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Thread: HOW TO Avoid Wubi & Install Ubuntu on USB Drive

  1. #1
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    Question HOW TO Avoid Wubi & Install Ubuntu on USB Drive

    HOW TO Avoid Wubi
    &
    Install Ubuntu on USB Drive


    Introduction
    Don't be confused. I know Wubi has nothing to do with installing Ubuntu on an USB-Drive but if you just could wait for few seconds, you'll understand everything.

    This guid
    e has been written based on a real experiment which I have recently done by myself. I have not used any word from any website, guide, thread, etc whatsoever.
    If you have any questions, suggestions or feedback, please feel free to post it here.

    In order not to confuse anyone, I'm going to use the "LiveCD" in this guide instead of the LiveUSB. It does not mean you can't use LiveUSB, but I'm just avoiding that with this guide. This guide is targeting the new comers to Ubuntu so it should be crystal clear.

    Hardware Used (click):
    Motherboard: Intel
    CPU: Pentium 4 @3.00GHz
    RAM: 448MB DDR PC400
    HDD: Samsung 20GB
    Graphics Card: ATI (Built-in)
    USB: USB-Drive Imation 4GB

    Requirements:

    Ubuntu 10.04 LiveCD
    USB-Drive


    Aim of this guide

    1. Avoid Wubi which I don’t recommend to any user who is willing to try Ubuntu without making major changes on his/her system.
    2. Learn how to install Ubuntu in a plain and a simple way.
    3. Install and Use Ubuntu without making any changes to your HDD.

    Explanation
    I'm not going to explain about Wubi here but I'll provide all the useful links that you may want to have a look at.

    http://www.ubuntu.com/desktop/get-ub...dows-installer
    https://wiki.ubuntu.com/WubiGuide
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wubi_%2...u_installer%29

    Now, this is my own personal opinion about Wubi that you may disagree with it which is fine with me but keep in mind that I'm writing this guide for a reason. I'm trying to save your time and offer a better choice for you.

    Unlike what some may think about Wubi, I think it's a problematic choice more than a helpful one. Again, this is my own personal opinion.
    Lots of users faced many troubles with Wubi. This guide is an alternative better solution.

    It's true that Wubi will be installed inside Windows just like any other program you run under Windows but, again, I've seen lots of problems and users were complaining and had no idea what to do?
    Eventually, sooner or later, you're going to install Ubuntu. In most cases, this is what will happen. IMHO, I think those who don't want to install Ubuntu is because they faced lots of problems with Wubi, thus they did not have the chance to try and see what the real Ubuntu is. I don't blame them. The first impression is quite important.

    Having all that said, the best choice is to avoid Wubi all together and instead of that, you can "Install" Ubuntu WITHOUT making any changes to your HDD.

    I know that sounds silly and impossible for the very first moment but again, wait and see.

    Ubuntu, just like most/some of the other Linux Distributions, can be installed on an USB-Drive/Pen-Drive/USB-Flash.

    By installing Ubuntu on an USB-Drive, you will achieve this (even if that will be your first time to use Ubuntu):

    a) Learn how to install and use Ubuntu
    b) No changes will be made to your HDD whatsoever

    Are we in the same page? good

    Before we start, please have a look at this link.

    Steps

    0- A backup to your current OS and/or your important data is and will be always recommended if not a must.

    1- Download the version that works on your hardware (32-bit/64-bit).

    2- Check MD5SUM and compare it to Ubuntu Hashes

    3- Create the LiveCD as per the instruction given in this link - See#2

    4-
    Please make sure your USB-Drive is plugged in to one of your USB-Ports.

    5- Insert the LiveCD and Restart/Re-boot your machine.

    6- Enter BIOS

    7- Make sure that the first device to boot from is the CD-ROM. See this image.
    And make sure the second boot device is the HDD.
    Please note that your BIOS may look different so it's better to refer back to your Motherboard's manual.

    8- Now, make sure to change the "Hard Disk Boot Priority".
    Please, don't be confused. This option is used to set which HDD will boot first. In this guide, the HDD as a "boot device", will be the "second device" to boot up from and the CD-Drive will be the first. Please, try to understand that clearly.

