Ubuntu Feisty on your USB drive – finally!

IMPORTANT NOTE: Unless for some specific reason you want to run Ubuntu version 7.04 specifically from your USB Drive, this tutorial is deprecated. I’ve written an updated and much easier tutorial on how to run the latest version of Ubuntu from your USB flash drive.

Important: As SurJector mentions, he has found another workaround that is much less work. After you have followed his instructions, you can skip on to the partitioning part (i.e. that part that is very similar to almost my whole post about putting Xubuntu on your USB drive).

Update: I now also have a guide on putting Xubuntu Feisty on your USB drive.

Note: All screenshots are also available as a slideshow.

When, in June 2006, Ubuntu Dapper Drake was released, it introduced a very exciting new feature: the ability to run it from a USB drive (also pendrive, USB bar or memory stick). This would work just like a LiveCD, with the big improvement that all your data could be saved onto the USB drive! This means not just your documents, but also e.g. network settings or your desktop background. You were practically carrying around a fully-functional operating system on your USB drive!

However, as Ubuntu 7.04 “Feisty Fawn” contained some new packages, it also introduced a bug due to which your data would no longer be saved. When it was released, this bug still wasn’t fixed. It is expected to be fixed in the next release, 7.10 “Gutsy Gibbon”, to be released in October of this year. Up until then, we’re out of luck.

You’d think. However, thanks to the hard work of Mike (mjpca on the Ubuntu Forums) and some others (see the bug report on Launchpad and the thread on the Ubuntu Forums) there is now a way to work around this bug, which I’m going to show you in this post.

The basic idea is that the files that prevent persistence (the ability to save your data to the USB drive) from working can be replaced by their previous versions as present in Ubuntu 6.10 “Edgy Eft”. However, because files on the LiveCD are compressed so they can fit on one CD, replacing these files requires quite some effors. Luckily, Mike has done all the hard work for you and has created a new hybrid Edgy/Feisty image. To use it, your computer needs to be of the type Intel x86. Don’t worry, if you don’t know what this is, you probably use it. Furthermore, I recommend you use a USB drive of at least 2 GB, because the image is quite large.
For those with 1GB USB drives or who prefer Xubuntu (which would be me ;)) I plan on creating a Xubuntu image, but I’m not quite sure if I’m able to. If it works out, of course I’ll post on this blog.

Note: This tutorial is adapted from this How-to from Debuntu.org.

To start, fire up Gparted from Applications->System->GNOME Partition Editor (note: for those that do not use Xubuntu, you’ll have to find the applications yourself). On the top, right-hand side, you can select which drive you want to partition — select your USB drive. Be careful not to select any other drive, because you will be erasing all data that is available on that drive! You first have to delete all existing partitions, which will erase all existing data. Note down or remember the name of your drive, because you’ll need it later. Mine is /dev/sda

Preparing my USB drive for persistence - clear partitions

We then create the first partition, which will contain Ubuntu. Set its size to 840 MB (which is the same as MiB), its filesystem to FAT16 and leave the rest as is.

Preparing my USB drive for persistence - creating main partition

We will then create the second partition, which will hold all of our data. Just let it take all of the remaining space and set the filesystem to ext2.

Preparing my USB drive for persistence - creating casper-rw partition

Make sure that every partition is unmounted. If a partition is not, right-click it and select unmount.

Preparing my USB drive for persistence - make sure they are unmounted

You then see an overview of how the drive will be partitioned — click the checkmark or select Edit->Apply to apply your actions.

Preparing my USB drive for persistence

It will ask you if you are sure, because it will erase all your data. If you’re fine with that, select Apply.

Preparing my USB drive for persistence - continue?

You’ll then have to wait a little while Gparted applies the operations. When it’s finished, you can close Gparted.

Preparing my USB drive for persistence - creating partitions...

Now you need to format each partition and give it a label. The name of the first partition, which holds Ubuntu, does not matter that much, however, the partition that needs to hold your data needs to be named casper-rw.

To partition and label the first partition, run the following command, in which you replace /dev/sdx with the name of your drive (Remember? Mine was /dev/sda). Note that I named it UbuntUSB (how original) but if you want, you can just use another name:
$ sudo mkfs.vfat -F 16 -n UbuntUSB /dev/sdx1
This won’t take long. For the second partition, you run this command, again, replacing /dev/sdx with the name of your drive (but keep the name casper-rw!):
$ sudo mkfs.ext2 -b 4096 -L casper-rw /dev/sdx2
This will take a bit longer, and will also output more.

Preparing my USB drive for persistence - setting labels

And here comes the fun part. You need to download the image that Mike created (generously hosted by pepeio. Use the second ISO he created). After it has finished downloading (can take quite a while) you need to extract the .iso file using Xarchiver. I recommend you to save it to a folder in /tmp so that it will be deleted on shutdown, because you don’t need it after you’re finished. I saved it to /tmp/ubuntu-livecd. Make sure you check “Extract files with full path”.

Extracting the .iso

Now you need to copy some files (which contain Ubuntu) to your USB drive, onto the first partition (which I named UbuntUSB). First copy the folders casper, disctree, dists, install, pics, pool, preseed and .disk (to see this one, select View->Show Hidden Files). Then we need the files md5sum.txt, README.diskdefines and ubuntu.ico. Then move to the folder “isolinux” in the extracted folder (so for me, that would be /tmp/ubuntu-livecd/isolinux), but do not change your location in the USB drive. Copy all the files that are present in the isolinux folder to your USB drive. Then, move into the “casper” folder in the extracted folder (/tmp/ubuntu-livecd/casper) and copy vmlinuz and initrd.gz to your USB drive. Finally, move into the “install” folder in the extracted folder (/tmp/ubuntu-liveusb/install) and copy mt86plus to your USB drive.

