Download the iso file and check that it was downloaded correctly
The official website is
and you find all current iso files including standard Ubuntu and the community flavours (Kubuntu, Lubuntu ... Xubuntu) via the following link,
and the mini.iso files via
It is somewhat tricky to find Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS (the version with the longest support time). The following link works (2017-06-27),
The following link can help you check that the iso file was downloaded correctly,
You can use
md5sum or one of the other checksum programs, and check that the result matches what is provided in the corresponding file with upper-case name, for example 'MD5SUMS', as shown with the following command line, and check with your own eyes,
or copy and paste from 'MD5SUMS' to the following command line,
echo 'd2d939ca0e65816790375f6826e4032f *ubuntu-16.04.1-server-amd64.iso'|md5sum -c
This last command should return
Cloning from a hybrid iso file to a USB drive or a memory card
If you clone from a hybrid iso file to a USB drive or memory card, everything relevant will be overwritten, so wiping and formatting will make no difference (except maybe making the final cloning faster, but the total time and effort will increase).
All current Ubuntu iso files are hybrid iso files (including Ubuntu Server and Ubuntu mini.iso).
dd deserves the nicknames 'disk destroyer' and 'data destroyer'
dd produces a reliable result, if you do it correctly,
sudo dd if=/path/file.iso of=/dev/sdx bs=4096
where x is the drive letter. But
dd does what you tell it to do without questions. If you tell it to wipe the family pictures ... and it is a minor typing error away.
Tools with a final checkpoint
So I would recommend that you use a tool with a final checkpoint, that gives you a chance to double-check that you will install the live system to the correct drive.
Two such tools come with standard Ubuntu and the community flavours (Kubuntu, Lubuntu ... Xubuntu),
- The Startup Disk Creator (in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and newer versions; older versions come with an old and buggy version, that you should avoid),
- Disks alias
You can install mkusb from its PPA.
- The standard function is to clone from an iso file or [compressed] image file,
- but it can also wipe a drive,
- restore a drive from an 'install device' to a 'standard storage device' (with an MSDOS partition table and partition with a FAT32 file system),
- create Windows install drives and
- create persistent live drives with Ubuntu and Debian.
Ubuntu Server is normally run without a desktop environment, so you need a text mode tool, if you want to create the USB install drive or memory card when running Ubuntu Server.
mkusb works in text mode too, and is a safe alternative to
dd. You can use the simple text version
mkusb-nox but also the new mkusb version 12 alias
mkusb-dus, which will test for zenity (when there is a GUI), then test for menus with
dialog, and finally fall back to a simple text screen interface, if
dialog is not installed.
If you don't want to install anything you can download the simple text mode
mkusb-minp, check it in a text editor and run it locally without any particular installation.
In Windows you can use the cloning tool
If cloning does not work
Most modern linux distros provide iso files treated with
isohybrid, which make them hybrid iso files. Such iso files can be used to
- burn CD/DVD disks that are bootable
- clone USB drives and memory cards that are bootable
But some iso files are not hybrid iso files, for example Windows iso files and older Knoppix iso files (before version 8.1). These iso files must be extracted and special care must be taken to make the target drive bootable. (You can treat an older Knoppix iso file with
isohybrid, but it does not work with Windows iso files.)
There are several extracting tools, for example Rufus, which is the officially recommended tool to install Ubuntu from Windows.
Do it yourself
Cloning from the iso file is straight-forward. The only issue is to be sure that you have selected the correct target drive.
If you want to understand the steps in extracting the content from an iso file and creating a USB boot drive, the following links may help,