Monday, June 18, 2012

HowTo Install Linux from USB flash drive

UNetbootin allows you to create bootable Live USB drives for Ubuntu, Fedora, and other Linux distributions without burning a CD. It runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. You can either let UNetbootin download one of the many distributions supported out-of-the-box for you, or supply your own Linux .iso file if you've already downloaded one or your preferred distribution isn't on the list.


  • Microsoft Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7, or Linux, or Mac OS X 10.5+. Note that resulting USB drives are bootable only on PCs (not on Macs).
  • Internet access for downloading a distro to install, or a pre-downloaded ISO file


UNetbootin can create a bootable Live USB drive, or it can make a "frugal install" on your local hard disk if you don't have a USB drive. It loads distributions either by downloading a ISO (CD image) files for you, or by using an ISO file you've already downloaded.


Installation & Screenshots

  1. If using Windows, run the file, select an ISO file or a distribution to download, select a target drive (USB Drive or Hard Disk), then reboot once done. If your USB drive doesn't show up, reformat it as FAT32.


  2. If using Linux, make the file executable (using either the command chmod +x ./unetbootin-linux, or going to Properties->Permissions and checking "Execute"), then start the application, you will be prompted for your password to grant the application administrative rights, then the main dialog will appear, where you select a distribution and install target (USB Drive or Hard Disk), then reboot when prompted.



  3. After rebooting, if you created a Live USB drive by selecting "USB Drive" as your install target, press the appropriate button (usually F1, F2, F12, ESC, or backspace) while your computer is starting up to get to your BIOS boot menu and select USB drive as the startup target; otherwise if there's no boot selection option, go to the BIOS setup menu and change the startup order to boot USB by default. Note that Live USB drives are bootable only on PCs (not on Macs). Otherwise, if you did a "frugal install" by selecting "Hard Disk" as your install target, select the UNetbootin entry from the Windows Boot Menu as the system boots up.

Removal Instructions (Applicable only to Hard Disk / "frugal installs")

If using Windows, UNetbootin should prompt you to remove it the next time you boot into Windows. Alternatively, you can remove it via Add/Remove Programs in the Control Panel.
If using Linux, re-run the UNetbootin executable (with root priveledges), and press OK when prompted to uninstall.
Removal is only required if you used the "Hard Drive" installation mode; to remove the bootloader from a USB drive, back up its contents and reformat it.
Uninstalling UNetbootin simply removes the UNetbootin entry from your boot menu; if you installed an operating system to a partition using UNetbootin, removing UNetbootin will not remove the OS.
To manually remove a Linux installation, you will have to restore the Windows bootloader using "fixmbr" from a recovery CD, and use Parted Magic to delete the Linux partition and expand the Windows partition.

Bibliography and References :

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