Preparing my USB drive for persistence - copying required files

Now, on your USB drive, rename the file isolinux.cfg to

Preparing my USB drive for persistence - rename isolinux.cfg to syslinux.cfg

Replace all its contents with the following:

DEFAULT persistent
GFXBOOT bootlogo
APPEND file=preseed/ubuntu.seed boot=casper initrd=initrd.gz ramdisk_size=1048576 root=/dev/ram rw quiet splash --
LABEL persistent
menu label ^Start Ubuntu in persistent mode
kernel vmlinuz
append file=preseed/ubuntu.seed boot=casper persistent initrd=initrd.gz ramdisk_size=1048576 root=/dev/ram rw quiet splash --
LABEL live
menu label ^Start or install Ubuntu
kernel vmlinuz
append file=preseed/ubuntu.seed boot=casper initrd=initrd.gz ramdisk_size=1048576 root=/dev/ram rw quiet splash --
LABEL xforcevesa
menu label Start Ubuntu in safe ^graphics mode
kernel vmlinuz
append file=preseed/ubuntu.seed boot=casper xforcevesa initrd=initrd.gz ramdisk_size=1048576 root=/dev/ram rw quiet splash --
LABEL check
menu label ^Check CD for defects
kernel vmlinuz
append boot=casper integrity-check initrd=initrd.gz ramdisk_size=1048576 root=/dev/ram rw quiet splash --
LABEL memtest
menu label ^Memory test
kernel mt86plus
append -
menu label ^Boot from first hard disk
localboot 0x80
append -
DISPLAY isolinux.txt
F1 f1.txt
F2 f2.txt
F3 f3.txt
F4 f4.txt
F5 f5.txt
F6 f6.txt
F7 f7.txt
F8 f8.txt
F9 f9.txt
F0 f10.txt

Save that and close. For our last step, we need the packages syslinux and mtools, so fire up Synaptic (Applications->System->Synaptic Package Manager) and install them. Make sure that your USB drive is unmounted, then go into a terminal (Applications->Accessories->Terminal) and enter the following command, replacing /dev/sdx with the name of your drive:
$ sudo syslinux -f /dev/sdx1

Preparing my USB drive for persistence - making my USB drive bootable

Well, all that is left now is to test it, so boot from your USB drive, and then you’ll (if everything went right) be greeted with a screen like the one I was greeted with:

My Ubuntu Feisty Desktop from my USB drive

If this tutorial worked for you, please leave a reply in the comments here. If it didn’t work, you can also leave a comment, or rather (if you have an account) post a message in the Ubuntu forums thread, so we can find a way to fix it.

Note: If you want to create a new user, be sure to grant administrator rights, otherwise it may cause errors.


  • Toad mentions that he could not boot from his USB drive, but he fixed it:

    I finally got the computer to boot from the USB stick. I had to set the fat16 partition to bootable. ‘cfdisk /dev/sdx’ should do the trick, just press enter on the set bootable option.

  • If this worked, but after a while it doesn’t anymore, you can remove any edits you did to restore it to the point where it worked (all your settings will be lost though):
    $ sudo mkfs.ext2 -b 4096 -L casper-rw /dev/sdx2
    (Thank zenobiaflex for this one)
  • If you want more than the two partitions described here on your disk, be sure that the first partition needs to be the FAT16 partition, as that’s where the bootloader gets loaded which needs to be on the first partition. Thanks Matt.
  • If your drive won’t boot correctly, your Master Boot Record may be corrupted. You can repair it with Lilo (so open up Synaptic from Applications->System->Synaptic Package Manager and install the package lilo) using the following command from the terminal:
    $ sudo lilo -M /dev/sdx
    (From PiterP)
  • If, during shutdown, the screen switches from the shutdown screen with the Xubuntu logo with the progress bar to a black screen, possibly with error messages, then you computer is probably just shutting down the normal way without notifying you of its status. At a certain moment (not too long after the screen turned black) it will have reached the point where it would have normally said something like “remove the disk, close the tray (if any) and press enter”. So when the screen turns black, you just have to try to press enter a little while after it has turned black.

127 Responses to “Ubuntu Feisty on your USB drive – finally!”

  1. 1 Henri 17 June 2007 at 7:56 pm

    The live option works… but whenever i try to boot in persistent mode i get the following “cp: unable to stat ‘/root/var/log/’ : Not a directory” any ideas?

  2. 2 mike 18 June 2007 at 9:25 am


    Does that happen to you with either of the edgy and feisty distros when booting using the persistent boot parameter (even though persistent doesn’t work on the standard feisty)?

  3. 3 Kallikrates 18 June 2007 at 9:41 pm

    Tried it out, and I’m typing this from the USB installation 🙂

    It’s very, very slow to load (though my computer is no racing horse, which might not help), but it’s working 🙂

    The most problematic part was the partitioning, because Xubuntu kept mounting my new partitions automatically.

    Now for a few (stupid) questions:

    – (Supposing it’s possible) how do I access the hard drive from the USB?

    – How are the files organised, on the USB drive? I mean, what’s on the fat16 partition, and what’s on the ext2? (I warned you those were stupid questions *g*)

  4. 4 Fisslefink 18 June 2007 at 9:50 pm

    Great job with hosting the .iso and setting up a torrent. I’m seeding the torrent now with 400+ KBps upload bandwidth for the next three hours, and 9-5pm (PST) tomorrow, until some more people pick it up.



  5. 5 NaPeK 19 June 2007 at 6:30 am

    Can we somehow after unpack iso delete unnecessary programs like ie. games or open office to make all smaller ?

  6. 6 Toad 19 June 2007 at 7:00 am

    Would it be possible to substitute two 1Gb flashdrives instead of one 2Gb? Do I just have to make sure I use the correct drive path? I don’t have the money to spare for a 2Gb, but have plenty of 1Gbs.

  7. 7 Vincent 19 June 2007 at 1:39 pm

    Kallikrates, I suppose your hard drives are just visible on your desktop. Otherwise you could try to manually mount them (e.g. “sudo mount /dev/hda1 /media/hda1”). The FAT16 partition holds Ubuntu (well, actually it contains some files to make sure it starts up, and it contains a file that will be uncompressed upon boot time which contains Ubuntu). The ext2 partition will hold all your changes, e.g. your /home directory.

    NaPeK, no, that’s not possible, that should’ve been done when creating this file (which Mike did). However, at the moment I’m working on a Xubuntu version, which comes without games and uses light-weight office apps. Furthermore I’ve removed all language packs except for English. It should take up far less space.

    Toad, you can use two 1GB flash drives, if you just use one flash drive as the FAT16 partition (which you would need to boot from) and the other one as ext2. In fact, with versions of Ubuntu in which persistence worked (i.e. Dapper and Edgy) you could also use a LiveCD and an ext2 USB drive. You could also wait for my Xubuntu version and try to cram it all onto a single 1GB drive.

  8. 8 Fisslefink 19 June 2007 at 6:21 pm


    One more thing… When writing how-to guides, it is always advisable to force the user to substitute the correct drive names for code they are typing into the terminal. For example, in your guide, you tell the user to type the following:

    sudo syslinux -f /dev/sda1

    But if the user runs a dual-boot system with a SATA drive, then /dev/sda1 is their primary hard drive. Running the command verbatim would break their primary hard drive OS (and if that’s Windows, it can be a big pain in the but to recover it). Not everyone is experienced enough to catch this error!

    You should edit this howto to say:

    sudo syslinux -f /dev/sdx1 #(where sdx1 is your USB partition)

    There are other places that need to be fixed as well, but you can find those.



