Okay, so I have the demo Ubuntu up and running on my bootable USB device. But I want to install it so that Ubuntu will save my files that I install and download etc. But if I choose to install Ubuntu, will it install on my USB device or will it install on my hard drive and erase Windows 8?


On a ubuntu live-usb,if you run the Ubuntu installer,it tries to install the Ubuntu Os on the hard-disk.

  • If you choose install Ubuntu alongside windows option,the installer formats all the partitions other than windows partition(C partition) and install Ubuntu on it.

  • If you choose erase the disk and install Ubuntu option,the installer formats the whole disk and installs only Ubuntu.

  • If you choose something else option,the installer force you to manually select the partition where Ubuntu is going to be installed.

  • Does it have an install alongside option for Windows 8? Ain't tried it yet... – Wilf Jan 10 '14 at 16:02

If you want to Install it on your USB here some tips

1.Your installation Media (Installer) and your installation target (whre youwant to install) must a diffrent disk (e.g your Installation media is USB A and your Installation target is USB B)

2.If you want to install it on a USB drive install it from a Virtual Machine or on a machine that have no OS.If you install it from a computer that already have an OS (Windows for example) it will overwrite it's current bootlaoder and switch it to GRUB bootloader

3.Make sure your USB drive is fast enough

So if you want to Install your Ubuntu on a USB Flashdisk install it from VMWare,or you can install it directly from your computer but maybe you want unplug your HDD first so your Installer won't read your Windows (atleast that what i do )


when you chose "install ubuntu" it will ask whether you want to install it "alongside" your current OS or if you want to replace the OS with ubuntu. choosing alongside will keep your current OS and will install ubuntu. It will let you take a piece of a partition on the computer for ubuntu.

...it won't install ubuntu on the live usb itself


If there is space on the USB stick, you can install on it. The same for the hard disk as well, though this would create a dual boot on one hard disk.

You chose when you reach this stage - go for 'Something Else':


For the memory stick:

If you select the something else install, to install to your memory stick, make a / partition (where the system files go) and a /home partition (where the user's files are stored). Make sure your memory stick is selected as the boot loader device. The memory stick should really be bigger than 6Gb, and it might be helpful to have the installer on another USB drive.

A better guide may be found here.

Warning - may be a bit complicated to do...

For the hard disk it may display a dual boot option (something like this).

If not, chose 'Something Else', and create a /home partition, and a / partition. You can put swap in as well, which is where data will go if the RAM is full, or if the computer is hibernated (I did not think this would be worthwhile on a memory stick).

If there is not enough space, you should be able to resize existing from the install disk, or from Windows Disk Manager. Try to create a space bigger than 10GB, especially if you are doing swap.

As I have not tried anything like this for a while, corrections are welcome.

  • 1
    Installing directly on the USB is tricky, if the installation image is on the same USB. There is a full answer here: askubuntu.com/questions/16988/… – Rmano Jan 10 '14 at 16:09
  • Its not that tricky @Rmano... The main thing to remember is to do it so that the bootloader is on the USB as well. – Wilf Jan 10 '14 at 16:16

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