One pendrive for all PC (Intel/AMD) computers
A compressed image file is made from an Ubuntu iso file and a Lubuntu iso file. The intention is to have one USB pendrive, which can boot the vast majority of computers
Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS 64-bit: works with 64-bit processors in UEFI and BIOS mode - for new and middle-aged computers.
Lubuntu 14.04.1 LTS 32-bit: works with 32-bit processors and 64-bit processors in BIOS mode - for old and middle-aged computers. The boot option forcepae extends it to Pentium M and Celeron M processors that lack the PAE flag.
Lubuntu is booted via the syslinux interface of Ubuntu - it seems almost seamless.
Install from the compressed image file
with the following md5sum (and size 1.7 GB compressed).
to a USB pendrive (4GB or more) with mkusb in linux or Win32 Disk Imager in Windows, which is described in the following links
I made the 'One pendrive for all PC (Intel/AMD) computers' according to the following steps:
1. Wipe the first megabyte of a pendrive with mkusb.
2. Create a FAT32 partition and and an empty second partition with gparted. Mount the FAT32 partition.
3. Flash the Ubuntu iso file with the Startup Disk Creator to the FAT32 partiiton.
4. Edit the file syslinux/txt.cfg (in the FAT32 partition)
5. Create the directory lubuntu in the FAT32 partition. Loop mount the Lubuntu iso file and copy its content to the lubuntu directory.
menu label ^Try Ubuntu amd64 without installing
append noprompt cdrom-detect/try-usb=true file=/cdrom/preseed/ubuntu.seed boot=casper initrd=/casper/initrd.lz quiet splash --
menu label ^Install Ubuntu amd64
append noprompt cdrom-detect/try-usb=true file=/cdrom/preseed/ubuntu.seed boot=casper only-ubiquity initrd=/casper/initrd.lz quiet splash --
menu label ^Check disc for defects
append noprompt boot=casper integrity-check initrd=/casper/initrd.lz quiet splash --
menu label Test ^memory
menu label ^Boot from first hard disk
menu label ^Try Lubuntu i386 without installing
append noprompt cdrom-detect/try-usb=true file=/cdrom/lubuntu/preseed/lubuntu.seed boot=casper initrd=/lubuntu/casper/initrd.lz quiet splash --
menu label ^Install Lubuntu i386
append noprompt cdrom-detect/try-usb=true file=/cdrom/lubuntu/preseed/lubuntu.seed boot=casper only-ubiquity initrd=/lubuntu/casper/initrd.lz quiet splash
6. Remove the big file lubuntu/casper/filesystem.squashfs from the FAT32 file system. The squash filesystem will be accessed from the image in the second partition instead.
sudo mount -o loop /your-path/lubuntu-14.04.1-desktop-i386.iso /mnt/iso
sudo cp -r * /mnt/usbstick/lubuntu
sudo umount /mnt/iso
7. Flash the Lubuntu iso file to the second partition. This is risky, so be warned, double check and triple check, that you have the correct target! Otherwise you might destroy your family pictures. Don't do it if you are not sure. Use the compressed image file instead. Check with
where x is the current drive letter for the pendrive (I have three internal disks, so in my case x is d: /dev/sdd2).
sudo dd if=/media/multimed-2/CD/ubuntu/14.04/lubuntu-14.04.1-desktop-i386.iso of=/dev/sdx2 bs=4096
8. Sync the pendrive Unmount the pendrive.
Check that it is unmounted with before you unplug it. Otherwise it might be corrupted.
You can run a live system from the pendrive as is it and save some files in the remaining space in the FAT32 partition, 2.0 GB. And you can use it to install Ubuntu and Lubuntu 14.04.1 LTS.
If you have a bigger drive there are several options how to use the remaining drive space.
df -h /dev/sdx? # in my case /dev/sdd?
Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sdd1 3.0G 1.1G 2.0G 34% /media/Ubu64Lubu32
/dev/sdd2 696M 696M 0 100% /media/Lubuntu 14.04.1 LTS i386
- Live system
When you run a live system, the FAT32 partition is read-only. You can read files that were written there before you booted. For example, when connected to Windows or another linux computer as a normal data pendrive. If you create other partitions (for example at the end of the drive), you can read and write files by the live system. You can even read the casper-rw partition (if you created it for persistence).
- You can create partitions in the unallocated space behind the second partition, for example make a casper-rw partition for persistence and set the label to casper-rw. If there is no space behind the second partition (a 4 GB pendrive), you can make a casper-rw file in the 2 GB available in the FAT32 partition and create an ext2 file system inside the file, but it is not recommended. Use a fast USB 3 pendrive for persistence. Such pendrives have almost always at least 16 GB storage space. (USB 2 pendrives are slow with persistence.)
Add the boot option persistent
- in the file syslinux/txt.cfg for BIOS/CSM mode,
- in the linux line of the corresponding file boot/grub/grub.cfg for UEFI mode
- or add persistent only in real time at the boot menu.
But use persistence only with either of Ubuntu or Lubuntu, otherwise it will be corrupted.
When you run a persistent live system, the FAT32 partition is read-write. You can read and write files to the free space in that partition. For example, you can write and remove files, that can be read by Windows when connected to another computer as a normal data pendrive. But beware, do not remove any system files from the FAT32 partition! Persistence is sensitive to other errors too, so backup the casper-rw partition regularly.
- More than one persistent system can be made by adding Knoppix or Puppy Linux. See this thread.
. A persistent Ubuntu system and a persistent Knoppix system would work in the same pendrive. In this case I would suggest standard Ubuntu desktop 64-bit and Knoppix 32-bit. Knoppix is good at recognizing old hardware and has its own system for persistence, different from and independent of Ubuntu.
. Thinking further: In order to extend the pendrive to even older computers, Wary Puppy or TahrPup would be a good alternative. They have their own file for persistence, different from those of Ubuntu and Knoppix.
- Expand the FAT32 partition 'grow it'
It is also possible to move the second partition to the end of the drive and grow the first partition according to GrowIt.pdf.
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