I apologize for the horribly worded title, but it's all I could think of. Anyway, I have a MacBook Pro and I've followed the instructions here: http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop/create-a-usb-stick-on-mac-osx

I current have Ubuntu up and running with the trial edition or something (I apologize again for my horrible terminology), just not the full install. I have a "Install Ubuntu 12.04.2 LTS" on my desktop, but I have hesitated to click it because I do not want it to install on my hard drive. That would be a disaster. Anyway, my question is this: will that file install the full Ubuntu on my flash drive only, or on my hard drive? Thanks a bunch in advance!

  • Welcome to Ubuntu by the way!!! I first ran Ubuntu on my MacBook Pro, and now a few years later I don't use anything else. I do miss a few things, but it's amazing how few programs I can't run on Ubuntu or find a suitable replacement. I've even found a few gems that only run on Ubuntu (like Pithos) Jun 8, 2013 at 3:18
  • Thanks! I'm really happy to be using it, and I've had a wonderful experience so far. Also, thanks for helping me so much :D Jun 8, 2013 at 17:03

1 Answer 1


That file will present you options for where you want to install it. When you get to that point, make sure you select to install it on the thumb drive and leave the MBP's hard drive alone. Probably the MBP's hard drive will show up as sda, but make sure the size numbers add up.

When Ubuntu asks you if you want it to write to the master boot record of the primary drive, DO NOT SAY YES.

I would suspect however, that Ubuntu is already installed on the thumb drive and that Install Ubuntu file just wasn't deleted since you didn't install Ubuntu through "traditional" methods. You may not need to do anything at all besides delete the file.

  • Thanks a lot! I'm trying to be super extra careful in this installation. Anyway, is there a way to check if full ubuntu is installed? Thanks a bunch! Jun 8, 2013 at 2:51
  • When you boot into the thumb drive, does it go straight into the Ubuntu desktop environment or do you have to click "Try Ubuntu?" Jun 8, 2013 at 3:12
  • I do have to push Try Ubuntu, and it never saves anything I do. Here are some screenshots, will using this configuration install it only on my USB drive? imgur.com/a/Ytwwa Jun 8, 2013 at 17:01
  • Also, when I hold down alt to boot into it, there are two things that show a usb drive icon... is there any way I can fix that? Jun 8, 2013 at 17:02
  • @RussellColeman Since you have to push Try Ubuntu, it probably isn't installed. Try installing it to /dev/sdb. When it asks you if it should install to the Master Boot Record, say no. Hopefully then, it will be fully installed to the flash drive. Once it's installed you shouldn't have to press "Try Ubuntu." It should just boot straight in. Jun 9, 2013 at 2:21

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