Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

This question already has an answer here:

I want to run Ubuntu from a USB stick. Not the installer. The actual OS. I want to be able to run Ubuntu at home with my drive then go to my friend's and start it up there and have all my files saved. Kind of like a portable computer. I have a Mac and a Sandisk 16 GB drive. I really want to do this. Thanks

share|improve this question

marked as duplicate by Takkat, Mitch, Nathan Osman, bcbc, Seth Apr 29 '13 at 0:45

This question was marked as an exact duplicate of an existing question.

There is no difference between the installation media and live media for Ubuntu. Just download the Ubuntu ISO and make a bootable USB disk with Unetbootin. You can enable persistence which is essentially a way to keep your saved changes (like software installed, documents, etc). – csnate Apr 28 '13 at 16:57

All you have to do is create another liveUSB, not the one where you want to install it.

Boot from it while having the other one connected as well. Once in the live desktop environment open Disks and check the path of the drive you want Ubuntu on (/dev/sdb for example).

Launch the installation and then make sure you select the something else option.

Choose the correct drive where to install and create the partition table you wish. I suggest three partitions:

  1. Ubuntu
  2. Swap
  3. Fat partition for documents (to share with Windows)

You may opt not to have this third one if you do not need to share files.

When you're asked for the installation of the bootloader, make sure you select /dev/sd?, where ? is your installation media.

That's it.

share|improve this answer
The FAT32 partition should be the first partition as Windows can only see the first partition on a flash drive. – C.S.Cameron Apr 30 '13 at 15:58

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