I would like to use Ubuntu from a pendrive, but I read that it works like a live cd. I would like it to keep my files and new packages I install.

Is there a way to install Ubuntu on the pendrive as if it were in an HD?

  • Its very simple...start the installation as usual...and when you are asked to select the drive/partition,you will see the pendrive under "sdb" or "sdc"...select it and install! :) – Nirmik Jul 27 '12 at 18:33


1.Boot LiveCD from cd,dvd or another pendrive.

2.Insert empty pendrive.

3.Install Ubuntu on empty pendrive.

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    I think this is even better: wiki.ubuntu.com/LiveUsbPendrivePersistent – zuberuber Jul 27 '12 at 18:20
  • I'm afraid that when installing in the pendrive it can install grub in my HD. Will this happen? If yes, how can I avoid it? – The Student Jul 27 '12 at 20:31
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    In installation(must be custom) in partitioning window on bottom there should be something like where install MBR(i do not remember exactly what it says). U must select Your pendrive. – zuberuber Jul 27 '12 at 23:08
  • What option should I use in the Use as: section? – josh Aug 4 '16 at 16:21

Based on what @zuberuber says you can even install it on SD Card. With the proper adaptor or natively on sd card embedded laptops. This is how I am writting this: Installed in a 16GB SDCard with 10.5GB Free.

Anyway I suggest you to disconnect all your hard disk drives in your computer, specially those which are having a OS installed (Windows, Linux, etc.) as you may finish having a multi-boot USB/SD Memory with GRUB and in certain cases the bootloader can be written in a different device, other than the USB Memory/SD Card.

Good luck!


Yes, the Startup Disk Creator that comes pre-installed in ubuntu (usb-creator-gtk) allows a persistent option while creating a live-usb install.


Increase the space to whatever you find reasonable. Persistence gives you the freedom to save changes, in the form of settings or files etc, during the live session and the changes are available the next time you boot via the usb drive.

usb-creator limits your live persistent partition size to 4gb, though. To bypass that limit, you would need to edit the partition, and re-size it using a partition editor (such as gparted).

See Live Usb Persistent on the ubuntu wiki for more information.

  • My "Stored in reserved extra space" is disabled, like your, why? – The Student Jul 27 '12 at 19:26
  • I tried, even with that option disabled, but it just created the default live cd. I'll read more about this "Live Usb Persistent". – The Student Jul 27 '12 at 20:06
  • Unfortunately, my usb is mounted as read-only, so I can't say for sure. Try reformatting the disk (using the erase option). – Nemo Jul 27 '12 at 22:05
  • I did, but it didn't work – The Student Jul 30 '12 at 13:11

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