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How to Install Ubuntu from USB

Ubuntu is among the most popular OSs out there today. So if you want to give it a try yourself yet don’t possess a DVD burner, don’t panic. You can install Ubuntu from USB as well. This tutorial will describe how. 

Linux Tutorial Jan 18, 22 by Nisal N 6 min Read
How to Install Ubuntu from USB

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Ubuntu is among the most popular OSs out there today. So if you want to give it a try yourself yet don’t possess a DVD burner, don’t panic. You can install Ubuntu from USB as well. This tutorial will describe how. 

How can you install Ubuntu from USB? 

1.   Download Ubuntu

Linux is an open-source project that makes OSs like Ubuntu available to the masses for free. That means you can download Ubuntu without spending any cash right from its official site. Among numerous options, it’s best to choose Ubuntu Desktop. Also, there are two editions of Ubuntu Desktop to pick from. They are – the latest release and the LTS version.

Now, which one should you choose? Well, the former editions get released biannually and get nine months’ support, while the latter gets a release every two years and gets five years’ support. That makes the LTS version ideal for professional settings and the standard edition a fine choice for home use. Click on your preferred edition to download the ISO file with Ubuntu.

2.   Install balenaEtcher (etcher Ubuntu)

You can find numerous software out there designed to create a bootable USB drive in PCs. However, it’s best to utilize a cross-platform program like balenaEtcher. One can download the software on PCs having all major OSs.

Plus, it is open-source and free. The Windows edition provides a portable version, while the Mac one requires installation. And, the Linux version is known as AppImage and needs no installation as well.

3.   Generate installation media 

After installing balenaEtcher, you have to generate the installation USB stick. For this purpose, your PC must have at least 4 GB of storage space. Insert any USB flash drive you want into your PC and then launch balenaEtcher. During the generation process, your USB drive would get a format. So, it’s best to keep a backup before starting the process.

Open balenaEtcher, and you will see a dialogue screen. Here, the first step would be to ‘Select Image’ and go to the place where you saved the Ubuntu and select that. Next, you got to ‘Select target,’ that is, your preferred USB drive. The last stage is where you need to select ‘Flash’ and follow the on-screen prompts to start the process.

Now, the process would be the same for whatever OS you’re using. This will turn the USB into a Live USB Ubuntu OS installer. 

But remember that if you’re on Mac, you got to format the USB drive via Apple’s disk utility before beginning.

Before opening balenaEtcher, go to ‘Applications,’ then ‘Utilities,’ followed by ‘Disk Utility.’ After inserting it, select your USB drive and click ‘Erase.’ Next, set ‘MS-DOS (FAT)’ as the format and ‘GUID Partition Map’ as the scheme. Click on ‘Erase.’ 

4.   Restart into the installation media 

To install Ubuntu from USB, you need to restart your PC to your freshly-made installation media. You simply utilize the BIOS to prioritize the Ubuntu bootable USB drive while booting no matter the platform.

The easiest way for Windows users is to utilize your PC’s BIOS screen for booting from their USB drives. In order to perform this, you might consider modifying the boot order on your computer.

If your present OS is Ubuntu, you may utilize the GRUB boot loader to select the USB drive. For Mac PCs, you need to reboot your device after inserting your USB drive. While the PC is turning on, hold the Option or Alt key. This will launch Apple’s Startup Manager, from where you need to select your Ubuntu USB stick. 

5.   Follow the Ubuntu configuration. 

As the Ubuntu Installer is loaded, you can now install Linux on USB. Simply click ‘Install Ubuntu’ to start. Nonetheless, it’s possible to boot into a live version by clicking on ‘Try Ubuntu.’ This enables you to try the famed Linux distro without installing it. But, in this mode, no data will be saved after shutting down your PC as it’s only for testing the OS out. 

Once you click ‘Install Ubuntu,’ you got to follow what the on-screen prompts say. You will proceed by selecting whether you want Standard or Minimal installation, the preferred location of the installed OS, and whether to download updates or not.

Later, you would also have to choose whether to format your current hard drive or install Ubuntu alongside your existing operating system. If you pick the latter, you also have to pick the space you want to allot to your new OS and whether to generate a fresh partition or not. 

Once the files are successfully copied from your inserted USB drive, the installation process will demand you to create an account. This includes giving a name to your computer and setting a password. After the installation process is finished, the system will ask you to reboot your PC. From there, boot into your freshly installed Ubuntu OS and experience what Linux has to offer.

Bottom line 

As you can see, not having a DVD burner can’t stop you from diving into the amazing world of Linux and Ubuntu. We mean, why should it hinder your progress when you can easily install Ubuntu from USB? Many years back, someone without great tech skills and profound Linux terminal knowledge wouldn’t even think about installing Ubuntu on their PC.

It is possible to install Ubuntu almost effortlessly and painlessly in present times. This enables people to get their PC up and running with a new OS hassle-free, eliminating unnecessary delays. 

We presented you with this write-up with the sole aim to make the process of installing Ubuntu from your USB drive. You would see that the steps to follow are not that hard. But they demand your thorough attention, though.

Otherwise, you may end up doing something wrong, and it might make the whole installation process go south. From downloading Ubuntu to generating the installation USB stick to following the Ubuntu setup – do everything carefully, and you’d have no issues regarding the installation. Good luck!

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Nisal N

Computers has always fascinated me since I was a kid and here we are. I love travelling for 2 reasons: the first one to see a new part of the world and second (the most important one) to experience the rich culture hidden among the country and people. I'm pretty good at cooking but very poor when it comes to baking.

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