I have burned the ubuntu .iso to a USB with Balena etcher and installed Ubuntu to a new SSD with the USB installer.

Now that I have an Ubuntu machine. Is it possible to install to a new SSD from the Ubuntu, without the USB stick? It would be nice not to have to burn a USB stick and be able to outfit a new SSD from an OS (Mac, Windows, or Ubuntu) with an Ubuntu install .iso

  • It is possible but tricky to copy the iso to an existing filesystem or new partition on the old or new ssd and boot it. Or, if you are switching ssds but can connect them both at once during the install, you can clone the old one to the new one and expand it.
    – user10489
    Mar 12, 2023 at 18:34
  • 2
    Sure it's possible. Here's an example of how to do it in Debian: debian.org/releases/stretch/amd64/apds03.html.en The same basic procedure should work in Ubuntu. It's the way Debian-based systems were installed two decades ago. It's tedious and prone to user error, which is why Debian invented installer .iso images to replace this method. Note that while possible, and perhaps fun for an afternoon of experimentation, this is not a method that we provide support for. You are on your own.
    – user535733
    Mar 12, 2023 at 19:15

1 Answer 1


Install Ubuntu without USB stick or DVD

For a UEFI bootable computer

  • Use GParted to create FAT32 partition 5GB or larger.

  • Copy/Paste contents of ISO file to new partition.

  • Reboot pressing F12 and select the UEFI Ubuntu partition.

  • Proceed to Ubuntu Installation.

For a BIOS bootable computer

Add the following menuentry to /etc/grub.d/40_custom:

menuentry "isoname ISO" {
  set root=(hdX,Y)
  set isofile="/[path]/[isoname].iso"
      loopback loop $isofile
      linux (loop)/casper/vmlinuz boot=casper iso-scan/filename=$isofile toram --
      initrd (loop)/casper/initrd

Where (hdX,Y) is the disk and partition the ISO is on, [path] is the path to the folder the ISO file is in, and [isoname] is the name of the ISO

In Terminal run:

sudo update-grub

Reboot and select Ubuntu from the grub menu. Install as usual.

  • This answer may be missing information; creating a FAT32 partition with the ISO contents on it, and rebooting into UEFI, the new partition does not show up in the boot menu.
    – Phrogz
    Jan 30 at 23:18

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .