USB Installation Media

Creating USB Installation Media

In order to install Ubuntu via a USB stick you will have to create a bootable USB stick containing the Ubuntu OS as shown below. The guide below applies for both Ubuntu 18.04 and Ubuntu 20.04.

Using Windows

We recommend creating a bootable Linux USB stick on a Windows system utilizing Rufus.

Downloading Rufus

You can download Rufus from the official website of Rufus at
Go to the official website of Rufus from any web browser and the following will be displayed:
Scroll to the Download section. Click on Rufus Portable link as marked in the screenshot below.
Click on Rufus 3.13 Portable
File download begins and progress can be seen. After download is complete please click on "Open file".
You can either select Yes or No. We recommend No.
Rufus Main Window

Creating an Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Bootable USB with Rufus

NOTE: Rufus will delete everything from your USB device. If you have any important data, please move it somewhere safe before you go through this process.
Insert your USB drive that you wish to make Ubuntu bootable. Rufus should list it in the Device section.
Now click on the SELECT button as marked in the screenshot.
A File Explorer window pops up. Please select the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS iso image and click Open.
Click on the START button to start the process.
Click on Yes so that Rufus can download additional files needed to continue.
Leave the option to Write in ISO Image mode selected and click OK.
Last WARNING before Rufus DELETES all data on the USB stick. Click OK to continue.
Rufus should start making your USB drive Ubuntu bootable. It should take a few minutes.
Once it’s done, you should see the READY status. Now close Rufus and your USB drive is ready.

Using Ubuntu UI

Please follow the steps shown below:

1. Overview

With a bootable Ubuntu USB stick, you can:
  • Install or upgrade Ubuntu
  • Test out the Ubuntu desktop experience without touching your PC configuration
  • Use tools installed by default on the USB stick to repair or fix a broken configuration
Creating a bootable Ubuntu USB stick is very simple, especially from Ubuntu itself, and we’re going to cover the process in the next few steps.
Laptop Ubuntu desktop

2. Requirements

You will need:
  • A 4GB or larger USB stick/flash drive
  • Ubuntu Desktop 14.04 or later installed
  • An Ubuntu ISO file.
Download an Ubuntu ISO

3. Launch Startup Disk Creator

We’re going to use an application called ‘Startup Disk Creator’ to write the ISO image to your USB stick. This is installed by default on Ubuntu, and can be launched as follows:
  1. 1.
    Insert your USB stick (select ‘Do nothing’ if prompted by Ubuntu)
  2. 2.
    On Ubuntu 18.04 and later, use the bottom left icon to open ‘Show Applications’
  3. 3.
    In older versions of Ubuntu, use the top left icon to open the dash
  4. 4.
    Use the search field to look for Startup Disk Creator
  5. 5.
    Select Startup Disk Creator from the results to launch the application
Search for Startup Disk Creator

4. ISO and USB selection

When launched, Startup Disk Creator will look for the ISO files in your Downloads folder, as well as any attached USB storage it can write to.
It’s likely that both your Ubuntu ISO and the correct USB device will have been detected and set as ‘Source disc image’ and ‘Disk to use’ in the application window. If not, use the ‘Other’ button to locate your ISO file and select the exact USB device you want to use from the list of devices.
Click Make Startup Disk to start the process.
Click on Make Startup Disk

5. Confirm USB device

Before making any permanent changes, you will be asked to confirm the USB device you’ve chosen is correct. This is important because any data currently stored on this device will be destroyed.
After confirming, the write process will start and a progress bar appears.
USB write progress

6. Installation complete

That’s it! You now have Ubuntu on a USB stick, bootable and ready to go.
USB write complete

Using Ubuntu Console

  1. 1.
    sudo umount /dev/sdX (where sdX is your USB stick)
  2. 2.
    sudo dd if=/path/to/ubuntu.iso of=/dev/sdX bs=1M (where ubuntu.iso is the downloaded file and sdX is the USB stick)

Installing Ubuntu

After the USB installation media is created by one of the methods from above please continue to install Ubuntu 18.04 LTS or Ubuntu 20.04 LTS