  9. 9 Vincent 19 June 2007 at 6:37 pm

    Fisslefink, you are absolutely right, thanks for mentioning it. I’m going to edit it now.

  10. 10 Kallikrates 19 June 2007 at 9:55 pm

    sudo mount /dev/hda1 /media/hda1
    Couldn’t find them on my desktop or /etc/fstab. I tried to mount them manually, but as I forgot to give them a mount point, it didn’t work (*facepalm*).

    The FAT16 partition holds Ubuntu. The ext2 partition will hold all your changes, e.g. your /home directory.
    That’s what I thought, but better to make sure.

    Thanks 🙂

  11. 11 thejapanesesegeek 20 June 2007 at 8:45 am

    Hi, I’m trying to do this with my External USB HD (Don’t have any flash drives, so I have the partitions you talked about, plus a mammoth 100 gb fat32 (which was unaffected).

    However, when I tried the command to format the fat16 partition, I got this:
    ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo mkfs.vfat -F 16 -n UbuntUSB /dev/sdb1
    mkfs.vfat 2.11 (12 Mar 2005)
    WARNING: Not enough clusters for a 16 bit FAT! The filesystem will be
    misinterpreted as having a 12 bit FAT without mount option “fat=16”.
    mkfs.vfat: Attempting to create a too large file system
    ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ $ sudo mkfs.ext2 -b 4096 -L casper-rw /dev/sdb2

    any ideas?

  12. 12 thejapanesesegeek 20 June 2007 at 8:47 am

    also, if I were to try to apt-get something from this live USB, would it go to the EXT2 partition, or would it just wind up trying to go to the fat16 part? If the latter, would it be worth it to add an extra amount of space to the fat16 partition?

  13. 13 Vincent 20 June 2007 at 8:53 am

    I don’t know the answer to your first question (sorry) but if you were to apt-get something from the LiveUSB it would go to the ext2 partition.

  14. 14 Toad 20 June 2007 at 11:02 pm

    I finally got the computer to boot from the USB stick. I had to set the fat16 partition to bootable. ‘cfdisk /dev/sdx’ should do the trick, just press enter on the set bootable option. Perhaps you could mention something about this in your how-to?

  15. 15 thejapanesegeek 20 June 2007 at 11:23 pm

    I figured the first part out: The last line needs to be /dev/sdb2, because the first partition is sdb1.

  16. 16 Vincent 21 June 2007 at 10:29 am

    Toad, I added it (at the bottom, at “Troubleshooting”). Thanks.

    thejapanesegeek – which line needs to be /dev/sdb2?

  17. 17 Fisslefink 22 June 2007 at 6:53 pm

    I finally got GRUB working instead of Syslinux, which helps clean up the FAT16 partition a lot. I now have only two folders in my UbuntUSB partition:


    Which is so much neater, and lets me try out other liveCD images with ease. Persistence still works.

    You can read my HOWTO here:

  18. 18 thejapanesegeek 22 June 2007 at 7:08 pm

    Vincent: Anywhere you put /dev/sdx1, I needed to do /dev/sdb2.

  19. 19 Vincent 22 June 2007 at 7:11 pm

    Fisslefink – thanks a lot for that HowTo 😀

    thejapanesegeek – are you sure? Is /dev/sdb2 your FAT16 or ext2 partition? If worked for me using /dev/sdx1.

    If /dev/sdb2 is your FAT16 partition – in what order did you create the partitions? Did you do it in Gparted?

  20. 20 Jim 22 June 2007 at 9:26 pm

    Can anyone host the bittorrent if they already have the file?

  21. 21 thejapanesegeek 22 June 2007 at 10:22 pm

    Vincent: This is because the hard drive I was using had three partitions, instead of the two you described in your tutorial. This means the fat16 is sdb2, and the ext2 is sdb3.

    I finally made it through the tutorial and I belive I have everything right. However, my computer will not recognize my USB drive during the boot sequence. I have the boot flag set on the partitions (I first tried it on the fat16, then the fat32, then the ext2, and the computer refuses to belive it is there. The BIOS has an option for booting of a USB hard drive, and when I tried to install plain old ubuntu (Not live), it at least saw and attempted to boot from it. But now it doesn’t even come up in the boot menu. And in the BIOS, it says NOT PRESENT. When I disable booting to other drives, it just tells me no bootable devices were found.

    Any Ideas?

  22. 22 Jim 23 June 2007 at 4:21 am

    Please Seed the BitTorrent if you have the file. Thanks 🙂 The normal download is horrible… timed out a few times on me and im getting 15KB atm ; ;

  23. 23 Cap'n 23 June 2007 at 2:53 pm

    I’m just 1 1/2 hours away from getting the download. It has taken over 20 hours so far and is still going. I tried using an FTP client, but that didn’t work so I’m just using a browser to download it. 11 Kbps. Ouch!

  24. 24 Jim 23 June 2007 at 4:27 pm

    Thanks for who ever seeded it last night… i got 209megs downloaded of it so far. Could others please seed if you have the file please? I will seed as well, Thanks.

  25. 25 Vincent 23 June 2007 at 5:10 pm

    You could try using “wget” (perhaps with the -c option to continue a previous download, so that whatever your got with the torrent will remain. Do check the md5sum though).

    thejapanesegeek – sometimes my USB drive isn’t found either, but then turning off the power (so not just turning the computer off, but completely pulling out the plug) helped.

  26. 26 Cap'n 23 June 2007 at 9:58 pm

    Downloaded => Yes
    Installed => Yes
    Working => No

    Although I get to the boot menu, regardless of which option I choose, I get:

    crc error
    — System halted

    Any thoughts? I’m trying to do this on a 250 GB external USB drive.

  27. 27 USB Core 2 July 2007 at 11:09 am

    Excellent! Thanks for providing the tutorial work around for this – it always seemed pretty amazing to introduce such a great concept such as USB storage, only to blow the ability to save – that’s quite a bug!

    Now just waiting for the official fix. 🙂

  28. 28 Dungeon 3 July 2007 at 1:01 pm

    The speed isn’t really amazing…

    Here’s an alternative download source. It’s also located in Europe but provided by a better connection:

  29. 29 Vincent 3 July 2007 at 1:07 pm

    Dungeon – that’s great. I’ve also got this Xubuntu image (I’m still working on the blog post blog post here), would it be possible to host that one too?

  30. 30 Dungeon 3 July 2007 at 4:13 pm

    Sure but at the moment I have no possiblity to load torrent files.
    Otherwise I’d do it…

  31. 31 How to get your food spit in 4 July 2007 at 1:15 am

    Sweet. Thanks for the tutorial.

  32. 32 rofovnifo 5 July 2007 at 12:41 am

    Hi all!

