One Button Installer, 'OBI'
The One Button Installer is described at the following wiki page.
The plans are to develop that page into the main tutorial and to move it to some other location within the Ubuntu wiki. This tutorial thread will stay at its present location. I intend to keep it up to date with references to the wiki page and other links. I also intend to describe new features and systems to install.
The One Button Installer itself can be installed from a compressed image file with terminal window commands or with the shell-script mkusb, described at the tutorial Howto make USB boot drives.
A special version for very old computers (without PAE capability or which cannot boot from USB) is shown at this wiki page
Typical cases for the One Button Installer
Tool that is easy to use and just works
The normal linux installers that come with iso files are complicated to use or freeze during the installation process, and you want a tool that is easier to use and just works.
Replace Windows XP
Replace Windows XP because you want the computer to work faster or smoother with an Ubuntu based linux operating system, or at the end of life in April 2014, when there will be no more security updates for Windows XP.
You want a simple method to backup (and restore) your whole installed linux system. The One Button Installer combines installation, backup and restore in one set of tools.
Your own portable Ubuntu based linux system
You want to make your own linux system portable and port it to a USB pendrive or to be installed in another computer to be used by yourself, or to be uploaded to the internet for sharing with other people. The One Button Installer can do it in a simpler way than to remaster the code and make an own iso file.
Please view or download this General description file.
How to install and run the OBI
OBI quick start manual
Please view or download this OBI quick start manual file with a short description how to make a boot drive with the OBI and how to use the OBI to install an Ubuntu based linux operating system.
If you want to read more, please view or download this README file, which describes with more details how to make a boot drive with the OBI and how to use the OBI to install an Ubuntu based linux operating system to your computer, to make a portable system or to make a tarball from an existing system for backup or sharing.
Download the following files
Select one of the compressed image files
and at least one of the tarballs (check for new tarballs at the websites for downloading). User: guru, Password: changeme if nothing else is stated, except for the One Button Installer itself, that comes with User: myself, Password: 123456
dd_blank-obi_4GB_23_text.img.xz # if you need a really small system (324MiB)
dd_blank-obi_7.8GB_25_LubuntuTrusty_nonpae.img.xz # if you need a non-pae kernel (677MiB)
dd_precise-obi_4GB_29_text.img.xz # to install tarballs made for precise (183MiB)
dd_blank-obi_7.8GB_31_LubuntuTrusty.img.xz # current main choice for most cases (677MiB)
plus a script file and a signed list of the md5sums
Bento12.04.04-oem0.tar.xz # in OEM mode, password: 123456
Bento12.04.04-oem1.tar.xz # OEM: ready for the end user
Bento12.04.04.tar.xz # user: guru, password: changeme
GnomeClassic1204-oem.tar.xz # in OEM mode, password: changeme
Kubuntu_13.10oem-nov23.tar.xz # OEM: ready for the end user
lubuntu-10.04.tar.gz # good for old systems but past end of life of desktop packages
Lubuntu_14.04oem-npae5.tar.xz # in OEM mode, password: 123456
Lubuntu_14.04oem-npae.tar.xz # in OEM mode, password: 123456 (old)
Lubuntu_14.04_eu-npae.tar.xz # OEM: ready for the end user
LubuntuTrusty-oem-feb12.tar.xz # OEM: ready for the end user
lxle-2013-08-19.tar.xz # tweaked, old but possible to update/upgrade
lxle32-12.04.4-oem0.tar.xz # in OEM mode, password: 123456
lxle32-12.04.4-oem1.tar.xz # OEM: ready for the end user
precise-mini-txt.tar.xz # Ubuntu text system with portable wired network (from mini.iso)
ToriOS-pae-OEM_prec_use-by-OBI-in-trusty.tar.xz # ToriOS beta, in OEM mode, password: 123456
Trusty-mini-txt6.tar.xz # user: guru, password: changeme
Trusty-nonpae-txt5.tar.xz # user: guru, password: changeme
ubuntu-10.04.tar.gz # good for old systems but past end of life of desktop packages
XubuntuTrusty-oem-feb13.tar.xz # OEM: ready for the end user
Download a virtual disk for testing the OBI in Virtual Box
Virtual Box can connect to peripheral devices and mass storage devices via USB, but not boot. Instead, the OBI can be installed to a [virtual] hard disk drive. The virtual machine will boot from the first virtual disk, so you must put it on top in the 'storage managing window'. Later, when you want to boot from the installed system, you must switch the order of the virtual disks. There is a compressed virtual disk with the OBI and a Saucy Alpha 2 tarball in
Expand it and connect it to a virtual machine, and you can test the OBI in Virtual Box without the extra problems to get the OBI into the virtual machine and installing it.
KVM can boot from a USB drive and even an image file
If a 64-bit host operating system in a machine with hardware virtualization is available, install a KVM virtual machine. Otherwise Virtualbox might be more efficient.
Install a virtual machine using KVM, qemu, and virt-manager according to this wiki page
It is fast and very similar to installing and running in a real system.
You need no special virtual disk file for KVM. You can mount the OBI image file (after expansion from img.gz to img) and it can be used as a virtual SATA disk. If it is the first disk, the virtual machine will boot from it.
And the standard tarballs can be imported via sftp, wget or lynx to this virtual SATA disk and used in order to install systems to a second virtual disk.