    As per this image, the USB-Drive must be the first then your Internal HDD after that.
    USB-HDD0 is refer to the USB-Drive.


    9- Save your new BIOS settings and Exit.

    10- Once your machine will reboot, it should boot up from the LiveCD.

    11- Press any key, select your language from the list and choose "Try Ubuntu without installation".

    12- Make sure you get to the GUI Desktop. You may have some problems to get the GUI Desktop. Either because of your Graphics Card or corrupted CD. Perhaps later on we could discuss that.

    13- GParted.

    14- Make sure to select your USB-Drive from GParted List. In this guide, it's sdb. If you have another OS installed (XP is installed in this guide), please be careful not to select it by mistake and remove one of the partitions or format the whole drive.

    15- Now, just follow these steps as per the images:

    a) Right Click on sdb1 and choose "Delete"
    Then, click on the GREEN TICK icon to apply the change.

    b) You'll see unallocated space. Right click on that unallocated space and choose "New".

    c) You'll see a new window. Choose "Primary Partition" and "ext4" as a file system and then decide the size of your partition. That's will be your root partition. Then Click "Add".

    You need to read this guide to understand what I'm talking about, especially if you're new to Ubuntu.

    d) A new partition will be created after that. Whatever left as unallocated space, please right click on that gray space and yet again choose "New".

    e) Create your swap partition as per this image. Then Click "Add".

    f) After that, all what you need to do is click "Apply", the green tick icon. You'll have then two partitions: sdb1 and sdb2.

    16- At this point, you're done from creating the needed partitions for your installation of Ubuntu. You just need now to click "Install" from that icon on your desktop.

    17- Kindly check this link out. It will guide you through the steps of installation one by one. However, step 4 and step 8 in the graphical installation guide need your attention so I'm going to explain that in the next steps in this guide.

    18- When you reach Step 4 in the Graphical Guide, you need to select the last options which is:
    Specify Partitions Manually (Advanced)

    19- By default, you should have a HDD and your USB-Drive that you want to install Ubuntu to. Thus, you'll see two entries or two HDDs, sda and sdb.

    sda
    is your main internal HDD
    sdb is your USB-Drive

    Make sure you select the correct drive.

    As per this image, you need to select /dev/sdb1 which is the first partition in sdb and that was the partition your created using GParted before you start the installation process.

    20- Now, you need to right click on /dev/sdb1 and choose change.

    21- A new window will pop up. Please, set the following:

    a) Use as > ext4
    b) Format the partition > tick - means yes.
    c) Mount Point > / - means this is the root partition.

    Select OK in this window. Note that you don't have to change anything in
    /dev/sdb2 because this is the swap partition which you already created before using GParted. The installer will detect that partition so you don't need to do anything here.

    Make sure you did all the required changes and click "Forward" in the main window.

    22- Now, please may I have you attention here?
    This is the most important step in the whole guide. Without this step, there is no point to do all this.

    Once you reach step 8 (Ready to install) which is the final step, you'll see a list of all the changes you've made since the beginning of the installation process.
    In the bottom, you see "Advanced ..." right? okay, click on that one.

    Now, you should see a new window just like this one.
    The title says: Advanced Options
    Then it says: Boot loader
    Then a check box says: Install Boot Loader.
    >>>> MAKE SURE that option is ticked. Yes, we need to install the boot loader.

    There's a list with this title: Device for boot loader installation.

    ALL what you have to do is >>> select /dev/sdb.

    And you're done. You now just need to click on "Install" and that is all.

    What you just did was: you asked the installer to install Ubuntu Boot Loader (GRUB2) in the MBR of the USB-Drive.

    Why we need to do this?
    Plain and simple.
    a) You already have an OS installed before. Windows or any other OS, doesn't matter. We don't need to mess around with that OS.

    b) By installing Ubuntu Boot Loader in the MBR of the USB-Drive, we grantee that the MBR of the internal HDD will keep doing the same old job which is boot the OS that is installed on the main internal HDD. We don't want to change anything. Remember, the whole point of this guide was to install Ubuntu without any changes to the HDD.

    c) Also, by installing Ubuntu Boot Loader in the MBR of the USB-Drive, we created a bootable USB-Drive. Whenever you plug it to your machine, turn it on and set the BIOS settings to boot from that USB-Drive, you'll be able to boot up your machine and GRUB2 menu will show up. Then you can select whether to start Ubuntu or Windows (or any other OS you have installed already on your internal HDD).