    Looks good! Very useful, good stuff. Good resources here. Thanks much!


  33. 33 zenobiaflex 6 July 2007 at 1:44 pm

    I did this as well and it worked… it was definitely crucial to set the FAT16 to boot as TOAD mentioned. I tried this once before using Edgy but that step was missing I guess because nothing worked.

    Once thing worth mentioning (at least this was not obvious to me) is that when you do this for the first time, you really need to not only create a user immediately, but make sure that the user has administrative powers. I didn’t do this and the next time I booted, it gave me an error about being unable to lock somehing and then it tried to just login as Ubuntu (which is root so I don’t have the p-word). I went back in and used gparted to remake casper-rw (just to be sure all was clear) and followed the step:

    $ sudo mkfs.ext2 -b 4096 -L casper-rw /dev/sdx2

    to set it all up. Then I created a user… I had to do this twice because I didn’t give that user admin privileges. This is definintely an important part of the process from what I could see… may be obvious to some but since I am a Linux newbie it wasn’t to me.

    The only question I have now is when are you supposed to unplug the USB on shutdown or restart? It gives the remove disk screen.. so I just press enter, but nothing happens. Should I remove the USB at that point, open the disk tray just to send a signal then press enter? It isn’t too clear when it is safe to remove the USB pendrive.

    Very cool, though… wish they would fix this bug in the usual release! It is much better than having a CD around.

  34. 34 Vincent 6 July 2007 at 1:49 pm

    zenobiaflex, thanks for your lengthy comments, I’ll revise the post a bit.

    As for the removal of the drive – I take it out when it says “remove the disk from tray, then press enter”. Then I press enter 😀

  35. 35 Alexandre Lymberopoulos 7 July 2007 at 12:11 am

    I’ve tried many Ubuntu versions and I get the same problem: it boots fine for the first time and then when i try to boot again, the boot doesn’t complete and it goes to an ash prompt with (initramfs) before the cursor. It also reports a problem with tty… Sad

    Can anyone help me?

  36. 36 oilrg 8 July 2007 at 7:40 am

    i have the same problem as thejapanese geek has.

    the sdb1 is FAT32 partition (bigger than others ~5,7 Gb)
    (it was setted first in order to make it possible for windows to see it)

    the second sdb is FAT16 oe, which was setted up as bootable

    n the last one is ext2

    so, bios cannot see the external USB-HDD this way

    (when used FAT16 as sdb1 everything seemed to be okay, but this is not the way to solve the problem)


  37. 37 Matt 10 July 2007 at 4:09 pm

    TheJapaneseGeek: You have to have the Fat16 partition be the first partition on the hard drive for it to work correctly. The boot loader gets loaded into the first partition (or the MBR) of that hard drive and it usually looks to the first partition to be the boot partition. If you need to keep the third partition on the disk, you may want to backup the data on it and repartiton it to be the third partition “/dev/sdx3” and copy the files back on…


  38. 38 Grindz 11 July 2007 at 5:37 pm

    Thanx a lot. That works. And I used standard ISO.

  39. 39 Vincent 11 July 2007 at 5:56 pm

    Grindz, if you use a normal Feisty ISO then persistence won’t work (so all your files and settings won’t be preserved).

  40. 40 PiterP 11 July 2007 at 6:52 pm


    I followed the tutorial twice and I got the same negative result: after booting from usb I only got the:
    Grub loading stage1.5
    Loading Grub, please wait…
    Grub error 17

    I don’t know where is this Grub from:) As I said, I did everything as it is in the tutorial and everything was looking OK.. (I installed the syslinux bootloader, etc). Can anyone point out what I’m doing wrong?

    Thanks for help!


  41. 41 PiterP 11 July 2007 at 9:02 pm


    I haven’t mentioned I was trying that trick on ibm thinkpad z60m. I’ve just read that z60m model can’t boot from the usb drive if there’s a syslinux bootloader… it may be the answer..

  42. 42 Vincent 12 July 2007 at 2:17 pm

    PiterP, perhaps you could try following the instructions in Fisslefink’s HowTo, which explains how to use Grub as bootloader.

  43. 43 Riccardo 12 July 2007 at 9:28 pm

    Hi, thanks very much for the tutorial. I have a little problem though. I followed all the steps, and it seems to boot correctly. The problem is that internet connection and sound don-t work. The fact is that they do work when I use Ubuntu Feisty live cd. Probably I should mention that they didn`t work when I used Edgy. Could it be because of the hybrid nature of the .iso file? By the way I used the larger image.
    Or maybe I did some step wrong?
    Thanks you.

  44. 44 Vincent 12 July 2007 at 9:36 pm

    Riccardo, I very much suspect it’s because there still are some Edgy parts in it, and that you experience the same problem as you had in Edgy. For now, the only thing I can think of is first trying the smaller image (it has less Edgy files) and otherwise you should try following this tutorial with a Dapper ISO.

  45. 45 PiterP 12 July 2007 at 10:16 pm


    My problem is fixed: I had to install the MBR on my usb stick:
    lilo -M /dev/sdX

    .. and it booted with the syslinux

    best regards

  46. 46 JQ 13 July 2007 at 3:55 pm

    I has a USB-HDD and follow the instructions but not work in the instruction to become my USB-HDD in a boot disk (sudo syslinux -f /dev/sdb1). Ive tried with my first partition as FAT32 first and then as FAT16 but this message appear for both cases:

    ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo syslinux -f /dev/sdb1
    Drive ‘S:’ not supported
    Cannot initialize ‘S:’
    Bad target s:ldlinux.sys
    syslinux: failed to create ldlinux.sys

    So I tried with this instruction take from Debuntu.org if some problem with the MBR arises

    ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo lilo -M /dev/sdb

    this show a success message, but I try again to execute syslinux command and the same result. Someone can help me with this?

    My disk was pertitiones and formatied with GParted an this is the partitions that my HDD has

    /dev/sdb1 FAT16 /media/UbuntuUSB 3.99 GB
    /dev/sdb3 FAT32 /media/disk-4 14.99 GB
    /dev/sdb2 extended 86.62 GB
    /dev/sdb5 fat32 /media/disk-1 9.38 GB
    /dev/sdb6 ext3 /media/casper-rw 37.25 GB
    /dev/sdb7 ext3 /media/disk-2 18.63 GB
    /dev/sdb8 ext3 /media/disk 9.32 GB
    /dev/sdb9 linux-swap 2.80 GB

    Thanx in advance

  47. 47 MSBullock 15 July 2007 at 5:30 am

    I’ll host on school locker if I ever get the iso downloaded

  48. 48 Ernest J Schwaegerl 15 July 2007 at 9:16 pm

    Hello Vincent,
    I got as far as:
    Then move to the folder “isolinux” in the extracted folder (so for me, that would be /tmp/ubuntu-livecd/isolinux)

    but my extracted ubuntu-livecd directory doesn’t have an isolinux folder, in fact the archive xubuntusb.tar.bz2 does not contain such a folder at all and only contains the files isolinux.bin and isolinux.txt

    Did something happen to my download?



