Create a bootable USB stick on Ubuntu

When I was running windows, and wanted to make a bootable drive in windows, I searched for “how to make a bootable usb in windows”. Running Ubuntu, I searched for “how to make a bootable usb in ubuntu”, and this was the result that came up. I would expect it to make a bootable USB in general, given the information in the tutorial and how I found it, not to specifically and exclusively make a bootable Ubuntu USB. It would be a lot more clear if this was explicitly stated in the tutorial text.

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Completely agree — I thought the same when attempting a generic iso!

Update: Whilst browsing today I came across a recent tool that is completely open source and that will solve this problem. Developers git is here: https://github.com/ventoy/Ventoy. Attached is a screengrab of the features. Bonus is all one has to do is copy the .iso file to the USB device with the application and it does the rest. Pretty user friendly!

This tutorial should mention how to install Startup Disk Creator if it is not present on the system (e.g. from Ubuntu Software or sudo apt install usb-creator-gtk)

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Actually, IMHO ‘Gnome-Disks’ is important. All one has to do is mount an .iso and burn it to any removable disk, works on USB sticks too — I find it far better than the Ubuntu Startup Disk Creator which is really for Ubuntu images. I believe it is ‘Disks’ that gives one the context menu item when clicking on an *.iso to save the archive to a ‘disk’, or open it (decompress).

I want to download a bootable live usb image, on the web page from this page, I see few download links, I’m not sure at all if each .iso file contains or not a bootable live image. Please clearly specify to each files what do they correspond to. I’ll maybe try all files, that’s very boring.

Maybe my problem happen only on french browser because, maybe the link to the page for downloading is different between french and english, as I’m french.

Best regards

Startup Disk Creator isn’t very useful. If you want to create a live USB with something other than Ubuntu, it most likely wont work.

Am I missing something @janstes?

That link sends me to ubuntu.com/download which then provides sections to the individual versions of Ubuntu (server, desktop, core …), some with walkthroughs, and those link to pages that provide buttons to get the ISOs?

Where are you seeing “manual install” ? Thanks for you help with this.

The resultant of the process is a bootable device but will
it uefi or legacy and mbr or gpt? or there option only for windows?

wow I want to change the operating system and download the iso in windows 10 and I want to make a bootable usb … where does that appear in your manual? porque!! porqueee ere asi!!

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I’d suggest looking at the tutorials

with plenty more available at https://tutorials.ubuntu.com/

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I’m glad I read the other replies here.
There is a distance between the understanding of the writer of the tutorial and a novice consumer.
There are pictures of pages to be used, but no clue as to where those pages are to be found on the website.
Still searching.

Does this process allow for the creation of USB persistence?

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When you want to create a persistent live USB drive you can use

  • mkusb in Ubuntu and the Ubuntu family flavours,

  • Rufus in Windows.


The Ubuntu Startup Disk Creator and Disks (alias gnome-disks) are cloning tools, and cloning does not create persistent live drives from the Ubuntu [and Ubuntu family flavours] iso files.

Cloning works with all hybrid iso files in order to create USB boot drives, and most Linux iso files are hybrid files. There is a test in the Startup Disk Creator to check that it is an Ubuntu [or Ubuntu family flavour] iso file. If that test would be removed, it would work for all hybrid iso files.

Both mkusb and Rufus can clone (dd-mode in Rufus), but they can also use methods that modify what is written to the USB pendrive.

You can find detailed information and several links at

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You can trick the Startup Disk Creator to clone non-Ubuntu iso files, because it is willing to clone ‘any’ image file with the extension img. So make a symbolic link, for example

$ ln -s debian-live-11.0.0-amd64-standard.iso debian-live-11.0.0-amd64-standard.img
$ ls -ltr
total 924676                                                                                                                          
-rw-r--r-- 1 lubuntu lubuntu 946864128 Aug 18 13:02 debian-live-11.0.0-amd64-standard.iso
lrwxrwxrwx 1 lubuntu lubuntu        37 Oct 11 11:18 debian-live-11.0.0-amd64-standard.img -> debian-live-11.0.0-amd64-standard.iso

I tested this in 18.04.x LTS with usb-creator-gtk and in persistent live Lubuntu Impish Indri with usb-creator-kde, and it worked for me. The following screenshots are from Impish Indri,

usb-creator-trick-3

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The only problem with most of the Linux tools is that they create MBR jump drives. The installer on the jump drive then installs MBR Linux with BIOS only booting. My hard drive is larger than 2 TB so I must use GUID partition table. UEFI is 20 years old, the drive creation programs need to update to at least 2012 and allow the option of UEFI bootable jump drives.

@rpearsonii, I don’t think your complaint applies to the current Ubuntu iso files, when cloned, and many modern tools use the cloning method when creating a USB pendrive.

USB pendrives made by cloning from Ubuntu iso files boot both in UEFI mode and in BIOS mode. And the installation will be in the same boot mode as the computer was booted when installing.

It is easy to select a GUID partition table, GPT, in both cases. In fact the boot mode and partition table can be selected and used independently with Ubuntu.

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this was my 3rd attempt to install ubuntu, and is my last. I am going elsewhere for the Linux software. Nothing worked as whomever the authors of the directions suggested it was going to. i tried the ether thingy and the rufus program. for a novice like myself sending me different place to do this and that before ever doing this to do that is, was the issue. let alone trying to get it transferred onto a usb stick. neither of those programs found my usb stick. They did find the program I wanted to install, and automatically assumed i wanted to install it on the comp that downloaded the program.

If i wanted it on a usb to install on another comp. why didn’t the brain childs of ubuntu put all that in one file downloadable as a bootable program onto a usb stick?

i hope whomever designs or reads this stuff or wrote those directions read this. I honestly gave it an effort over the last couple of days.

peace out,
scotty

The gurus in our various support venues would be happy to help you through the process, and can perhaps explain so you understand better.

The way it works is that YOU contribute specific improvements to the tutorial. Not “somebody else” or “whomever”.

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No program found… only startup applications (I upgraded to 22.04.1 but then decided I wanted to clean install from USB… no USB creator found)

Tried to using Disks to “Restore and Image” to usb but wasn’t detected by grub/EFI
Tried to use balenaEtcher and ran into this bug: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/xubuntu-meta/+bug/1965636
– Finally was able to launch and use balenaEtcher after troubleshooting (https://forums.balena.io/t/known-issue-etcher-does-not-work-on-ubuntu-22-04-and-linux-mint-21/360557/3)

How about:

https://askubuntu.com/a/1335942

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