Installing Ubuntu from a USB memory stick
Installing Ubuntu is easy – especially if you do it from a memory stick.
Read our indepth guide to installing Ubuntu to decide which version of the open-source operating system to install – desktop or netbook, 32-bit or 64-bit – and then follow the instructions in our step-by-step guide below to do it directly from a USB stick.
To install Ubuntu from a USB memory stick, you’ll need three things: the ISO file for your version of choice, the Universal USB Installer program and a 2GB USB flash drive. You can find the ISO on this month’s DVD, and the USB Installer from www.pendrivelinux.com.
Run the USB installer
Run the Universal USB Installer. Select your version of Ubuntu from the first dropdown menu, navigate to your ISO file in the textbox, then select your USB drive from the second dropdown menu. Check the box if you need to format the drive, then click Create. Hey presto, one bootable USB stick.
Boot from USB
First, check that the BIOS of your would-be Ubuntu system is set up to boot from a USB drive (check the manual for details if need be). Now insert the USB stick and restart your PC. It should load the Ubuntu installer. Click the Install Ubuntu button and tick the two boxes on the next page before clicking Forward.
In this case, we want to install Ubuntu alongside the existing Windows installation, so choose “Install alongside other operating systems”. If you’re happy to wipe the drive and start again, pick the second option, “Erase and use the entire disk”.
This screen shows your existing partitions and how they’ll be divided up after the installation. To change the share for either Ubuntu or Windows, just drag the dividing line to the left or right. As a rule of thumb, we recommend giving Ubuntu at least 20GB of space. Click Install Now when you’re ready.
While Ubuntu installs, you can select your location, your keyboard layout and finally enter your details as the initial user. When it’s finished installing, Ubuntu will restart, and you can log in and explore.