I'm using a macbook and am trying to use one usb-drive to install ubuntu onto another usb-drive and boot from that other usb-drive.

I created an installationdisk for ubuntu 14.04, and then installed it onto another usb-disk, following theese instructoins: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdQ520dmg5g

I unplugged the installationdisk, keeping the installed disk plugged in. While holding the key "alt" i booted up my macbook pro. Holding alt should show all bootable drives on a mac, but I only get my osx system disk and my recovery disk. The usb-stick with ubuntu doesn't show up. The thumbdrive that I used as a installationdisk worked fine .


Yes, I found this is a tricky issue and the web keeps telling you how to make a bootable install disk, or to just hold down the option key, but there's more to it than that.

The trick I found is after the install, you have to tweak the resulting disk and use rEFInd to boot the linux image via GRUB.

I asked the same question and after much research managed to answer it myself here: How to boot Ubuntu on a mac from external USB storage?

That has detailed instructions and a link to something I put on the web with more detail and screenshots.

| improve this answer | |

This article has a detailed recent tutorial describing the process. Giving it a look might just solve your problem and give you some required knowledge.

| improve this answer | |
  • That article is for creating a ubuntu installation-drive. I have achived that. Now I want to use that installation-drive to install a complete version of ubuntu onto another drive. – Kristoffer Nolgren Sep 21 '14 at 17:27
  • Do a check to see if the drive is shown by going into live mode and using disks or Gparted. – user271219 Sep 21 '14 at 17:35
  • The disk is shown if I plug it in and open disks. It also worked properly to install onto it. Can is there something in particular I should check for? – Kristoffer Nolgren Sep 21 '14 at 17:40
  • Have you tried installing ubuntu onto the other drive from live mode? what were the results? – user271219 Sep 21 '14 at 17:45
  • Yes, I have done that. Looking at the drive in disks in live mode it says that it has a linux operating system installed on to it. Now I wish to boot from that drive, but when I hold alt while booting my computer it won't show up. – Kristoffer Nolgren Sep 21 '14 at 17:54
  1. restart mac with both USB plugin,
  2. hold down the "Option" key until you see the Startup Manager.
  3. press the right or left arrow keys on the keyboard to select the bootable USB drive.
  4. press the Enter key to boot from the USB drive. after that, during the installation manager you could chose drive to install ubuntu, soo chose the second one and follow the instructions. Its works for my on my MacBook Pro
| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    The Usb drive that i installed ubuntu on didn't show up... – Kristoffer Nolgren Sep 21 '14 at 17:25

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.