burned the images to a disk to install, but I’ve been meaning to try setting up a bootable USB stick instead.

Better for the environment, right? More importantly, I never seem to have a blank CD knocking about when I decide to do an install.

I expected some hassle, but it turns out to be trivial if you’re already on a Ubuntu machine, so long as your BIOS supports booting from USB devices. So…

  • Check the computer you want to install into supports booting from USB; if it doesn’t I guess you’re stuck with the CD option
  • Slap a USB stick with 2GB space or more in a slot on another Ubuntu machine (make sure there’s nothing on the stick you’ll miss if it gets lost!)
  • Start up usb-creator from the command line (just type usb-creator, or sudo apt-get it if it’s not installed)
  • Choose the .iso in the usb-creator utility
  • Choose the target USB device
  • Wait while files are copied and stuff
  • Pull out the USB stick when it’s ready, plug it into your target machine and reboot.

The familiar installer screens should start up.

More details here.


Author: brabster

Software developer in the North of England

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