How to Run Ubuntu 10.4 From a Memory Stick

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Ubuntu is one of several free Linux-based operating systems.
Ubuntu is one of several free Linux-based operating systems.

The free Ubuntu Linux operating system provides a full desktop GUI along with several pre-installed programs for productivity, networking and other basic computing tasks. You can install Ubuntu from several different media types, including a USB memory stick. If you don't want to take up your system's hard drive space, you can even run Ubuntu directly from the USB stick without installing it to try out the operating system. Ubuntu version 10.4 has long-term support, making it a good choice for continued use.

Instructions

    • 1

      Navigate a Web browser to the Ubuntu download page. In the "Download options" drop-down menu, select "Ubuntu 10.4" and either the 32- or 64-bit version, depending on the architecture of your system's hardware. Click "Start Download" and wait for the ISO file to download completely.

    • 2

      Navigate to the PendriveLinux website and click "Download" to save the Universal USB Installer to your system's hard drive. This small utility program will make the Ubuntu ISO file operate correctly on your flash drive; several others are available online for download, but the Universal USB Installer is recommended by Ubuntu. The file runs without installation and requires administrative permission.

    • 3

      Insert a USB memory drive with at least 2 GB of storage space. Placing Ubuntu on the drive will erase any other stored contents, so you may wish to back up any saved files to the system's hard drive first. Start the Universal USB Installer.

    • 4

      Click the "Step 1" drop-down menu and select "Ubuntu 10.4" from the list of options. Click "Browse" and navigate to the saved Ubuntu ISO file on the hard drive. In the "Step 3" drop-down menu, click the drive letter corresponding to the memory stick. Click "Create" when finished.

    • 5

      Wait for the program to finish writing to the drive. Leave the memory stick connected to the system and restart the computer.

    • 6

      Press the button labeled "BIOS" or "Setup" at the startup screen to enter the BIOS menu. If you can't find the correct key, consult the system's manual for specific instructions. Navigate to the "Boot" tab of the menu and move the USB device to the top of the list. This will ensure the system uses the Ubuntu drive to start the system. Save and exit the BIOS menu to restart the system again.

    • 7

      Wait for the Ubuntu startup screen to appear. Click the language you wish to use and then select "Try Ubuntu" to run the operating system without installing it. If you wish to install it after a trial period, repeat this step and select "Install Ubuntu" instead.

Tips & Warnings

  • While most modern motherboards allow the system to boot from a USB disk, some older systems do not. If the USB device does not appear in your BIOS boot menu, you may need to use a compact disc or another device to start Ubuntu.

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  • Photo Credit Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

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