    What could be better than this? do you see how many benefits you can from that?
    1- You installed Ubuntu on an USB-Drive
    2- You created a Bootable USB-Drive with a complete OS installed.
    3- You will be able to choose which OS to boot into from a list.
    4- You did not do any changes on your HDD.
    5- If you unplug your USB-Drive, nothing wrong will happen and you'll still be able to boot into your OS which you have already installed.
    6- You just learned the easiest way to install Ubuntu
    7- You can now try Ubuntu and do whatever you want. Your System remain as it's. ALL what you need to do is:
    Change the BIOS settings to make sure your System will boot up from the USB-Drive first.

    What else do you want?

    23- As shown in the Graphical Guide, you need to restart.
    You need to take out the LiveCD but keep your USB-Drive plugged in, don't remove it.

    24- Once done, you should see something like this.
    If you have another OS rather than Windows, it should be listed there.

    25. Congratulation.



    I know it's a long guide but this guide has been created to help new comers to Ubuntu. If you already an Ubuntu's User, then you can use this guide to help you in installing Ubuntu to an USB-Drive if you don't know the steps for that.


    There are some other points I'd like to highlight but I'll do it later on.

    Please, make sure to read each and every external link I have provided with this guide. I'm not making it harder for you but without the extra effort by you, you'll never learn to do it the right way. After all, it's you who will install and it's you who will do everything. The whole point is >>> you should know how to do it the right way

    ALL THE BEST and WELCOME TO UBUNTU

    Final word: Let's NOT use Ubuntu in Windows-Way and YES, unquestionably, I mean Wubi


    Last edited by amjjawad; August 10th, 2011 at 05:41 PM. Reason: Updating

  2. #2
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    Talking Extra Stuff ;)

    Okay, as promised, there are still some extra points I'd like to highlight. I'm going to put that in a new post so you won't be confused. This is EXTRA POINTS and if you will not understand this part, don't panic, there's nothing wrong with you, you just need some time to be more familiar with this.

    Note that: These points will NOT change anything. These are some facts and benefits you'll gain from installing Ubuntu on an USB-Drive.


    Point1
    The USB Drive that I have used in this guide to install Ubutnu was a 4GB USB Drive. 1GB of Free Space left.
    In case someone is wondering how much is the minimum size of installing Ubuntu? then I guess you already know the answer by now.

    The Swap Partition was 512MB and the rest for Ubuntu.

    Definitely, DO NOT go for this kind of installation IF you're willing to use Ubuntu on a daily basis. 1GB Free Space is nothing nowadays. I'm just saying that: "Yes, Ubuntu can be installed on 4GB USB Drive".

    By the way, I have installed Ubuntu 10.4


    Point2
    The USB Drive after the installation can be used as a rescue disk to boot up your machine just in case something wrong will happen. Just like the LiveCD.

    Point3
    And because Ubuntu 10.04 has GRUB2 and because GRUB2 is an amazing boot loader that I like so much, with one single command, you'll be able to boot any other OS installed just in case something will go wrong.

    HOWTO DO THAT?

    1 ) Plug your USB to your Machine.
    2 ) Reboot
    3 ) Enter BIOS
    4 ) Make sure your machine will boot from CD-ROM first THEN from USB Drive (USB-HDD). You need to update the settings manually.
    5 ) Save and Exit
    6 ) Your System will boot from the USB and will login to Ubuntu.
    7 ) From Terminal, run this command:

    Code:
    sudo update-grub


    8 ) Done.
    9 ) Reboot your machine again and a list of all your Operating Systems will be available, just pick whatever OS you want to login to.

    Can't find more now

  3. #3
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    Re: HOW TO Avoid Wubi & Install Ubuntu on USB Drive

    Is this for 10.10?
    The instructions seem like they are for 10.04.

