Ubuntu on USB Drives: Page 2

If you're on Windows or a Mac and would like to give Ubuntu a try, follow these steps to install Ubuntu on a USB drive.
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For Current Ubuntu Users

If you have an existing Ubuntu installation and you wish to install Ubuntu from USB onto another PC, this guide is for you.

  • From the Unity Dash, search for Startup Disk Creator. By default, it should be installed already. If it's not, search for it from the Software Center and install it from there.
  • Download a copy of Ubuntu via the instructions given previously, choosing the ISO image that best suits your needs.
  • With the Startup Disk Creator installed, run the program and browse to the ISO you wish to use and choose Make Startup Disk.

Considerations: You can choose either to leave persistent space on the flash drive for user settings or not, depending on how you wish to proceed.

Forget Flash Drives Altogether

If you don't have a DVD drive on your computer, you do also have other options for installing Ubuntu other than a USB flash drive. One option I've used over the years is an external DVD drive that attaches via USB. It works out of the box on Ubuntu, Windows and OS X. Unlike installing Ubuntu via a USB flash drive, there is nothing to setup, just burn the ISO image to a DVD and install.

Another option is commonly known as a network installation, but it's not for the faint of heart. You can follow this Ubuntu network installation guide if you wish to explore using a network installation instead of trying to install Ubuntu from a USB flash drive.

Final Thoughts

Installing Ubuntu is brain-dead easy these days. Whether it's using Ubuntu 64bit for UEFI-enabled PCs or simply running Ubuntu within the confines of a USB flash drive, Ubuntu is accessible just about everywhere.

My advice if you're new to Ubuntu is to try it first via a USB flash drive to see if it's something that works for you. If it's working for you, great, then you can easily install it straight away. If it's not working for you, but you'd still like to keep it around, relying on the USB flash drive is a great way to keep Ubuntu accessible without touching your existing OS installation.

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Tags: Flash, open source, Linux, Windows, Ubuntu, Mac, OS X, USB drive

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