Computer Software

Procedure to install Xubuntu 12.04 on a USB flash drive

Requirements: a desktop or laptop computer with a built-in CD burner, and a 4 or 6gig USB flash drive, a blank CD-R.


1.Goto Xubuntu’s web site and download the iso image of “Xubuntu 12.04.1 alternate install”.

2. Burn this image onto a real CD.

3. Set your machine to boot from the CD.

4. Insert USB flash drive into your machine.

5. Run the installer. Choose “Use Entire Disk”, but…

6. MAKE SURE you choose the USB DRIVE and NOT your machine’s internal hard drive the one with Windows on it!

7. The USB drive is commonly called “sdb” and the partition you are installing “sdb1”, and the internal drive is “sda1”. If is is “sda” then it is the hard drive, cancel the installation and go back. 

8. IF IN DOUBT, do not proceed with the installation. 

9. If your USB stick has an indicator light, it will flash during the installation. This is normal. If your hard drive light is flashing and not the USB stick, then you are in trouble….

The ISO is here:

This iso is for 32 bit, most machines, if you need something else go through the main page at Xubuntu.




This ISO needs at least 2gig of drive space. 4gig recommended. 8 gig even better.

Like to put an Internet Radio station in your pocket? Go here:










3 thoughts on “Procedure to install Xubuntu 12.04 on a USB flash drive

  1. It can’t be that simple… literally just install to the usb stick? Do you install the bootloader to the MBR of the usb or to the first partition?
    I tried installing crunchbang this way — the debian-esque installer is identical in most respects — and it would never take.

    I’ll give this a try and report the results.

    1. Yes it is that simple, but it only works with Ubuntu and variants! I used Xubuntu alternate install CD. This is the same as the regular install, but with fewer fonts and games etc., so it takes up less space.

      No, you do not install the bootloader to the MBR!

      What you do, is install the WUBI version of XUbuntu 11.10 first, that adds an entry for Xubuntu to your boot options menu automatically. The Xubuntu 12.04.1 alternate install CD for the USB stick does not include WUBI. Boot the machine from this CD and run the installer and put Xubuntu on the USB stick as directed in this blog. Then, reboot the WUBI install, and go to a terminal and do a “sudo update-grub”. This will add an entry into the grub menu for the stick. When you re-boot, you can select either the stick or the WUBI install.

      You can use the USB stick without WUBI if you select the stick as the boot device in the BIOS. This may or may not work depending on whether your computer supports booting from a USB stick.

      Do not make any changes to your MBR, use WUBI.

      Hope this helps

  2. Code to make a live USB stick

    sudo dd if=/home/jeroen/Desktop/nameofiso.iso of=/dev/sdb

    Code to boot from USB stick

    boot usb1/disk@1:2,\\yaboot

    More information:

    determine USB device:

    dev / ls
    ff972e78: /usb@18
    ff9a4fa8: /mouse@1
    ff97ab00: /usb@19
    ff9a4f80: /disk@1
    In this case, the USB drive is “/usb@19”. Write it down.

    Using the Device Alias
    OF has aliases for the device to make using them easier. Find the alias
    of the USB drive.
    Code: Select all

    0 > devalias

    usb1 /pci@f2000000/usb@19

    In this case, it’s “usb1”. Write it down.

    Booting The USB Drive
    The “boot” commands boots the machine.

    Code: Select all
    0 > boot usb1/disk@1:2,\\yaboot

Need Help? Type Here (sends an email to my tablet)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s