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Originally asked on One Hundred Paper Cuts Answers thread

On the official site:

The instructions for creating a bootable USB key for installing Ubuntu Netbook Remix include a line saying:

"Insert a USB stick with at least 2GB of free space"

I recently installed UNR on a netbook -- in fact, the one I'm using right now -- and I went ahead despite only having a 1GB USB key on hand. Everything went smoothly and installed 100% correctly.

If I had waited to go out and buy a 2GB USB key I would have spent that money unnecessarily and wouldn't have been able to use the computer in the meantime.

I was wondering if there's a specific rationale for requiring a 2GB USB key, or if the instructions could be changed to indicate that it can be done with only 1GB.


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Well how big was the "installed" ubuntu on the usb-stick? But it sounds a bit strange to me too. – Alvar Mar 16 '11 at 16:28
up vote 4 down vote accepted

The specific requirements for a 2GB stick is so you can install a persistent file to the USB disk so that if you require a certain package on the LiveUSB, you will have more than enough space.

The persistent filesystem for the disk requires at least (from the experiences I've had) 500MB to efficiently operate (see the below section titled "EDIT" for details on this number). That is the reason for the 2GB USB stick requirement.

The source for this information was testing I've done in the past. I have 1GB, 2GB, and 8GB sticks here, and making the bootable USB disc through the USB Startup Creator tool in 10.04, the persistent filesystem does not effectively operate at the 1GB level, works fairly well at the 2GB level, and works great at the 8GB level.

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I think they have the 2gig thing for if you are not only installing Ubuntu on a computer but to use it on other computers just temporarily. The 2gig could be a minimum recommendation for saving files to the flash drive.

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The UNR iso is under 700 meg so I would imagine it will fit on a 1GB stick, but don't quote me on that ;)

I seem to remember using a black 1GB stick I have for doing same with an older version of UNR, but of course requirements may have changed since then.

I would recommend trying it. As my lecturer used to say "you have to think about the edges of these things". Sometimes the only way to know is to try it.

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You will have to make sure you meet the requirements to create the live USB stick of Ubuntu.

  • Ubuntu CD or iso
  • 1GB USB Stick (1GB, at least!)
  • Internet connection
  • “Boot from USB” option in the BIOS (on the computer where you want to install Ubuntu)
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