Take the 2-minute tour ×
Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have a chromebook series 5. I want to install Ubuntu onto a USB stick. When I downloaded Ubuntu onto my USB stick, it won't start up.

Do I first have to download Ubuntu onto my chromebook hard drive, open Ubuntu and then make USB stick bootable? And then return back to chrome?

Or is there a way to download directly onto USB and make the stick bootable?

I appreciate any help.

share|improve this question
    
You have to write the downloaded image to a USB stick in a special way to make it bootable. Just downloading is not enough. Not sure if Chromebooks have the needed tools to do it. Probably not, as they are supposed to web-centric, browser-based machines. –  mikewhatever Apr 6 '13 at 4:57
    
@mikewhatever Actually, they're Linux-based, once you figure out how to access the Shell, you have access to fdisk, dd, and the whole crew! (yes, even sudo. :) –  JamesTheAwesomeDude Apr 6 '13 at 5:07
1  
Hey, if my answer solved your problem, be sure to Accept it by clicking the green checkmark to the left of the answer. –  JamesTheAwesomeDude Apr 22 '13 at 21:43

1 Answer 1

How did you make the USB stick? Did you use UNetBootin? There's supposed to be something you can do with fdisk, but I'm too lazy to talk about that right now. (Don't worry, there's like a 90% chance someone else will add an answer detailing that method.)

I'd recommend this alternative method - it's a little more "hacker-ish" (you're basically tricking your computer into thinking the USB stick is a CD-ROM,) but it's the simplest method ever to make your bootable USB drive.

Okay, first off, we're going to enter Crosh - ChrOme SHell is what I think it stands for. Anyway, it's basically useless, except to open up the "real" Shell.
Press CTRL-ALT-T to open it up, then type shell and press Enter. You'll now be presented with a $ with (maybe) some text before it. If you see this, congrats. You're in. If not, reread the instructions and try again.

Once you've gotten the Shell open, type cd Downloads (assuming you saved the ISO to your Downloads folder.)
Now, we need to figure out what Device your USB stick is. It's usually /dev/sdb, if it's your computer's only USB stick plugged in, but it you're nervous, type fdisk -l - it'll reply with a bunch of tech stuff. Upload it to Pastebin, then post the link as a comment below my post.

(NOTE: THE FOLLOWING COMMAND WILL WIPE ANYTHING CURRENTLY ON THE USB DRIVE. IF YOU HAVE ANYTHING VALUABLE ON IT, PLEASE REMOVE IT BEFORE CONTINUING.)
Once you've figure out what your USB drive is, type:

dd if=ubuntu-12.*-desktop*.iso of=/dev/sdb

(except, edit the *'s to complete the filename.)
This will "burn" the Ubuntu disk image to your USB stick, as if it were a CD. In fact, it basically turns the USB stick into a CD, albeit one that runs significantly faster than your average optical drive.

When it's finished, reboot your computer and spam F12 while it's booting up - it should ask you what you want to boot from. Choose USB CD-ROM or something similar. Ta-da, you have just booted from the USB stick! If that didn't work, reboot and try a different F# key or perhaps a different boot device. There's not really much to screw up here, unless you enter the BIOS settings and break something (but that's highly unlikely. ;)

Just remember that after you have done this to the USB stick, you can't use it as a USB stick until you reformat it. Normal Windows utilities can't do this, use something like Gparted instead. Create a new partition table (if it asks, use msdos,) and then create a new partition with the Type as FAT32.

share|improve this answer
    
JamesTheAwesomeDude, your instructions are good except for some little things. In order to get to your downloads you can't just type cd Downloads its cd /home/user/*/Downloads without * *. Once in that directory, all you have to do it type NAMES The 1st USB drive plugged into an x86 Chromebook will be /dev/sdb The 1st SD Card plugged into an x86 Chromebook will be /dev/mmcblk0 The 1st USB drive plugged into an ARM Chromebook will be /dev/sda The 1st SD Card plugged into an ARM Chromebook will be /dev/mmcblk1 sudo dd if=put your os name here.iso of=dev/name of your usb bs=4 for example, (fo –  user164960 Jun 6 '13 at 13:21
    
@user164960 Under most circumstances, a terminal will begin in $HOME. The chance that the shell would start out in a different directory is so low as to be negligible and may be disregarded. –  JamesTheAwesomeDude Dec 17 at 16:39

protected by Community Oct 1 '13 at 7:20

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality answers, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site.

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.