I'm trying to install Ubuntu onto USB to create a portable OS, but i don't have a cd drive installed nor a second memory stick. Was wondering if there is any clean way of installing the Ubuntu onto the stick that will only require the memory stick?

  • Likely no. You'll need some way to start the installer, which is hardly possible without a working PC. Given there is one around with Ubuntu, you could boot from an Ubuntu ISO with GRUB. – mikewhatever Dec 4 '16 at 23:53
  • i was thinking that maybe partitioning the hard drive could do the trick. worst case scenario i have couple of unused devices i could nuke to use for the installed. – John Dec 5 '16 at 0:27
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    Please tell us what you have: What computer - brand name and model? How much RAM? What operating system are you running now? What memory stick is it - brand name and size? This information helps us give relevant advice. – sudodus Dec 5 '16 at 6:59

These steps will create live+installer versions of Ubuntu, that can be booted on most Computers.

If you are using Windows:

  1. Download the Ubuntu ISO file
  2. Download Rufus USB Installer
  3. Open Rufus, and click the CD-ROM icon (right hand side, about 2/3rds down) and choose your Ubuntu ISO file and click on the "Open" button
  4. Click the "Start" button
  5. When asked to download syslinux, click "Yes"
  6. When asked about a "Hybrid Image", click "OK"
  7. When you are warned that it will destroy all the data on your USB drive, make sure you've selected the correct USB drive, then click "OK"
  8. Wait until it is complete. This can take a fair few minutes depending on the speed of your USB drive, and the USB speed
  9. Boot from the USB drive and proceed as normal

If you are using Ubuntu:

  1. Download the Ubuntu ISO file
  2. Open the dash and search for "Startup Disk Creator"
  3. When found, click on it to launch
  4. Once open, click on "Other" and browse to your ISO file. Click "Open"
  5. Choose your USB drive in the bottom box, then put a check in the box marked "Make Startup Disk" and click "Yes"
  6. Boot from the USB drive and proceed as normal

If you are using another distro (generic instructions assuming your USB is /dev/sdb):

  1. Download the Ubuntu ISO file
  2. Open your terminal and cd to the folder that you downloaded the ISO too.
  3. Type sudo umount /dev/sdb
  4. Type `sudo dd if=.iso of=/dev/sdb bs=1M
  5. Boot from the USB drive and proceed as normal
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I am assuming that you want a Full install to USB.

Open VirtualBox.

Select "New" and make new Ubuntu machine.

Start Ubuntu machine and select Ubuntu iso.

Continue until you get to Try/Install window, select Try.

Plug in USB and activate.

Select install if you want a Full install to USB. Best to try this after unplugging internal HDD.

Select startup Disk Creator if you want a Live install.

Download and use mkusb if you want a Persistent install.

Allow the selected installer to do it's thing.

There are posts on Ask Ubuntu that detail the installation and use of VBox.

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