  49. 49 Vincent 16 July 2007 at 10:06 am

    Ernest J Schwaegerl, there should be an isolinux folder, but the file xubuntusb.tar.bz2 was meant to put Xubuntu on your USB drive, not Ubuntu. Be sure to download the second file that Mike created (or the first one if you get problems with the second one).

    Though if you’re unsure about whether your download was corrupted, you can check the MD5 sum. You can do so by opening a terminal in the folder you downloaded the archive to (or execute the command cd /home/you/folder/you/downloaded/it/to) and then execute:
    md5sum ./xubuntusb.tar.bz2
    If that code is the same as in the MD5 file then you downloaded it correctly, if it differs then your download was corrupted.

  50. 50 wilsonb 17 July 2007 at 2:55 am

    Heya Vincent.,

    did you ever post the stripped down version of xubuntu you were talking about?
    The original location takes forever// slow..

  51. 51 Vincent 17 July 2007 at 8:33 am

    wilsonb, my next post discusses how to put Xubuntu Feisty on your USB drive. Note that it’s not a stripped down version of Xubuntu (except that I’ve removed the language packs), but Xubuntu is just lighter than Ubuntu in the first place.

  52. 52 JorgeQ 19 July 2007 at 5:39 pm

    After some days, finally the thing works (with GRUB not with syslinuz), but now the problem is that never I can shutdown smoothly, when I shutdown the Ubuntu logo appear but on about 80% the screen is getting black and the computers does nothing. In some occasions I must to push ctrl+alt+Fx and blindly (because the monito is black) retry with reboot or init 0, if I logout as a ubuntu user some times it works, but some others or if I logout as another user I must to reset my computer. This with my office (Intel Pentium IV) and on my home computer (AMD Athlon XP). I’m using UbuntuFeistyPatched that downloaded from here.

    Someone has the same problem? or better, has a solution or at least the reason why this happens?


  53. 53 Vincent 20 July 2007 at 10:13 am

    JorgeQ, I have the same (sometimes there also are a lot of error messages) but in fact, it is just working, but without notifying you. If you wait a little while, it will reach the stage where you’d have to “remove the disk, close the tray (if any) and press enter”. The problem is: you won’t be notified when this stage is read. So to shut the computer down correctly, you’ll just have to press enter after the screen has been black for a few seconds. I’ll add it to the troubleshooting section.

  54. 54 James 28 July 2007 at 9:02 pm

    Hmm….I can’t seem to get this to work. I think its my drive though, since I couldn’t get the Edgy tutorial from PenDriveLinux to work either.

    With both of them, my computer just says “Boot Error”. No error code, nothing to help me debug it, thats it.

    Any clues?

  55. 55 D33p 4 August 2007 at 4:30 am

    I applaud the efforts that went into this! Great job. I have been wrestling with challenge: on many computers “in the wild” you are not able to reboot, thus it would be helpful to have the ability to use QEMU and boot directly from the host, with the “QEMU” or “Persistent” cheatcode. This is doable when the .iso is copied directly to the root partition, but when a native-boot install is used, how can this be done? I suppose you could always install the native boot to a second partition that is not normally visible to windows, flag it as bootable, and just put the .iso and the QEMU/QEMU win.bat files in the first (visible) partition, but this in essence puts two copies on the USB, and space is at a premium.

    Ideally, something like DSL-embedded could be set up, which allows both QEMU and native boot. In my opinion, the use of VMs like QEMU and BOCHs should be getting _way_ more attention than native-boot, because most of the utility of the USB pendrive involves portable computing when you *cannot* assume you will be able to do a reboot. The ability to do either based on what you have available should be the goal. If anyone has some idea of where to start, I will play around with it.

    Finally, what sort of lifespan does the persistent mode impose on flash drives? The number of write-cycles a typical pendrive will endure is relatively few (900,000-1,000,000), and anything that will minimize writes should be utilized.


    • 56 phil250884 27 March 2009 at 4:22 am

      Hey d33p, ever found a solution for your double qemu + native problem? I can only find it for PDL, not for Ubuntu or other distros. I’m sure it’s doable though. any suggestions.


  56. 57 apc 10 August 2007 at 1:20 pm

    Works great! I partitioned to 3 disks instead, an extra 512mb partition which I formatted FAT32, so I can store files on this disk and read it on every system I come across (without having to boot into ubuntu).

    Only thing is.. how can I change password? I tried changing the password for user “ubuntu”, but after reboot it was gone again…

    After changing the password of root, I wasn’t able to login again after reboot… when I enter a username and password, the password is wrong… if I don’t do anything it keeps looping “will login to user ubuntu in X seconds”, black screen, etc…

  57. 58 Vincent 10 August 2007 at 3:06 pm


    Only thing is.. how can I change password? I tried changing the password for user “ubuntu”, but after reboot it was gone again…

    I think it’s not possible for the user “ubuntu”, that it is a special user for the LiveCD. However, I did manage to create an extra user with a password and then disable auto-login for user “ubuntu” (you can do so by pressing Alt+F2, and then entering gksudo gdmsetup). Then I could delete the user “ubuntu” altogether.

  58. 59 Xlephier Prime 11 August 2007 at 5:28 am


    i have a 60gb external hard drive that i’m going to try this on soon (i’ve successfully installed edgy onto it, but i prefer feisty). does anyone know if there’s a “mount” command for windows? my ideal set-up would have a fat16 partition with the livecd files on it, then an ext2 with the persistent bits, and then a large ntfs partition. however, in my experience, windows only mounts the first partition. anyone know a fix?

  59. 60 Dustin Harriman 11 August 2007 at 9:11 pm

    These directions advise to use ext2 on the USB key when it gets formatted. Why not ext3? Is there a good technical reason not to have journalling (which perhaps ought to be mentioned? Will ext3 somehow screw up the casper goodness? I know the journalling makes performance a little slower, but I have a decently fast USB stick and want journalling.

  60. 61 Vincent 12 August 2007 at 11:57 am

    Dustin Harriman:

    These directions advise to use ext2 on the USB key when it gets formatted. Why not ext3? Is there a good technical reason not to have journalling (which perhaps ought to be mentioned? Will ext3 somehow screw up the casper goodness? I know the journalling makes performance a little slower, but I have a decently fast USB stick and want journalling.