    22- Now, please may I have you attention here?
    This is the most important step in the whole guide. Without this step, there is no point to do all this.

    Once you reach step 8 (Ready to install) which is the final step, you'll see a list of all the changes you've made since the beginning of the installation process.
    In the bottom, you see "Advanced ..." right? okay, click on that one.

    Now, you should see a new window just like this one.
    The title says: Advanced Options
    Then it says: Boot loader
    Then a check box says: Install Boot Loader.

  4. #4
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    Re: HOW TO Avoid Wubi & Install Ubuntu on USB Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by C.S.Cameron View Post
    Is this for 10.10?
    The instructions seem like they are for 10.04.
    10.04 - check the 2nd post

    Okay, I edited the main post.

  5. #5
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    Re: HOW TO Avoid Wubi & Install Ubuntu on USB Drive

    Pretty good work! I personally do not like wubi, however I refrain from telling others whether or not they should use wubi. The only advice I offer is that should one have problems with wubi it is much more difficult to get help with wubi since most of us do not use it. I also offer this link, which if you read down the main developer states that wubi is not meant to be a permanent install but rather a test drive before installing a true dedicated ubuntu on a HDD.
    Multi-boot: Arch linux, Ubuntu 12.04, Windows 7 & Windows 8

  6. #6
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    Re: HOW TO Avoid Wubi & Install Ubuntu on USB Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by presence1960 View Post
    The only advice I offer is that should one have problems with wubi it is much more difficult to get help with wubi since most of us do not use it.
    True and not true.

    There is now somewhere for both Wubi users and forum regulars to turn to for help with Wubi installs.
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1639198

  7. #7
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    Re: HOW TO Avoid Wubi & Install Ubuntu on USB Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by presence1960 View Post
    Pretty good work!
    Appreciate that

    I personally do not like wubi, however I refrain from telling others whether or not they should use wubi. The only advice I offer is that should one have problems with wubi it is much more difficult to get help with wubi since most of us do not use it. I also offer this link, which
    I'm sure you read this paragraph:

    Now, this is my own personal opinion about Wubi that you may disagree with it which is fine with me but keep in mind that I'm writing this guide for a reason. I'm trying to save your time and offer a better choice for you.

    Unlike what some may think about Wubi, I think it's a problematic choice more than a helpful one. Again, this is my own personal opinion.
    Lots of users faced many troubles with Wubi. This guide should offer a better choice for you.

    I see many threads on daily basis. Users upgraded, others installed Wine in Wubi just to avoid switching between Windows and Ubuntu (which is not a real dual-boot to begin with) and lots of other stuff we both know
    I wrote this guide for purely new users to Ubuntu. I'm doing my best to show them the path that will save their time for their own good. That's all.

    if you read down the main developer states that wubi is not meant to be a permanent install but rather a test drive before installing a true dedicated ubuntu on a HDD.
    That's another reason why I wrote this guide
    Most of the users who are using Wubi do not know that fact.

    Thank you
    Last edited by amjjawad; December 27th, 2010 at 04:48 PM.

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    Re: HOW TO Avoid Wubi & Install Ubuntu on USB Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by Rubi1200 View Post
    True and not true.

    There is now somewhere for both Wubi users and forum regulars to turn to for help with Wubi installs.
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1639198
    I was waiting for you to post your link here
    Last edited by amjjawad; December 27th, 2010 at 04:51 PM.

  9. #9
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    Re: HOW TO Avoid Wubi & Install Ubuntu on USB Drive

    Sorry, because of my bad internet connection, Firefox made 3 posts instead of one.
    Last edited by amjjawad; December 27th, 2010 at 04:54 PM. Reason: SO SLOW Connection :(

  10. #10
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    Re: HOW TO Avoid Wubi & Install Ubuntu on USB Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by amjjawad View Post
    I was waiting for you to post your link here
    Note that I also linked to the interview with Agostino Russo about Wubi installs in my thread.

    Personally, I would rather see people using Ubuntu on a dedicated partition.

    But, since there is Wubi I also think it is our duty to help those users as best we can.

    Many of them eventually install Ubuntu on the hard-drive too thanks to the wubi migration thread put together by bcbc.

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