How to Install Ubuntu From USB?

15 minutes read

To install Ubuntu from a USB drive, follow these steps:

  1. Download the latest version of Ubuntu: Go to the official Ubuntu website and download the ISO file of the version you want to install.
  2. Create a bootable USB drive: Insert a USB drive into your computer and make sure it's at least 4GB in size. Use a tool like Rufus (for Windows) or Etcher (for macOS and Linux) to create a bootable USB drive from the downloaded ISO file.
  3. Boot from the USB drive: Restart your computer and enter the BIOS or UEFI settings by pressing a specific key (such as F2, F12, or DEL) during the boot process. Inside the BIOS/UEFI settings, change the boot priority to boot from the USB drive.
  4. Start the Ubuntu installation: Once you boot from the USB drive, you will see the Ubuntu installation screen. Select your language and click "Install Ubuntu" to begin the installation process.
  5. Prepare the installation: During the installation process, you will be prompted to choose various options like keyboard layout, updates, and installation type. Follow the on-screen instructions to select your preferences.
  6. Partitioning the disk: You will be asked to choose the disk partitioning method. If you are unsure, select the "Erase disk and install Ubuntu" option, which will use the entire disk for the installation.
  7. Create a user: Set up your username, password, and computer name. This will be used for logging into your Ubuntu system.
  8. Install Ubuntu: Click "Install" to start the installation process. Ubuntu will now be installed on your computer.
  9. Complete the installation: When the installation process is finished, you will see a prompt to restart your computer. Remove the USB drive and restart your system.
  10. Welcome to Ubuntu: After restarting, your computer should boot into Ubuntu. Follow the on-screen instructions to set up your preferences and start using Ubuntu.

Remember to backup any important files before installing Ubuntu, as the installation process may overwrite existing data.

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What are the advantages and disadvantages of installing Ubuntu from USB compared to other methods?


  1. Portability: Installing Ubuntu from a USB drive allows you to carry the installer with you wherever you go. You can easily install Ubuntu on multiple computers without the need for a CD or DVD.
  2. Speed: Installing from a USB drive is generally faster than installing from a CD/DVD. USB drives have faster read and write speeds, which can significantly reduce the installation time.
  3. Easy updates: Ubuntu and other Linux distributions frequently release updates. With a USB installer, you can easily update your system by creating a new bootable USB drive with the latest version.
  4. Flexibility: USB drives offer more storage capacity than CDs or DVDs, allowing you to include additional software, drivers, or personal files on the USB installer.


  1. USB compatibility: Some older computers or devices may not support booting from USB drives. This can restrict your ability to install Ubuntu on such systems.
  2. USB drive reliability: USB drives can often be more prone to failure or corruption compared to CDs or DVDs. If your USB drive becomes corrupted during the installation process, it could result in a failed or incomplete installation.
  3. USB drive compatibility: Not all USB drives are compatible with all systems. Some computers may have issues recognizing or booting from certain USB drives, potentially causing installation problems.
  4. Technical knowledge: Installing Ubuntu from a USB drive may require some technical knowledge, especially if you need to configure your computer's BIOS settings to enable booting from USB. This can be daunting for novice users.

How long does it usually take to install Ubuntu from USB?

The time it takes to install Ubuntu from a USB can vary depending on various factors, including the speed of your computer and the version of Ubuntu you are installing. On average, it can take between 20 minutes to an hour.

How do I create a bootable USB drive for Ubuntu installation?

To create a bootable USB drive for Ubuntu installation, follow these steps:

  1. Get an empty USB flash drive with a minimum capacity of 4GB.
  2. Download the Ubuntu ISO file from the official Ubuntu website. Choose the version suitable for your system (32-bit or 64-bit).
  3. Insert the USB drive into your computer.
  4. Download and install a software called Rufus. It is a free and open-source tool widely used for creating bootable USB drives. You can download it from the official website:
  5. Launch Rufus and select your USB drive from the "Device" dropdown menu.
  6. Under the "Boot selection" section, click on the "Select" button and browse for the Ubuntu ISO file you downloaded earlier.
  7. Leave the other settings as their default values, unless you know what you're doing and need to modify them.
  8. Double-check that your USB drive and ISO file have been selected correctly.
  9. Click on the "Start" button to begin the process. Be aware that all data on your USB drive will be erased during this process, so make sure to back up any important files.
  10. Rufus will now format the USB drive and copy the Ubuntu ISO contents onto it. This may take a few minutes.
  11. Once the process is complete, close Rufus and safely eject the USB drive from your computer.

Your bootable USB drive for Ubuntu installation is now ready. You can use it to install or try out Ubuntu on any compatible computer by booting from the USB drive.

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Do I need an internet connection for Ubuntu installation?

Yes, an active internet connection is required for the standard Ubuntu installation process. This is because during the installation, Ubuntu retrieves the latest updates and packages from the internet to ensure that you have the most up-to-date version of the operating system and software. However, there are ways to install Ubuntu offline using alternative methods like the Ubuntu Server installer or creating a customized installation USB with pre-downloaded packages.

Are there any specific precautions I should take during Ubuntu installation from USB?

Yes, there are a few precautions you can take during Ubuntu installation from a USB drive to ensure a smooth process:

  1. Backup your data: Before installing any operating system, it's always a good practice to backup your important data. While the installation process is usually safe, errors can occur, and having a backup will safeguard your data.
  2. Verify the USB drive integrity: Ensure that the Ubuntu ISO file you downloaded and the USB drive you plan to use for installation are error-free. Ubuntu provides an official method to verify the integrity of the ISO file and creating a bootable USB drive using tools like "md5sum" or "sha256sum" and "dd" or "Rufus" (for Windows users).
  3. Disable Secure Boot: If your computer has Secure Boot enabled, you may need to disable it in the BIOS settings before installing Ubuntu. Secure Boot is designed to prevent the installation of unauthorized operating systems, so disabling it allows you to install Ubuntu without any issues.
  4. Check your system requirements: Make sure that your computer meets the minimum system requirements for Ubuntu installation. This includes having enough disk space, RAM, and a compatible processor.
  5. Choose the correct installation options: During the installation process, pay attention to the options presented, such as partitioning your disk. It's recommended to choose the default options if you're unsure, or follow a guide if you have specific requirements.
  6. Stay connected to a power source: To prevent any interruption during the installation process, make sure your laptop or computer is connected to a power source. This ensures that your system doesn't run out of battery power and potentially cause issues during installation.

Following these precautions will help ensure a smooth and successful Ubuntu installation from a USB drive.

What is a partition and why do I need it for Ubuntu installation?

A partition is a logical section on a hard drive that is utilized to divide the storage space into separate areas. Each partition can be formatted with a different file system, which determines how data is organized and stored.

For Ubuntu installation, you need a partition to allocate and organize the storage space on your hard drive. Ubuntu requires its own partition to be installed, as it uses a different file system (usually ext4) than other operating systems like Windows (NTFS) or macOS (HFS+).

The partition allows the Ubuntu operating system to have isolated storage space, maintaining its own file system structure and data. This separation ensures that Ubuntu can be installed, booted, and run without interfering with other installed operating systems on your computer.

Additionally, partitioning allows you to have multiple operating systems on a single hard drive, enabling you to dual-boot or multi-boot your system, switching between different operating systems as needed. Each operating system can have its separate partition, ensuring data integrity and isolation.

Can I dual boot Ubuntu with macOS?

Yes, it is possible to dual boot Ubuntu with macOS on a Mac computer. Dual booting involves installing both operating systems on separate partitions of your hard drive and choosing which one to boot into at startup.

Before proceeding, it's important to backup all your data and create a recovery plan in case anything goes wrong during the installation process.

Here are the general steps to dual boot Ubuntu with macOS:

  1. Prepare the installation media: Download the disk image for Ubuntu from the official website and create a bootable USB drive using tools like UNetbootin or Etcher.
  2. Partition your hard drive: Use the Disk Utility tool in macOS to resize the existing partition and create a new one for Ubuntu. Make sure you leave enough space for the Ubuntu installation.
  3. Disable protected mode: Disable the System Integrity Protection (SIP) on macOS. This step is necessary to allow the installation of Ubuntu.
  4. Boot into the Ubuntu installer: Restart your Mac and hold the Option (⌥) key while it boots up. Select the Ubuntu installation media (USB drive) from the boot menu.
  5. Install Ubuntu: Follow the on-screen instructions to install Ubuntu on the newly created partition. Choose "Something else" when prompted for the installation type and manually select the partition you created for Ubuntu.
  6. Install the bootloader: During the Ubuntu installation, make sure to install the GRUB bootloader to the same partition where Ubuntu is installed. This will allow you to choose between macOS and Ubuntu at startup.
  7. Configure the bootloader: After the installation completes, restart your computer. Press and hold the Option (⌥) key while the Mac is booting to access the boot menu, then select the Ubuntu partition and complete the initial setup.
  8. Set the default boot option: To set Ubuntu as the default boot option, you can use the Startup Disk preferences in macOS. Go to System Preferences > Startup Disk, select the Ubuntu partition, and click Restart.

Now, whenever you restart your Mac, you will have the option to choose between macOS and Ubuntu.

How much free disk space do I need for Ubuntu installation?

The official minimum system requirements for Ubuntu installation state that you need at least 25 GB of free disk space. However, it is recommended to have a larger disk capacity, around 50 GB or more, to allow for updates, installations of additional software, and space for personal files.

How do I create a backup of my existing data before installing Ubuntu?

To create a backup of your existing data before installing Ubuntu, you can follow these steps:

  1. External Storage: Obtain an external storage device such as a USB flash drive, external hard drive, or network storage for storing your backup.
  2. Identify Important Data: Identify and locate the important data on your current system that you want to back up. This can include personal files, documents, photos, videos, bookmarks, and any other data you want to keep.
  3. Copy Files: Copy the identified data to the external storage device. Depending on the amount of data, you can either manually copy and paste the files/folders or use software for automated backup.
  4. Using Software: To make the process more efficient, you can make use of specialized backup tools like rsync (command-line utility) or backup software such as Clonezilla, Back in Time, or Deja Dup (pre-installed in Ubuntu).
  5. Verify Backup: Double-check your backup to ensure that all the necessary files and folders have been successfully copied and are accessible. This helps avoid any unexpected data losses.

Once you have successfully created a backup and verified it, you can proceed with your Ubuntu installation. Remember to safely store the backup in a separate location to ensure it remains secure.

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