    Dustin, from the Ubuntu documentation:

    In the instructions below the ext3 filesystem is used. For a memory stick however where space is tight, the ext2 filesystem will use up considerably less overhead and is probably good enough for this purpose.

    So you can use ext3 if you wish.

  61. 62 usbuser 16 August 2007 at 11:40 am

    With sda1 being vfat and mounted under /cdrom when ubuntu is booted and running, I created a directory and tried to write to it. As /cdrom it is read-only and won’t accept chmod or chgrp commands. I would like these files to be seen under windows when the usb is plugged in. I thought I’d be clever and make another vfat partition, which is fine under linux, but xp recognises only one partition for a usb drive!

  62. 63 Xlephier Prime 20 August 2007 at 10:52 am


    i did this tutorial, but i tried making the first partition fat32 instead of fat16. it doesn’t work; i’ll try with fat16, but is there any reason why it should work with one and not the other?

  63. 64 SurJector 21 August 2007 at 8:09 pm

    A couple of remarks:
    1) The FAT partition does not need to be, as far as I can tell, FAT16. The “vfat” option can create some problems with syslinux, but I think FAT32 does not change anything.

    2) I’ve published on the thread


    what I think is a different solution to boot Feisty persistent (modifying only the “init” file in the init ramdisk and without pinning anything).

  64. 65 Dustin Harriman 24 August 2007 at 12:18 am

    I’ve successfully got this to work on a Koolu, and I want to say a big Thanks for everyone who made this possible. I finally have a totally solid state computer running Ubuntu! It has no moving parts: no fans, no disks, no noise whatsoever, and TINY!

    I am hoping I can squeeze out more performance, and therefore ask this question:

    I have a 4GB flash drive, and I’d rather have Ubuntu take up more space on the flash drive, and not be compressed (as it is on the Ubuntu Live CD). Is there some way to set up Ubuntu on a flash USB drive, and NOT have the performance of Ubuntu be degraded because it is constantly being “gunzipped” in real time?

    I’ve looked at other distros that run from USB like Slax and Puppy, which do not do this same gunzipping. But they are far less advanced (in terms of convenience) as Ubuntu. They are considerably faster-feeling though. I want my cake and eat it too! 🙂

    To give you a rough idea of how much overhead the gunzipping seems to be causing, here are some rough timings comparing Ubuntu (as set up above) running on a USB flash drive, vs. Slax Popcorn Edition 5.1.8 running on the same USB flash drive.

    Booting from USB flash disk (as set up above) all the way to a completely-loaded Gnome desktop: 3 min, 36 sec

    Booting from USB flash disk (with Slax 5.1.8 “Popcorn”) all the way to a completely-loaded XFCE desktop (not including the time it took for me to log in with username and password): 1 min, 7 sec

    Launching Firefox in Ubuntu on Flash USB drive: 20 sec

    Launching Firefox in Slax on Flash USB drive: 7 sec

  65. 66 usbuser 24 August 2007 at 9:05 am

    Hi Dustin – I have installed/evaluated Ubuntu, Slax (and variations), Puppy (and variations) and DSL (and variations) over the last couple of weeks. I have opted for Slax6 – it is multiuser (essential for usb security (e.g. puppy only runs root), extensible via modules (many of which are already available, but it is easy to compile your own), reducible (lzm2dir somemodule.lzm ./temp ; ROOT=./temp removepkg somepackage ; dir2lzm ./temp somemodule.lzm), allows access from sda2 (ext3) to sda1 (vfat16) and using either Qemu (http://www.pendrivelinux.com/2007/04/02/qemu-persistent-slax-linux/) or for quick file transfer I use PVPM (http://www.metropipe.net/ProductsPVPM.shtml – very cool) allows access to sda2 (ext3) from sda1 (vfat16), supports encryption via luks (after adding modules and simlinking one library) and generally has done all that I have required of it! AP

  66. 67 Dustin Harriman 24 August 2007 at 4:18 pm

    Thanks usbuser, those commands to take out the bloated KDE stuff I don’t want from Slax 6 will really help!

  67. 68 tj 6 September 2007 at 6:20 pm

    i have a question … and i may just try it to see if it would work …

    can the casper-rw partition be formatted in something other than ext2? say … FAT16/32? ideally i’d like a USB stick that, if i’m running XP, i can use firefox off and other apps that will run in XP and linux (keep all settings the same across both). OR, i could use the same USB to boot into linux (ubuntu) and use the app (linux version, obviously), but the settings again are pulling from the same partition. does that make sense?

    for instance, in XP now, i can use the portableapps suite to run firefox, pidgin, etc and save the settings back to the USB. i’d LOVE to be able to run ubuntu off the same USB, if i booted from it, and run firefox, pidgin, etc that i installed on my USBuntu stick that points to the same settings files. any clearer?

    *crossing fingers*

  68. 69 Vincent 7 September 2007 at 4:29 pm

    tj, it ought to be possible but it’s not so efficient. However, I was thinking the same as you but thought of using another USB drive to hold my documents. I first tried labelling it home-rw, but unfortunately it would not be used as /home . So now I’m going to try (some time) to add it to /etc/fstab to be mounted as /home/ubuntu . Or perhaps just as /home/ubuntu/documents so that all my preferences will (along with all afterwards installed programs) still be saved to my casper-rw partition.

  69. 70 Papa 8 September 2007 at 11:45 pm

    Sorry Vincent, but if you are looking for a XFCE based distro with loads of good software and easy to make persistent ( just copy a file from the CD to the root of your USB stick). I will then recomend Wolvix 1.1.0 Hunter. I love it and I know what I am talking about because I have put Xubuntu, Knoppix, PClinuxOS and Puppylinux on stick until Wolvix came along.

    This distro will stay on my USB stick and is running on VMWARE alongside with XP on my server. So, I can have best of both world. I mostly use Wolvix and only need XP as host OS for the VMWARE !!


    Rob Tunru

  70. 71 Papa 8 September 2007 at 11:50 pm

    About virtualization software: VMWARE server is free and so is VirtualBox !!
    Both are available for linux AND MS !!
    Play with it and as long as you have a decent CPU, some spare HD space and at least 1 GB memory, all OS installed will run smoothly !!

  71. 72 Bart 9 September 2007 at 10:18 am

    I have followed this great tutorial with a 4GB pendrive. I get it to boot me to the menu where you can choose between persistent and live mode. But if I choose either of them I get the message box: Loading Linux Kernel, which goes to 100%, but after that nothing happens. I have checked the md5 of the iso. Also, I have a feisty install on my HDD that works perfectly.

    Oh yeah, my hardware is a Thinkpad T60p

    Any suggestions?

