Universal USB Installer – Easy as 1 2 3

Universal USB Installer aka UUI is a Live Linux Bootable USB Creator that allows you to choose from a selection of Linux Distributions to put on your USB Flash Drive. The Universal USB Installer is easy to use. Simply choose a Live Linux Distribution, the ISO file, your Flash Drive and, Click Install. Upon completion, you should have a ready to run bootable USB Flash Drive with your select operating system installed. Other features include; Persistence (if available) – Ubuntu, Xubuntu, and Lubuntu Casper Persistence feature works with FAT32 or NTFS formatted drives. Larger than 4GB casper-rw is possible only when the USB drive is formatted with the NTFS filesystem.

NOTE: If you are looking to add multiple Linux Distributions, System Diagnostic Tools, Antivirus Utilities, and Windows Installers to your bootable USB, use YUMI – Multiboot USB Software, instead.

Universal USB Installer (UUI) Screenshots

Universal USB Installer Steps
Universal USB Installer - Progress Window

Universal-USB-Installer-1.9.9.7.exe – November 2, 2020 – Changes
Updated to support newer Ubuntu 20.10 and derivitives. Moved casper writable file creation to occur on USB.

IMPORTANT: The Windows to Go option requires the USB be formatted NTFS with 20GB free disk space to hold the virtual disk. See FAQ for more info.

MD5: 9C0E714E47AAE90B83674B614AB46574

IMPORTANT NOTE: Your USB drive must be Fat32/NTFS formatted, otherwise Syslinux will fail and your drive will NOT Boot.

Bootable USB Flash Drive Creation Requirements:

  • Universal-USB-Installer-1.9.9.7.exe
  • Windows Vista/7/8/10 or WINE to create the USB (Win 98/XP/2K WILL NOT Work!)
  • *Fat32 or NTFS Formatted Flash Drive. MBR partition only GPT will not work!
  • PC with a BIOS that can boot from USB
  • Your Favorite Linux ISO

Feel free to inform me of unlisted Live Linux distributions or version revisions, and I will do my best to update Universal USB Installer (UUI) to support them.

Universal USB Installer Recent Changelog:

11/02/20 – Version 1.9.9.7: Updated to support newer Ubuntu 20.10 and derivitives. Moved casper writable file creation to occur on USB.
10/31/20 – Version 1.9.9.6: Updated several links (still more to check). Add entry for Sergei Strelec.
10/14/20 – Version 1.9.9.5: Removed Try via DD option. Moved Antergos and Mageia entries to use Grub for boot.
10/12/20 – Version 1.9.9.4: Updated to support Puppy Linux Fossapup64. Fixed Try Unlisted ISO (Grub) option. Updated to support newer CentOS installers. You must use an NTFS format on your USB when using the DVD ISO, because it is larger than 4GB.
08/04/20 – Version 1.9.9.3: Fixed broken links for Antergos, EasyPeasy, Xpud, and CubLinux.
07/28/20 – Version 1.9.9.2: Updated to support LinuxFX (aka: Windows FX or WinFX).
07/17/20 – Version 1.9.9.1: Support Ubuntu's "writable" casper persistence file name.
12/04/19 – Version 1.9.9.0: Updated to support Clear Linux and Pop OS.
09/17/19 – Version 1.9.8.9: Updated to support Skywave Linux, and newer Knoppix. Corrected Ubuntu based persistent conditional statements.
06/01/19 – Version 1.9.8.8: Updated to support newer Archbang, ArchLinux, Manjaro, Dr.Web, and AntiX. Add support for KaOS, Pop OS, Bionic Pup, Emmabuntus, and MX Linux.
02/19/19 – Version 1.9.8.7: Updated to support initrd boot option for newer Ubuntu based distributions when USB drive is formatted NTFS. Added persistence option to Kodachi entry.

UUI can create a Bootable USB containing any of the following:

— Ubuntu 32/64 Bit —

  • Ubuntu Desktop
  • Xubuntu Desktop
  • Kubuntu Desktop
  • Lubuntu Desktop
  • Edubuntu Desktop
  • Ubuntu Studio
  • *Ubuntu Server Installer
  • **Ubuntu Alternate
  • Mythbuntu Desktop
  • Blackbuntu

— Linux Mint 32/64 Bit —

  • Linux Mint

— Debian Live/Netinst 32/64 Bit —

  • Debian Netinst
  • *Debian Live

— Backtrack/Kali Versions —

  • Kali Linux
  • Backtrack

— Fedora 32/64 Bit —

  • Fedora Desktop

— OpenSUSE 32/64 Bit —

  • OpenSUSE 32bit
  • *OpenSUSE 64bit

— Puppy Linux Based —

  • Fatdog64
  • Lighthouse Puppy
  • Lucid Puppy
  • Precise Puppy
  • Puppy Arcade
  • Puppy 4.3.1
  • Racy Puppy
  • Slacko Puppy
  • Wary Puppy

