ubuntu linux from flash drive

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by lurningcerv, Feb 22, 2014.

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  1. lurningcerv

    lurningcerv Registered Member

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    I downloaded Ubuntu Linux on a flash drive, but so far cannot use it. I used Pendrive installer and I verified that it's on the flash drive. I set my BIOS to boot from the flash drive first, but the computer always boots W7, not Ubuntu. From W7, I can get a screen that says it will allow me to try Ubuntu and then install it if I want, so apparently it is not really installed yet, but rather is just stored on the flash drive waiting for installation. That screen has a button to reboot into Ubuntu, but it does not work. The reboot just loads W7 again.

    But how do I run it and install it? My machine is a laptop, W7 64, about 3 years old.
     
  2. mack_guy911

    mack_guy911 Registered Member

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  3. hogndog

    hogndog Registered Member

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    Did you get it working yet.. i have several Linux OS on flash drives and run Linux from those..:)
     
  4. lotuseclat79

    lotuseclat79 Registered Member

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    Hi lurningcerv,

    When you verified that your downloaded Ubuntu was on the flash drive, you must understand that there is a difference between installing Ubuntu onto a flash drive vs. burning the Ubuntu ISO file onto a flash driver that is bootable.

    Most likely, the UEFI setting is the culprit if you are only able to boot to W7.

    If you can try to boot your flash drive on another computer with Linux on it, you can then use the Disk Utility (on Linux) to view the flash drive which should tell you if you have a bootable ISO 9660 Type installed in the volume partition containing it. Then you will know that the Pendrive installer properly burned the Ubuntu ISO file to the flash drive.

    -- Tom
     
  5. lurningcerv

    lurningcerv Registered Member

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    I did get Ubuntu to boot, but have not installed it yet. There was an check the box option in the Ubuntu set up program that apparently executed GRUB. That set up the bios so that I can boot Ubuntu.
     
  6. lurningcerv

    lurningcerv Registered Member

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    I'm still not sure that I have Ubuntu properly installed. I can boot Ubuntu. There is a screen that appears at boot that allows me to choose W7 or Ubuntu. This is similar to what I had when I installed Ubuntu a few years ago. Anyway, the reason I think maybe it's not properly installed is that the flash drive is still formated NTFS. I can see that from W7, and I can read the files on the flash drive from W7. Can a properly installed Ubuntu boot flash drive be NTFS and be readable by Windows? Even if this is possible, it's not what I want. I would rather have it formatted in one of the non-Windows formats. So far, I have not been able to change the configuration I have. At least I can boot Ubuntu, but the configuration is definately not what I want.
     
  7. lurningcerv

    lurningcerv Registered Member

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    Now I'm seeing that the boot screen that allows me to boot with W7 or Ubuntu is titled "Windows Boot Menu", so apparently I'm still not really booting directly to Ubuntu.
     
  8. lotuseclat79

    lotuseclat79 Registered Member

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    Hi lurningcerv,

    If you want a USB flash drive to be formatted in other than what you have, please use the Linux utility named "Disk Utility" to identify how the Drive and Volume are formatted. For example, I use the PLOP Boot Manager in my CD Drive, and boot to Ubuntu Linux 12.04.4 LTS on a regular daily basis, and it is formatted as follows:

    Drive - partition is an unknown scheme. This is because I burned the Ubuntu ISO file to the USB flash drive with the dd command directly to the USB flash drive device name aka /dev/sdf on my system.
    Volume - /dev/sdf1 has a partition type of Hidden HPFS/NTFS(0x17); partition flags is Bootable; Label is Ubuntu 12.04.4 LTS i386; Type is ISO 9660, There is also a left over partition that is 7.3 GB which is Free (of any contents/unallocated space).

    Since you have a USB flash drive that allows you to select either W7 or Ubuntu on bootup, you don't have a problem. The flash drive is readable when mounted. If you unmount the flash drive from W7, then W7 won't be able to read it.

    Be happy with what you have!

    If you have a spare/other USB flash drive you can experiment by using Disk Utility to format it by first erasing the flash drive from the Drive section of Disk utility, then use the dd command to burn the Ubuntu release ISO file to the USB flash drive on your system - i.e. you would be using two different USB ports on your system. The dd command would be something like:
    Code:
        dd if=ubuntu-12.04.4-desktop-i386.iso of=/dev/sdx
    
    where x is the name of the USB drive port for the USB flash drive you are burning the ISO file to. Note: the dd command burns the ISO file to the USB drive at port /dev/sdx where you have to identify the x USB flash drive from using Disk Utility.

    When I do this kind of operation, I usually copy (i.e. cp -p) the full ubuntu ISO file from internal hard drive to my Desktop directory, and execute the dd command from there as root. The ISO file is owned and grouped by the default user ubuntu (use chown and chgrp commands as root to make these changes if those properties are not ubuntu user/group).

    -- Tom
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2014
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