I've been reading that the next version of 12.04 will not fit on a CD.

Will it be possible to install 12.04 on a computer that can't read DVD-Rs and can't boot from USB?

I don't want to install a previous version and then "update" to 12.04. Is there another option?


If this question was asked due to the initial reports that 12.04 will not fit on a CD-image, Canonical have now confirmed that 12.04 will fact will fit on a CD-image


Ubuntu 12.04 will still fit on CDs.

The only tweak that was done was on the exact size of what a CD is, where the old check was for 700MB and the new one is for 703MB as we found most (if not all) current burning tools and drives accept this.

Another alternative would be to install from the minimal CD - you'll need to use a wired internet connection since the whole installation is made from the internet.

You will be presented with a number of "TUIs" - a text gui prompting you for various bits of information. The important TUI is the desktop you want.

enter image description here


I did this on a 32-bit Desktop computer with a broken cd drive and no ability to boot from USB. For this demo I did it again on my current computer.

With these steps you can boot the Ubuntu iso image using already running grub (your current grub2), after that install the new version from there.

Note: Until you format your drive everything is safe, but be careful to not loose power while installation (after you format your drive). You can try to boot ubuntu even with your current iso and see for yourself. Put ubuntu iso in a place other than your installation path. If you put the iso on /opt and try to install, it would be like cutting a tree from branch.

I will boot ubuntu 11.04 as an example.

  1. Suppose I have the iso file in /media/Backup (doesn't matter) drive, and mounted as /dev/sda5. It's an NTFS drive.

    $ ls
  2. Next edit /boot/grub/grub.cfg and add lines like this (edit drive number to match yours)

    menuentry "ubuntu-11.04-desktop.iso" {
        set isofile="/ubuntu-11.04-desktop-i386.iso"
        loopback loop (hd0,msdos5)$isofile
        linux (loop)/casper/vmlinuz boot=casper iso-scan/filename=$isofile quiet noeject noprompt nomodeset splash --
        initrd (loop)/casper/initrd.lz
  3. When you reboot, you can select this and boot the installation media.


You could burn plop boot manager to a CD and then boot from USB.


Ubuntu iso files that fit on a standard CD disk

Today, when this answer is written/edited (2017-08-01), only the Ubuntu mini.iso, Ubuntu Server and Lubuntu Alternate iso files are small enough to fit on a standard CD disk. All these alternatives use the debian installer with a text mode menu, a TUI (text user interface). It may look old-fashioned, but it works well.

So Lubuntu can be installed directly via its alternate iso file and CD. Standard Ubuntu and the other Ubuntu family flavours (Kubuntu ... Xubuntu) can be installed via the mini.iso or the Ubuntu Server iso files and CD.

Please notice that 12.04 LTS has passed end of life. Select a current version. See this link,


Start from an Ubuntu Server iso file

You can do the same things and get almost (but not exactly) the same result from an Ubuntu Server iso file as from the corresponding mini.iso file.

The mini.iso file cannot create a system to install in UEFI mode, so if you need a system, that works in UEFI mode, you should start from a 64-bit Ubuntu Server iso file.

Even in BIOS mode, it is worthwhile to start from the Ubuntu Server, because it is usually faster, particularly if you install more than once, because more (but not all) packages come with the iso file and need not be downloaded during the installation.

Move the cursor to the line with the package you want to select and press the spacebar to mark it 'selected' (with a star). Select only the packages, that you really want. It is possible to install packages afterwards, but may be difficult to remove some of the packages completely afterwards (for example the desktop environments).

enter image description here

enter image description here

Text user interface of the 12.04 mini.iso

The current versions of the mini.iso provide similar text user interfaces

text user interface of the 12.04 mini.iso

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