install ubuntu from usb

Objective

This article focuses on how to boot Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver from USB. A general step by step guide on how to install Ubuntu 18.04 is provided in the article: How to install Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver.

Operating System and Software Versions

  • Operating System: - Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver

Requirements

  • 64bit architecture computer with hard drive free of personal non-recoverable data. This could be any spare, old, low profile desktop or laptop.
  • Internet connection
  • USB flash drive of minimum 2GB size

Introduction

The general procedure to installing Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver has been described in How to install Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver. This procedure consists of the following steps:
  • Download Ubuntu (ISO)
  • Create Bootable DVD or USB
  • Boot from USB or DVD
  • Try Ubuntu without installing
  • Install Ubuntu
This article focuses in more detail on booting from USB after such bootable USB (also referred to as live USB) had been created. Instructions on how to create a bootable USB can be found in: Before we explain how to boot Ubuntu 18.04 from USB you should know what keys (or combination of keys) you need to hit to access Boot Menu and BIOS/UEFI on your computer. The next two sections list such key combinations depending on the type of PC you have.

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Access Boot Menu

To access Boot Menu on your computer you will need to hit different keys (or combination of keys) depending on your computer type. Here is the list of possible keys you may have to press depending on your PC:
Key combinations for accessing Boot Menu
DeviceKey CombinationComment
AcerEsc, F12 or F9 F12 key most likely
AsusF8 or Esc
Compaq Esc or F9
Dell F12
eMachines F12
Fujitsu F12
HP Esc or F9
Lenovo F8, F10 or F12Other possibilities: Novo button or Fn + F11
Samsung Esc or F2 or F12 For ultrabooks from Samsung disable the fast boot option in BIOS/UEFI. See next section.
VAIO Esc, F10 or F11 Other possibilities: Assist button
Toshiba F12

Access BIOS/UEFI

To access BIOS/UEFI on your computer you will also need to hit different keys (or combination of keys) depending on your computer type. Here is the list of possible keys you may have to press depending on your PC:
Key combinations for accessing BIOS/UEFI
DeviceKey CombinationComment
AcerDel or F2 F2 key most likely
AsusDelete or Del
Compaq F10
Dell F2
eMachines Tab or Del
Fujitsu F2
HP Esc, F10, F11Other possibilities: on Pavilion - F1
Lenovo F1 or F2Other possibilities: small button next to the Power button (if laptop)
Samsung F2 For ultrabooks from Samsung it might be F10
VAIO F1, F2, F3 Other possibilities: Assist button
Toshiba F1, F2, F12 or Esc


Boot from USB

To start the USB boot, switch off your PC and insert the USB bootable flash drive into your computer. It is recommended that all other USB devices are removed (e.g. memory cards, printers). After that, switch ON your computer. If you set your BIOS/UEFI correctly your PC will now start the booting sequence from the USB external media in order to install Ubuntu from USB.

If NOT, reboot your computer again, and attempt to access your Boot Menu, which can be different depending on your device. We explained earlier how to access Boot Menu on your computer. Once you have accessed the menu you will have to select the USB item and press ENTER.

If Boot Menu is not available you will have to access BIOS/UEFI. This will allow you to boot from removable media. Before booting Ubuntu 18.04 from USB you need to check if the USB flash drive is selected in BIOS/UEFI in the Boot devices menu. Above we outlined how to access BIOS/UEFI on various computers. Note also, that some computers (e.g. ultrabooks) have a fast boot option. It is important to disable this option before the Ubuntu 18.04 USB boot is initiated.

Go to BIOS/UEFI settings and look for Boot Device Select Menu. Make sure that the USB (may be called: Removable Devices, USB-HDD) selection is at the top of the list, which will always make your PC to boot from a USB flash drive first. If USB is not present, the computer will boot from the hard drive.

Note also that on some of the newer computers with UEFI/EFI you will have to disable secure boot (or enable legacy mode).

Concluding Remarks

Given that you did successfully boot from your previously created Ubuntu bootable USB you will be briefly shown this screen:

Booting Ubuntu 18.04
If you act quickly enough, hitting the TAB key you will bring up the boot menu where you can choose to simply just try Ubuntu without installation.
After that, proceed with steps outlined in How to install Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver.
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