I have a 4GB pendrive. I have installed ubuntu 14.04 into it. But, ubuntu is not booting from it. Whenever I try to boot from it, only a black screen is up. May be the bootloader is keep on searching for a valid boot source within my pendrive which does not exist at all. Please help me resolve this problem.

I followed these steps to install ubuntu into my pendrive:

  • I created an extended-partition covering all the 4GB.

  • I created two primary partitions within it.

    • partition one - ext4 filesystem - 3.5 GB

    • partition two - ext2 filesystem - rest of the total memory

  • I used a liveUSB to install ubuntu into my pendrive

  • I chose my partition one - ext4 fs for ubuntu installation with the mount point as /

  • I chose my partition two - ext2 fs as a swap area for the ubuntu to be installed

  • I then hit Install Now which did the installation, similar to an installation in HDD

Have I done anything wrong? Do I need to do more things? Help me use ubuntu from my pendrive. Thanks in advance.

Update: I tried for solutions here and here. Nothing helped. They were just stuffs related to liveUSB creation which is not my case.

  • You could also start with a liveUSB. Not much can go wrong then. After bootup you can still choose for a fresh Ubuntu install on your harddrive. Tha'ts the way i did yesterday – Terradon Feb 11 '15 at 16:32
  • My case is not creating a liveUSB. I need to install it in my pendrive. I wish to carry it wherever I go. – Ramvignesh Feb 11 '15 at 16:34
  • How do I be sure of that MBR stuff? Can you please brief about what is MBR? – Ramvignesh Feb 11 '15 at 16:36
  • How do I check whether the bootloader is installed into the MBR? – Ramvignesh Feb 11 '15 at 16:40

The 4GB USB drive is too small for a full install of Ubuntu 14.04

The installer should have refused to install Ubuntu in a 3.5 GB partition. A full install requires about 5GB / partition. So you will need at least an 8 GB USB drive. I recommend a 16 or 32 GB drive if you intend to install many programs and store large personal files.

One thing to remember when you install Ubuntu on an USB drive, from a Live USB is to make sure you choose the correct destination drive for installation as well as the bootloader location.

Your drives are denoted by /dev/sda, /dev/sdb, /dev/sdc etc. Say /dev/sdc is the correct USB drive (check by size). Then during install make sure you choose /dev/sdc for bootloader location. Don't choose partitions inside such as /dev/sdc1. Choosing the whole drive (rather than a partition in it) will install the bootloader in the MBR of that USB drive.

There are other ways of doing a full install in an USB, such as using a virtual machine. See How do I install Ubuntu to a USB key? (without using Startup Disk Creator) for more details.

Hope this helps

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