Follow the instructions in the README file step by step
Just a reminder of the README file...
Make you own tarball
This is a link to a detailed description how to make your own tarball
OBI versions 0.7, 1.0, ... :
1. The dialogue has been improved by using screens made with the linux program dialog. It means a menu style similar to that of the alternate installer and the mini.iso. See the attached pictures.
2. The compression of the dd-image files and the tarballs is improved. The original compression was using gzip. It is still available, but now xz compression is also available, and xz compression is more than 20% more efficient, often 30% (meaning that the size of the compressed file is 20-30% smaller than a gzipped file). xz is slower and needs more memory, but not too much. During a test with low RAM, 128 MB, extracting the tarball with xz used 62 MB while extracting with gzip used 49 GB. Downloading is usually the bottleneck, so small files are preferred.
1. Own directory for tarballs (plus symlink)
Put and find the tarballs in
2. Download tarball
~/tarballs -> /tarballs
There is a new download system with a dialog menu, that you run from the main menu with
d Download tarball
3. Make tarball
From version 1.1 xz is the default compression in mktbl. You can also enter a tarball name as parameter #3 when you run mktbl from the bash shell.
Basic and advanced OBI level
Most users are recommended to use the basic OBI level. This means that the OBI will install a system from a tarball into a whole device, typically an internal hard disk drive or a USB 3 pendrive. It is easy and takes only a few minutes to install a system at the basic OBI level.
The advanced level opens the door to dual boot (mainly for internal disks) and a first FAT32 partition for access from Windows (for USB pendrives). In the advanced level the OBI will let you select the partitions. It means that you can install a system from a tarball into two partitions, one root file system partition and one swap partition. This way it is possible to create a dual boot device with an existing (already installed) operating system. It is also possible to create a separate data partition with an NTFS or FAT32 file system, that can be used by linux as well as Windows.
The intention with the advanced level is to edit and create partitions with Gparted (booted from a 'regular' boot CD/DVD/USB device). One partition is labelled 'obi-root' and one (smaller) partition is labelled 'obi-swap'. Such partitions can be identified and selected automatically in the advanced level, but manual selection is also possible.
Editing partitions is risky (so you need a good backup) and it takes long time (hours) to shrink an existing partition with a lot of data (Windows), so that there will be space for new partitions.
In order to make it more convenient to use the advanced OBI level (introduced in version 1.2), there is now version 2.2.
The underlying operating system is upgraded to Ubuntu version 13.10 and Lubuntu-desktop is installed and tweaked to create a graphical desktop environment with desktop icons for the main tasks during installation with the One Button Installer.
A USB 3 pendrive with at least 8 GB is recommended for the graphical desktop environment. But there is also a flavour of version 2.2 with a text desktop environment, which is suitable for very old computers. A 4 GB pendrive is big enough for the text version.
You can find some USB pendrives that are good booters in this link Howto help USB boot drives
This version is mainly a bug-fix update from 2.2 including updated pdf documents. The operating system (13.10) is also updated/upgraded.
New feature: the OBI will share an existing swap partition, when selected at the advanced OBI level.
Use this link https://help.ubuntu.com/community/OBI
There is a new and special version of the 9w installer, the OBI-9w installer
This version is made for very old computers without PAE capability. The One Button Installer in run from the 9w installer's debian system. Now there is a super light-weight installer, that can
- install from CD, DVD and USB
- create not only single boot but also dual boot systems.
Prepare partitions with Gparted and run the One Button Installer at the advanced level to create dual boot or multi boot system.
There are special tarballs for the 9w installer, and these tarballs come with the iso file.
This version is mainly a bug-fix update from 2.3 (and 2.4 OBI-9w) including updated pdf documents. The operating system (14.04 LTS) is also updated/upgraded.
New feature: the starter menu will set the default item (command line) in a logical way prompting to download and select tarball, select OBI level and then install a system. Two-digit partition numbers (/dev/sda10 ...) are recognized at the advanced OBI level.
USB 3 pendrives with at least 8 GB are recommended for this version with Lubuntu desktop. 4 GB pendrives are still possible for the text version. See also this link
This version is a major improvement, implemented for ToriOS but not published here.
- dynamic focus in the starter menu
- improved recognition of devices (using the function list_drives)
- final warning screen with red background
- improved help function
This version is a bug-fix and polishing update of the starter script. Current mkusb and mkusb-nox are installed and there are updated pdf documents. The operating system (14.04.1 LTS) is also updated/upgraded to the current date (2014-12-28).
Howto help USB boot drives
Use this link https://help.ubuntu.com/community/OBI
This version number is reserved for for ToriOS.
This version selects tarballs depending on the version (12.04 LTS or 14.04 LTS)
- improved 'dltbl' - to download tarballs
- selecting repository for tarballs depending on the version of the system underneath the OBI (12.04 LTS or 14.04 LTS)
- some bug-fixes: modified for-loops and md5check
- improved 'confirm-partition' - pre-selected root and swap partitions should *not* be mounted
- a text based One Button Installer based on Ubuntu mini.iso 12.04 LTS is released
View the pictures as a slide-show
The pictures are screen-dumps and illustrate how to use the OBI. View them with 100% resolution here!
Here are a few of them attached.