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If I have 100 computers and I want to install Ubuntu Linux can I put the flash drive into the first computer install Ubuntu Linux and pop it out put it in the next computer install Ubuntu Linux and so on or wipe and recreate the bootable flash drive?

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there is no limit on the number of times you use the same usb drive, as long is it's working you can use it. Just 'pop it out' after the installation process is finished. – enzo Jan 6 at 17:59
So I can use over and over forever – Henry WH Hack v2.0 Jan 6 at 18:00
Yes definitely, There are no limits – enzo Jan 6 at 18:02
If you want to install on 100 computers all at once, you might want to look into cloning (if they are all identical) or FAI (if they are not). – 200_success Jan 6 at 20:04
Consider setting up a PXEboot server with a Kickstarter file. This may take you the best part of a day, but installing Ubuntu manually 100 times will take at least 100 * 1 hours or about three working weeks... – Boris the Spider Jan 6 at 23:30
up vote 13 down vote accepted

You can use the flash drive to install as many computers as you want. You don't need to wipe and recreate it.

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… until your USB drive falls apart. ;-) – David Foerster Jan 6 at 18:05
Note that the flash drive needs to be present until the core system is installed ("Remove media and press enter"). That may be longer than is comfortable - then look into setting up a PXE boot server. – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Jan 6 at 20:45
@ThorbjørnRavnAndersen That can be avoided by changing the bootloader configuration adding a toram argument to the command line. (I have the following in my grub.cfg to allow me to boot a live system that runs entirely in memory: linux (hd1,4)/live/ubuntu/14.04.3/vmlinuz.efi file=/cdrom/preseed/ubuntu.seed boot=casper iso-scan/filename=/live/ubuntu/14.04.3/ubuntu-14.04.3-desktop-amd64.iso toram initrd (hd1,4)/live/ubuntu/14.04.3/initrd.lz) – kasperd Jan 7 at 1:49
This looks like something that may be outside most users comfort zone to set properly up (not that PXE booting is much better). – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Jan 7 at 3:30

The point is that Ubuntu, like all forms of Linux, is free*, and so there are no restrictions on the number of times you may install it using whatever medium you like. Therefore, until your flash drive falls apart, from extended use, max # of read/write cycles exceeded, etc., you may keep installing Ubuntu and reinstalling it to your heart's content.

*Insert appropriate interpretation of "free" here, or whatever.

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"Free" is irrelevant to this. An installer may modify essential files on the USB-drive, free or not. The Ubuntu installer - to my knowledge - doesn't. – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Jan 6 at 20:46

You can use it as many times as you wish, there is no limit on how many times you can use the bootable USB to flash Ubuntu.

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As has been pointed out by several answers, the flash drive won't wear out or run out of reads (for this application). However, one comment suggested that each install could take an hour or more. You may wish to consider buying a dozen flash drives and install systems in parallel. Rather get it done in a day than a week, unless you need the job security.

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