  72. 73 Bart 9 September 2007 at 11:10 am

    I tried booting the iso with VMware, works like a charm

  73. 74 Vincent 9 September 2007 at 11:51 am

    About virtualization software: VMWARE server is free and so is VirtualBox !!

    Of course, you are talking about “free” as in “free beer”, whereas only VirtualBox (if you compile it from source) is free as in “free speech” 😉

    I have followed this great tutorial with a 4GB pendrive. I get it to boot me to the menu where you can choose between persistent and live mode. But if I choose either of them I get the message box: Loading Linux Kernel, which goes to 100%, but after that nothing happens. I have checked the md5 of the iso. Also, I have a feisty install on my HDD that works perfectly.

    Tony, I happen to just have tried running Xubuntu Gutsy Tribe 5 in VirtualBox, and there, too I had this problem. However, I waited for a few minutes and then it would load after all, however, it wouldn’t get as far as to boot into the desktop (it hung at GDM). I had set the memory to 128Mb so perhaps that was the problem…

  74. 75 Papa 10 September 2007 at 2:10 pm

    Dear son,

    I do like beer, in fact I got one yesterday !!.
    Believe me, nothing is really free.
    In dutch they said ( fuzzyly translated ): “only the sunset is free” and this exactly the reason why the sun mostly does not shine in holland :))

    Nelson Mandela said: South Africa must be free, but we still have to pay to visit South Africa :))


    your dad

  75. 76 Vincent 10 September 2007 at 2:25 pm

    That Dutch idiom is talking about free as in free beer, or gratis (which is also a Dutch word). And Ubuntu and a lot of other Linux distributions prove it wrong, because I have, in all those years I have been using Ubuntu and later Xubuntu, I have not spent a cent on it. However, it is very difficult indeed to have a completely free-as-in-freedom or libre (in Dutch: vrij) operating system, which my newest post (that took a while) is about. It is a shame, though Gobuntu is a good try.

  76. 77 AltijdAndries 16 September 2007 at 8:31 pm

    Dear Vincent and dad,



    Your brother/son Andries

  77. 78 mikhail 20 September 2007 at 6:00 am

    OK, I must say thank you! It worked for me – exactly step by step (used Memorex USB UltraTravelDrive 120G hard drive).

  78. 79 Vincent 20 September 2007 at 8:59 am

    mikhail – great to hear 🙂

    And thank you for giving me that warm fuzzy feeling of having helped someone 😉

  79. 80 wilsonb 21 September 2007 at 6:40 pm

    Vincent… (Guru)

    Do you know if Ubuntu 7.10 Alpha 5 has Persistent working?
    I downloaded and got it on a 2Gb usb. But still does not work in persistent. Not sure if it’s because I’m doing something wrong or it’s not working yet. I type ; [live Persistent] at boot prompt.
    I imagined that it was fixed since the Official release is coming soon.

    7.10 looks good so far.

    Any input?

  80. 81 Vincent 21 September 2007 at 6:51 pm

    Vincent… (Guru)

    No way 😉

    Do you know if Ubuntu 7.10 Alpha 5 has Persistent working?
    I downloaded and got it on a 2Gb usb. But still does not work in persistent. Not sure if it’s because I’m doing something wrong or it’s not working yet. I type ; [live Persistent] at boot prompt.
    I imagined that it was fixed since the Official release is coming soon.

    7.10 looks good so far.

    Any input?

    wilsonb, I did manage to get Xubuntu 7.10 Tribe 5 working on my USB drive (using the Xubuntu instructions (which don’t require you to do some workarounds, you just need a different image and, for Ubuntu, a larger first partition) but if I recall correctly, persistence was not working (and I think the pics folder wasn’t there either). I later tried to put a daily build of Gutsy on my USB drive but I couldn’t even get that one to boot. Then I posted a message on the forum thread asking if anyone got Gutsy working but I’ve received no reply so far. I’m eagerly following your progress on the bug page because I’m also hoping to give Gutsy a try.

    That probably doesn’t help much, but at least you know you’re not the only one wanting to put Gutsy on a USB drive 😉

  81. 82 Wolffy 13 October 2007 at 3:53 am

    Fantastic. I have feisty booting from my USB stick — and I’m posting from Ubuntu now! Way cool.

    However, it seem to take a long long long long (etc.) to boot — much longer that from CD. I figured that booting from stick would be much quicker then CD — but not the case.

    Any ideas on why it would take forever to load the kernel and the .gz file (what the heck is it called, initrd.gz?)? I don’t want to install yet on my hard drive ’cause I’m not ready to give up Windoz.

    Thanks all — I have a lot to learn about this opsys.

  82. 83 Vincent 13 October 2007 at 9:19 am

    Wolffy, try adding this entry to your syslinux.cfg:

    LABEL slowbootfix
    menu label ^Start Ubuntu in persistent mode (in case of slow boot)
    kernel vmlinuz
    append file=preseed/ubuntu.seed boot=casper persistent profile initrd=initrd.gz ramdisk_size=1048576 root=/dev/ram rw quiet splash --

  83. 84 Wolffy 13 October 2007 at 7:52 pm

    No joy. With your modification, it actually seems to boot slower than without — I’m talking about 10 minutes or more. When booting from CD-ROM, about 90s. (to desktop)

    For example here, reading the kernel and initrd.gz: CDROM 2m30s.

    With 7.10 so close, I’m not going to attempt to install this on my hard drive, but it’s a bit of a head scratcher. I admit, I haven’t studied this blog, but that’s the next step.

    For now, if I can figure out how to boot persistent from CD-ROM, I can be happy (and figure out WiFi and Web Cam and..and..and)

  84. 85 Wolffy 13 October 2007 at 7:54 pm

    Seem to have drop a line form the above post:

    It should read:
    Reading kernel and initrd.gz from CDROM under 2s, from USB stick more than 2m30s.

  85. 86 Vincent 13 October 2007 at 7:54 pm

    Wolffy, too bad. A guide for setting up Gutsy on USB is coming, so you might want to give that a try. I’m first working to get a review of Xubuntu Gutsy up (it has so many improvements, it takes ages to finish 😛 ) but it should be coming one day or another (what a nice excuse to get you to subscribe to my blog 😉 ).

  86. 87 Wolffy 16 October 2007 at 8:53 pm

    OK, I’m dumb.

    I had to re-install Windows over the weekend, so I thought it would be a great time to leave some disk space for Ubuntu. I figured that two partition of 2MB each would be more than enough — since my USB stick is 2MB and it worked fine (except for the 10 minute boot). I’m sure you already see the error of my ways. For some stupid reason, I equated 2MB with 2GB and couldn’t figure out why the install kept filling up the partition.


    And, I’ve already lost 5 hours of my life to the Windows re-install.

