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I want to install Ubuntu 14.04 on my USB Stick from which I can boot my computer and do some light c++, Java,Python programming. I don't need much space for storage. I have a Kingston 16 GB pen-drive. I used this as startup disk creator once but it was extremely slow. I also want to use this USB as live CD to install Ubuntu on any computer.

How Can I install Ubuntu 14.04 on my external USB Pen-Drive?

  • You should be able to do that with Startup Disk Creator. You can even specify the reserved extra space to save documents and settings. The resulting disk is a "live cd" that can be used to install on other computers. – Hugo Vieira Mar 18 '15 at 16:20
  • Are you wanting to create this on Windows or an already-installed Ubuntu system? – RPiAwesomeness Mar 18 '15 at 16:25
  • already on ubuntu – Mudit Kapoor Mar 18 '15 at 16:46
  • @MuditKapoor I see. Well, try both methods and see which one works best for you! Though, you mentioned that the Startup Disk Creator was slow - so try Unetbootin first. – RPiAwesomeness Mar 18 '15 at 20:56
  • Also see askubuntu.com/questions/16988/… – user68186 Mar 18 '15 at 21:03
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Even if you do decide to follow these instructions, I suggest you read the LiveUsbPendrivePersistent wiki page. Reading Wiki pages is a great way to learn and you'll know more about what you're doing - rather than just following steps blindly.


Normally, I'd suggest that you use the Startup Disk Creator in Ubuntu to do this - it has a really simple option:

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that allows you to add MB of space to keep stored in reserved extra space. However, there is sometimes a bug with installing the bootloader:

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at least for me. You also mentioned that you'd had issues with Startup Disk Creator created USB drives being so.

So, I'd suggest you use Unetbootin. It's not quite as polished, but it does the exact same job and has the exact same store in reserve functionality. It's what I use when creating LiveUSBs and has yet to fail me.

It's in the default repositories, so you can install it via sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install unetbootin.

Once it's installed, open up the dash (Super key - aka Windows key) and open up unetbootin - you'll have to search for it. It'll require the sudo password, just a heads up. You'd need sudo access just to install the app, so that's no problem.

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Once unetbootin starts, you'll want to change the radio button from selecting Distribution (default choice) to selecting Diskimage and then click the ... button. You can then select the ISO and it will show up in the text box.

Once you've selected the ISO you want, make sure the type is set to USB drive and that it's targeting the correct USB drive. If you've got USB backup media or other USB sticks attached to your computer, you may want to consider disconnecting them for a bit - just to be safe and sure you don't accidentally overwrite some important data.

Now, to add the persistence of data, simply change the Space used to preserve files across reboots (Ubuntu only) value. This should create a file-system on the USB stick, along with the ISO contents, that will store your information across reboots!

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Note, that if you use Unetbootin to create the LiveUSB, you'll have to specify the space in MB (MegaBytes) not GB (Gigabytes). A simple way to convert this is just punch into a calculator numberOfGigabytes * 1024. That will provide you with the correct amount of space in MB terms (as there are 1024 MB in a GB.)

  • when i created a live cd with rufus the ubuntu live cd runtime was pretty fast but with startup disk creator it was very slow. will this be fast or slow? – Mudit Kapoor Mar 19 '15 at 12:51
  • @MuditKapoor Unetbootin? I don't really know - I've never had issues with either. It really depends on the specs of the PC and the type of USB stick too, not just the software that makes the bootable ISO. If you're on a slower USB stick, everything is going to run slower. – RPiAwesomeness Mar 19 '15 at 20:50

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