Create an Ubuntu image for a Raspberry Pi on Windows

Key Value
Summary How to create a bootable microSD card to run Ubuntu on your Raspberry Pi
Categories iot
Difficulty 2
Author Peter Mahnke


Duration: 1:00

In this tutorial, we will walk you through creating a bootable Ubuntu microSD card for your Raspberry Pi .

What you’ll learn

How to create a bootable microSD card to run Ubuntu on your Raspberry Pi

What you’ll need

  • A microSD card
  • An Ubuntu Server image
  • A computer with a microSD card drive

:warning: Warning
Following these steps will erase any existing content on the removable drive!

Please note
The following instructions are for Windows users. We also have tutorials for Ubuntu and MacOS users.

On your Windows machine

Duration: 5:00

  1. Download the Ubuntu image for your device in your Downloads folder
  2. If the Ubuntu image file you have downloaded ends with an .xz file extension, you will need to extract it first. To do so, you might have to install an archive extractor software, like 7-zip
  3. Insert your microSD card
  4. Download and install Win32DiskImager, then launch it
  5. Find out where your removable drive is mounted by opening a File Explorer window to check which mount point the drive is listed under. Here is an example of an microSD card listed under E:
  6. In order to flash your card with the Ubuntu image, Win32DiskImager will need two elements:
    1. An Image File: navigate to your Downloads folder and select the image you have just extracted
    2. A Device: the location of your microSD card. Select the drive on which your microSD card is mounted
  7. When ready click on Write and wait for the process to complete
  8. You can now eject your microSD card

That’s all folks!

Duration: 1:00

You did it!

Now you can put the microSD card in your Raspberry Pi and boot it up. See the How to install Ubuntu Server on your Raspberry Pi tutorial and learn about booting it up, installing a desktop and installing software from our Snap Store.

1 Like

This should say

The following instructions are for Windows users

1 Like

This tutorial hasnt worked for me. I have a Windows 10 laptop, with a 64GB ultra slim Card.

Firstly its not possible to format the card to FAT32 format natively using Windows 10 for this size card (64GB). I had to Google and download a third-party software inorder to format the card.

Secondly the Win32Imager doesnt seem to work to write the image from my laptop onto the card. I have downloaded the 64-bit Ubuntu version for raspbery Pi 4 - so not sure if there is a problem using Win32 imager to write a 64-bit file or if my 64GB card is too big for the software to write.

I have managed to flash my card now by the following steps,

  1. Download and install the FREE version of Ease US Partition Master,

I used this to successfully format my 64GB ultra sandisk memory card to FAT32 format.

  1. Download and install Balena Etcher,

I used this to successfully transfer the Ubuntu image for raspbery pi 64-bit to the 64GB card.

Both steps completed successfully but I have yet to test booting from the card as I have yet to purchase my Raspberry Pi.

In order to get this to work I had to plug my card-reader usb stick directly into the laptop’s usb port. Before it was plugged into a Dell port expander and the transfer step did fail. Maybe this was the reason why the Win32Imager step didnt work before as well - I am not sure as I didnt try it again once it worked using Etcher.

I too used Balena Etcher, there was no need to format the card.

On a different note, as someone else has already pointed out -

This should be changed to read

The following instructions are for Windows users

I had to lookup Win32DiskImager via google. I cordially ask hyperlinking the word “Win32DiskImager” in line four to