Boot Ubuntu Live from a flash drive

So for the longest time, I’ve been trying to figure out how to get a Ubuntu ISO bootable from a USB stick. Well, I finally found a gem of an article (edit: which has since been removed).
Essentially, all you have to do is create two partitions (believe me, I tried to do it with one but it won’t work). The first partition is a FAT16 partition containing the ISO image plus a syslinux config file. I’ve created a zip file of extra things you need to copy to the first partition
Basically, the process is as follows:
1) create partition 1 as a ~750MB FAT16 partition with the label ‘liveusb’ and set it as an active partition.
2) create partition 2 as the rest of the space using ext2 type partition and label ‘casper-rw’. The label is important.
3) format each partition appropriately.
4) Copy the contents of the Ubuntu ISO to the FAT16 partition.
5) Copy the contents of the ZIP file to the FAT16 partition.
6) using syslinux, execute ‘syslinux -f /dev/sdc1’ if you’re using linux, and the flash drive is sdc. Under windows, use ‘syslinux.exe -f F:’ where the flash drive is located at F:.

That’s it. It’s not that hard to do really, just annoying to figure out. Not sure if there’s a way we can get away with creating a RAMFS for casper-rw. It would quite likely speed up the loading process.
Fekete András

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One thought on “Boot Ubuntu Live from a flash drive

  1. Thanks man, been looking for a guide on how to do this. At least now I can boot it at work 😉


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