    So, the question at hand: Is there some kind of OpenSource or Shareware (or cheap) product that will re-partition my drive with losing the current Windows partition (I’m not give another 5 hours of my life to Redmond)? I also don’t want the shell out $70 for PartitionMagic for about 30 seconds of use.

    Another option would be an OpenSource, Shareware (or cheap) product that would copy off the current partition and copy it back after.

    Grrrr — I’ll never watch football while geeking on my computer again.

  87. 88 Vincent 17 October 2007 at 3:52 pm

    Wolffy, I think the Ubuntu installer can shrink your Windows partition, and Gparted could do so too. However, it would normally be best to first defragment your Windows drive, but if it crashed, that might pose a problem… A backup of course is always the best security measure to take 😉

  88. 89 Chris 23 October 2007 at 6:15 am


    I was wondering if there were any difference between setting up Ubuntu (Gustsy) on a USB pendrive and a USB external drive ?

    For the former, I know this : http://www.pendrivelinux.com/2007/09/28/usb-ubuntu-710-gutsy-gibbon-install/

    For the latter, I’m not sure I can follow exactly the same process, because of the FAT16 system format (among other things that I’m not aware of, maybe…)

    Any opinion is welcome… I dropped this question on the pendrivelinux site but got no answer.

    Have a good day,


  89. 90 Vincent 23 October 2007 at 9:27 am

    Chris, I haven’t tried an external USB drive, but I believe it should be possible to follow the same process for that (what would the filesystem matter?). However, if it’s a big drive, it might perhaps be worthwhile to do a normal install (if it’s possible) because that will boot faster and won’t be configured to work as a non-persistent LiveCD. For example, I could not install Restricted Drivers on my USB drive, which would work on a normal installation.

  90. 91 Chris 25 October 2007 at 6:59 am


    Thanks for your answer. Sorry, I’m a real noob…

    What I don’t understand is : why shouldn’t one do a normal install with pendrives, flash memory sticks, … in the first place ? Is it because they are not ‘real’ psysical drives (just flash memory) ? Size ?
    In other words : why is it that I could do a normal install with my USB external drive and not with a 2GB USB pendrive (just from the Live-CD)
    Wouldn’t there be problems of hardware recognition, data saving (persistent aspect) with a normal install ?


  91. 92 Vincent 25 October 2007 at 11:50 am

    Chris, size is indeed the main issue. On a LiveCD, the whole system is compressed (just like e.g. you’d compress many files into a .zip or .tar.gz archive to make the total filesize smaller). When you boot from a LiveCD, it will extract the whole system so that it can function normally. We replicate that process here on a USB drive.
    A normal installation can take up far more than the 840 MB we use here, and thus even if it would fit, it would leave very little space for changes to be saved.

    Please note, though, that this is as far as I understand it, there may be more downsides.

  92. 93 Michael 16 November 2007 at 10:57 am

    I installed gutsy on my 4gb pendrive last night following instructions found here.

    The only problem I have with this is only the 750MB partition with the install on is visible

  93. 94 USB MAN 16 March 2008 at 3:02 pm

    Perfekt tutorial work around! Now I wait for the Bugfix and the possibility to save.

  94. 96 Ed 6 June 2008 at 11:44 am

    Thanks for the USB pendrive link Michael, we have just saved a lot of time, much appreciated.

  95. 97 OptimusPrime 12 June 2008 at 2:15 pm


    I follow Vincent’s how-to step by step. However, my computer does not recognize my 4GB USB as bootable. I then followed the troubleshooting instruction to enter the command “cfdisk /dev/sdb” (‘b’ is where my USB is located). Then I pressed enter to set the FAT16 partition to bootable, however it still does not boot. When I load my hard drive linux and use the cfdisk command again, the FAT16 partition is still not set to bootable. Any I missing something? Do I need to save my changes somehow? Thank you in advance for your help.


  96. 98 Vincent 12 June 2008 at 2:26 pm

    Hi OP,

    First of all, you probably want to install the latest Xubuntu 8.04 to your USB drive. I believe there are already tutorials for that online and I’m still planning to write my own.

    Anyway, I think your problem is that you haven’t configured your computer to boot from USB. When you boot, there is probably something along the lines of “press F for boot menu” where you should be able to select your USB drive. Alternatively, you have to open your computer’s BIOS and configure the boot order to include your USB drive.

    It might also be possible that your computer can’t boot from USB at all – perhaps you might give it a try at a different computer.

  97. 99 OptimusPrime 12 June 2008 at 2:33 pm

    Vincent, thanks for getting back to me so soon. I have entered my Setup menu with F2 and changed the boot order to boot from USB first, then a CD, and lastly my hard drive. Since it does not recognize my USB, it is going straight to my hard drive. I will check to see if the USB boots on another computer. Do you think using a Dell laptop should be able to boot from USB. I have been trying it on a Dell Precision 370 desktop (old I know). Thanks again.

  98. 100 Vincent 12 June 2008 at 2:44 pm

    Hmm, OK, so that’s not the problem. If it’s there in the menu, I suppose your computer is capable of booting from USB too.

    I’ve made a screenshot of what cfdisk says for my USB drive. Did it show the “Boot” flag for you like it does for me?

  99. 101 OptimusPrime 12 June 2008 at 3:15 pm

    Yes, my screen is almost exactly the same as yours. Once I enter the cfdisk command, I can type ‘b’ to make the partition bootable and then ‘q’ to quit. But when I execute cfdisk again, the boot flag is not set for the FAT16 partition even though I just went in and did it. I am assuming both USB partition should be unmounted when I change the boot flag. Thank you.

  100. 102 Vincent 12 June 2008 at 3:28 pm

    Ah! You selected Quit :). You have to select “Write” and then quit 🙂

  101. 103 OptimusPrime 12 June 2008 at 4:51 pm

    That worked…thank you very much.

  102. 104 Vincent 13 June 2008 at 10:32 am

    Always happy to help 🙂

  103. 105 Alfredo Rubio 27 June 2008 at 9:40 am

    We have tried the whole procedure but it fails at the booting.

    it always show a message that said unable to find casper/.vml.

    Whats the problem here.

  104. 106 Vincent 1 July 2008 at 3:10 pm

    @Alredo – sorry, wouldn’t know how to help. I recommend you to try following a tutorial on how to use the latest version of Ubuntu.

  105. 107 Marc Donovan 12 August 2008 at 2:28 am

    I just published an up-to-date tutorial that addresses the persistent issue. It has all the required steps and it has been tested.


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  7. 7 Kernel Source » Blog Archive » Ágora de Kernel Source [27/06/2007] Trackback on 27 June 2007 at 1:55 pm
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