With a bootable Ubuntu pen drive, you can:
- Install or upgrade Ubuntu
- Test out the Ubuntu desktop experience without touching your PC configuration
- Boot into Ubuntu on a borrowed machine or from an internet cafe
- Use tools installed by default on the USB stick to repair or fix a broken configuration
Creating a bootable Ubuntu pen drive is very simple, especially from Ubuntu itself, and we’re going to cover the process in the next few steps.
Alternatively, we also have tutorials to help you create a bootable pen drive Apple Mac OS.
2. Requirements to for bootable Ubuntu pen drive
You will need:
- A 2GB or larger pen drive/flash drive
- Ubuntu Desktop 16.04 or later installed
- An Ubuntu ISO file. See Get Ubuntu for download links
3. Launch Startup Disk Creator
We’re going to use an application called ‘Startup Disk Creator’ to write the ISO image to your pen drive. This is installed by default on Ubuntu, and can be launched as follows:
- Insert your pen drive (select ‘Do nothing’ if prompted by Ubuntu)
- Use the top left icon to open the dash and search for Startup Disk Creator
- Select Startup Disk Creator from the results to launch the application
4. ISO and pen drive selection
When launched, Startup Disk Creator will 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 pen drive 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.
5. Confirm USB device
Before making any permanent changes, you will be asked to confirm the USB device to which you are going to make a bootable Ubuntu pen drive 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.
6. Installation complete for bootable Ubuntu pen drive
That’s it! You now have a bootable Ubuntu pen drive, and you are ready to go.
If you want to install Ubuntu, take a look at our install Ubuntu on desktop tutorial.
Getting help for bootable Ubuntu pen drive
If you get stuck, help is always at hand: