I was trying to install Ubuntu on an older laptop which doesn't have a DVD ROM or a USB boot capabilities. Is there an option to burn the image files to a Cd ROM? I am pretty sure that the size of the image file may be slightly larger to fit on a CD ROM. Is there a way to split the image files and use two CD Roms instead?


6 Answers 6


You should install Ubuntu Minimal from the iso, you can download it here: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Installation/MinimalCD

Then, once logged on the console, set the network, and install the desktop you need:

  • for Ubuntu, sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop
  • on an old laptop, try Xubuntu, sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop
  • Yeap, this would be the way to go. The reason the default image is not in a CD format anymore is because there is a move to shift to DVd or USB devices. Mar 25, 2013 at 16:56
  • Pity that the minimal image is not being made anymore - the last one is 18.04. Apr 27, 2022 at 19:12

You might want to consider something called plop boot. It is a small image you burn to cd that you boot from, then boots from usb. Useful for all those computers that don't boot usb.

Download and burn Plop-Boot

Download Ubuntu and put it on a usb just like you are going to install it.

Put the usb drive and cd in the other computer, turn it on, and Away You GO!


This may be possible if you have two optical drives, although I have no idea how, though. In answer to your question, your proposed method is impossible, since the live OS loaded into ram will be trying to access non-existent data (likely in /dev/sr0) when installing.

But you can use the minimal image[0], as jmreicha suggested, to burn to a 700MiB CD and install the ubuntu-desktop package after installation:

$ sudo -i # or 'su -'
# apt-get install ubuntu-desktop


The installer from the minimal CD is simple enough to not explain, but I've had trouble with wireless donogles when installing (the installer needs to retrieve packages from the ubuntu servers), so I would use an ethernet cable if available during the installation process.


[0] https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Installation/MinimalCD


You can prepare a cd with Plop and using it boot from a pendrive anyway.

  • His machine does't support USB boot.
    – Ahmadgeo
    Mar 25, 2013 at 18:31
  • Plop chain loads USB boot from CD drive even for older computers that have no USB boot option in BIOS.
    – fleamour
    Mar 25, 2013 at 18:35

1- You can simply download Ubuntu Desktop CD ISO Image from the following link http://releases.ubuntu.com/precise/

2- Desktop ISO will fit in a CD as you need (DO NOT DOWNLOAD THE ALTERNATE ISO) (PC (Intel x86) desktop CD would be the best choice)

3- Have fun :)


I had a similar situation where I could burn only CD and not DVD and wanted to install Ubuntu on a "new" older computer that I got. What I did was download 12.04 (693 MB ISO that can be burnt to CD) and then upgrade to 12.10. This may be a more time consuming process. Does the computer have a floppy drive? Can it boot over a network using PXE?

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