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How do I make an Bootable Ubuntu USB? Containing the the latest version of Ubuntu?

For completeness, how would I be able to do this on Ubuntu, Windows, OS X or another Linux distro?

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5 Answers 5

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This flowchart shows how to make a bootable USB for installing Ubuntu and troubleshoot problems booting Ubuntu from it.

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Flowchart link

How to create a bootable USB stick on Windows

How to make an Ubuntu USB on Ubuntu using Startup Disk Creator

Ubuntu has a built-in application for creating a bootable Ubuntu live USB for installing Ubuntu called Startup Disk Creator. Search the Dash for Startup Disk Creator and click the Startup Disk Creator icon to open the Make Startup Disk window.

The USB flash drive that you use with Startup Disk Creator should be 1GB or larger (2GB or larger starting with Ubuntu 14.04 and onward). Startup Disk Creator will automatically format your USB flash drive to FAT32 and make it bootable. If you have only one USB flash drive plugged in to your computer, Startup Disk Creator will select it automatically. Be very careful to select the USB flash drive in the Make Startup Disk window in order to avoid overwriting the partition which Ubuntu is installed on, which may make Ubuntu unbootable. In the screenshot below you can see how the USB flash drive Device is identified by its model name, the same model name that appears under the Drive heading after Model: in the Disks (disk utility) application.

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You can also move the Stored in reserved extra space slider back and forth to create some reserved extra space for persistent file storage across reboots.

How to make an Ubuntu Minimal USB on Ubuntu using dd

  1. Download the Ubuntu Mini CD iso file from the link on the Ubuntu Documentation Installation Minimal CD webpage. Download the file called mini.iso to your Downloads folder. You can download the mini.iso file to wherever on your computer that you want, but download it to your Downloads folder so that you can easily run the commands in the following steps without changing anything.

  2. Verify the md5 checksum of the Ubuntu mini CD iso file that you downloaded by running these commands:

    cd ~/Downloads/
    md5sum 'mini.iso'
  3. Check that the results of the command match the MD5 checksum of the mini.iso file on the Ubuntu Documentation Installation Minimal CD webpage.

  4. Get a USB flash drive, 1GB or larger. Delete all the files from the USB flash drive. Mount the flash drive using the Disks disk utility.

  5. Check in the Disks disk utility to find out the device name of your USB flash drive. This is very important because if you use the wrong device name in step 6, you will overwrite your whole operating system instead of writing to the USB flash drive. So check the USB flash drive device name twice. It should be something like /dev/sd* where instead of the * character there is a lower case letter like a, b, c, etc. In the following step I am assuming that the device name is /dev/sdc, but the device name of your USB drive could be something else like /dev/sda or /dev/sdb so check the device name of your USB drive twice and make sure that you get it right in step 6!

  6. Open the terminal and run the following commands:

    cd ~/Downloads/  
    sudo su  
    dd if='mini.iso' of=/dev/sdc bs=4096  ## make sure that the device name of your USB drive is correct!

    The dd if='mini.iso' of=/dev/sdc bs=4096 command should take only a few seconds to complete on most computers because the mini.iso is a small file, less than 40MB. The result of running this command will be a bootable Ubuntu mini USB.

  7. Boot the computer from the Ubuntu mini live USB. The Ubuntu mini live USB should boot successfully and show a menu screen.

  8. Select the Install option (not the commandline install, the complete install) from the menu screen in Step 7.

  9. The Ubuntu installer will start installing Ubuntu, and it will prompt you when you need to make a selection or type information about your Ubuntu installation.

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But it only works on Ubuntu Base Distro/ Ubuntu itshelf. – MathCubes Apr 21 '14 at 6:48
That's right, whereas UNetbootin is cross-platform, but the Startup Disk Creator has one nice feature that UNetbootin doesn't have. Startup Disk Creator identifies the USB drive by its model name rather than by a cryptic looking device name like /dev/sdb1. This gives the user added protection against overwriting the operating system because of accidentally formatting the wrong drive. – karel Apr 21 '14 at 6:55
I had problems with Unetbootin before like not installing the bootloader... ect. – MathCubes Apr 21 '14 at 6:58
dd for windows Usage: dd [bs=SIZE[SUFFIX]] [count=BLOCKS[SUFFIX]] if=FILE of=FILE [seek=BLOCKS[SUFFIX]] [skip=BLOCKS[SUFFIX]] [--size] [--list] [--progress] where FILE in if=FILE of=FILE has the same syntax as file locations do in the Windows commandline (cmd.exe). – karel Sep 17 at 14:00
Running this wmic command in the Windows cmd.exe window shows all removable drives as follows: wmic logicaldisk where drivetype=2 get deviceid, volumename, description Examples of source path (input file) and target path (output file) syntax in Windows cmd.exe: source path: C:\aaa\bbb\ where C: is hard drive. target path: F:\xxx\yyy\ where F: is USB flash drive which was identified by running wmic command. Examples of dd for windows commands: Visit this link and the examples are under the heading called Examples. – karel Sep 17 at 14:04

You need: a flash drive, a PC/Mac, the ISO file for Ubuntu, which can be obtained here: Here are the instructions for...

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Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference. – Braiam Sep 26 '13 at 12:42

Use Unetbootin.It works in Ubuntu(from Software Center) and Windows(from Unetbootin site) also.Download the iso of Ubuntu you want, download Unetbootin, make it, enjoy it.

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Recent distributions of Ubuntu include the boot info to boot directly from both optical disk and hard media (flash drive, etc.)

You can simply duplicate the content of the iso to the USB device using a linux system you would use the command sudo dd if=my.ubuntu.release.iso of=/dev/sdX where sdX is your flash drive which you can identify with the command sudo fdisk -l

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The way that is worded it sounds like you want to make a program to make a boot-able USB
I suspect you really want to make a boot-able USB with 13.04 on it, I suggest unetbootin

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