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I have a 64GB USB disk.

From the ubuntu official ISO images I would like to know how to create a bootable live USB that uses ext4 instead of iso-9660 fs, squashfs, and casper. Preferably with a seperate /home partiton.

Preferable I would like the USB to be bootable for both the legacy BIOS process and the EFI boot process.

As far as I know BIOS boot requires a MBR to be created and written and EFI boot requires a EFI partition.

So I imagine the final USB block device should have three partions (/home on a partion by itself)

  • EFI partition
  • ext4 partition (for /)
  • ext4 partition (for /home)

So how can I create such a live USB from the downloadable ISO images?

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Full Install to USB - BIOS/UEFI

Mkusb makes a great base for a USB drive able to boot from both BIOS and UEFI, https://help.ubuntu.com/community/mkusb :

  • Use mkusb to make a Live system on the Installer USB, (2GB or larger).

  • Use mkusb to make a Persistent system on the Target USB, (8GB or larger), using default settings with up to 25GB persistence, (remaining NTFS partition is used as Windows accessible data partition).

enter image description here

  • As soon as mkusb finishes, open GParted and delete sdx4, the ISO9660 partition and expand sdx5 into the recovered space, sdx being the device name of the Target drive.

  • Create a extra ext4 partition sdx6 for /home if desired.

enter image description here

  • Unplug or remove HDD before proceeding further, (optional but recommended, highly recommended if it is running in UEFI mode).

  • Boot Installer drive, select Try.

  • Insert Target drive

Start Install Ubuntu...

  • Select "Something else".

  • Select sdx5, (on the target drive), and click Change.

enter image description here

  • Select Use as: ext4, Format and Mount point: /.

Don't touch any other partitions (unless adding a /home partition to sdx6).

  • Select sdx5 as Device for boot loader installation.

  • Complete installation.

  • Cut grub.cfg from sdx5/boot/grub and paste to sdx3/boot/grub, overwriting the existing grub.cfg file.

  • Boot the target drive and run sudo update-grub to add all drives to boot menu.

  • Do not install any propriety drivers, (ie Nvidia), on pre-18.04 installs.

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