— Linux Distros for Kids —

  • DouDouLinux
  • Qimo 4 Kids 2.0
  • Sugar on a Stick

— Other Distros Alphabetical —

  • AOMEI (Disk Cloning and Backup Tool)
  • Acronis Rescue CD
  • Android
  • AntiX
  • Antergos
  • ArchBang
  • ArchLinux
  • ArtistX
  • Aurora
  • BackBox
  • Baltix Linux
  • BCCD
  • BlehOS
  • Bodhi
  • Boot Repair Disk
  • Carmedia
  • CentOS
  • Chakra
  • Clonezilla
  • Crunchbang
  • DBAN 2.2.X
  • Deft Linux
  • Deepin Linux
  • DRBL
  • DSL 4.4.10
  • Dreamlinux
  • Dynebolic
  • EASUS Disk Copy
  • EasyPeasy
  • Elementary OS
  • Elementary Unleashed
  • Feather Linux
  • Finnix
  • Fuduntu
  • Fusion Linux
  • Gamedrift
  • Gentoo
  • GEEXBOX
  • gNewSense
  • GRML
  • gOS gadgets
  • GParted
  • Jolicloud
  • Kiwi
  • KNOPPIX
  • Kororaa
  • KXStudio
  • Leeenux
  • Liberte
  • LinHES
  • Linux XP Like
  • LPS
  • Macbuntu
  • Mandriva One 2011
  • Matriux
  • MCNLive Toronto
  • Meego
  • MicroCore
  • Netrunner
  • Ophcrack
  • OSGeo Live
  • Pardus
  • PartedMagic
  • PCLinuxOS
  • Pear OS
  • Peppermint
  • PING
  • Pinguy OS
  • Plasma active
  • PLoP Linux
  • Porteus
  • Redo Backup
  • Rescatux
  • RIP Linux
  • Runt Linux
  • Sabayon Linux
  • SalineOS
  • Satux
  • Simply MEPIS
  • SLAX
  • SliTaZ
  • Sn0wL1nuX
  • SolusOS
  • System Rescue CD
  • Tails
  • Terralinux
  • TinyCore
  • Trisquel
  • Uberstudent
  • Ultimate Boot CD
  • Ultimate Edition
  • WifiWay
  • WifiSlax
  • xPUD
  • XBMC
  • XBMCbuntu
  • StartOS
  • wattOS R5
  • Zenwalk Live
  • Zorin OS

— Live Antivirus Rescue CDs —

  • AOSS (Malware Scanner)
  • AVG Rescue CD
  • Avira Antivir Rescue Disk
  • Bitdefender Rescue CD
  • Comodo Rescue Disk
  • DrWeb LiveCD
  • F-Secure Rescue CD
  • G DATA Antivirus
  • Kaspersky Rescue Disk
  • Panda Safe CD
  • Trinity Rescue Kit

— Other Software —

  • Falcon 4 Boot CD
  • Hiren's Boot CD
  • Kon-Boot
  • Sergei Strelec

— Windows to Go + Windows Installers —

  • Windows to Go (on VHD)
  • *Windows Vista Installer
  • **Windows 7 Installer
  • ***Windows 8 Installer

— Try to use an Unsupported ISO —

  • Try Unlisted Linux ISO

More Live Linux Distributions will be added as time permits. Feel free to contact me to submit recommendations.

UUI – Universal USB Installer Troubleshooting, Issues, Bugs:

The Windows to Go option requires the USB drive be NTFS formatted and have 20GB+ free space to hold the virtual disk. Many flash drives you might find at local department stores won't be fast enough. You'll need a Very Fast Flash Drive. When Windows boots from the USB for the first time, it'll go through the setup process and then reboot. You'll need to boot using your Windows to Go flash drive a second time to finalize the setup process and finally boot into your full Portable Windows.

UUI Expects the Volume Label of your USB drive to be UUI in order for OpenSUSE, CentOS and several other distributions to boot. UUI attempts to automatically create this Volume Label, however it can sometimes fail. Please ensure that the Volume Label of your USB remains UUI if you expect distributions to boot!

Persistence feature is currently broken with Newer Debian and Debian based distributions due to significant changes upstream. Debian now requires a rename of the persistent block file and label from live-rw to persistence and must hold a persistence.conf file containing / Union. I will be working on making the necessary changes to provide a fix as time allows.

If you're using Universal-USB-Installer-1.9.9.7.exe and you still receive Insane primary (MBR) partition notices,

Insane primary (MBR) partition. Can’t find myself on the drive I booted from

Your USB drive may be improperly formatted, contains more than one partition or MBR, or your BIOS is not properly detecting the USB drive and its firmware needs to be updated. You can try these methods to Format and Restore your USB Drive

An Error (1) occurred while executing syslinux.

If you encounter a message stating

An error (1) occurred while executing syslinux. Your USB drive won't be bootable.

An error (1) occurred executing syslinux

The most likely cause is that your USB drive is formatted as exFAT or some other unsupported format. You'll need to reformat as fat32 (currently preferred) or NTFS.

My PC wont Boot from my Flash Drive, but supports USB boot!

Many Flash Drives ship USB-FDD formatted and some systems will not detect or even boot USB-FDD. I have found that most systems can however boot USB-ZIP, and or USB-HDD. If you are having a hard time getting your BIOS to detect your flash drive, you can try to format it as USB-HDD or USB-ZIP using BOOTICE (GET IT HERE), and then proceed to use Universal USB Installer to put your chosen Distro on USB.

OTHER IMPORTANT NOTES:

  • If you're running a Windows Vista or 7 Installer from your USB, after the first reboot, remove the flash drive and let the pc complete from the hard disk.
  • When browsing for an ISO, UUI will only display ISO Files that match exactly what the tool is asking for. For example, if you chose to install Ubuntu 10.10 Desktop i386, you should not expect the tool to display your ubuntu-10.10-netbook-i386.iso as you have not chosen to install the netbook variant.

Auto Detection: If you run Universal USB Installer from the same directory containing an installable ISO, the script should Auto Detect the ISO and bypass step 2.

Universal USB Installer auto detection of ISO in same folder

* Although you can use an NTFS formatted USB, Ubuntu based "persistence" features will only work with a Fat16 or Fat32 formatted drive. Additionally some Linux Distributions will not boot from an NTFS formatted USB.

This tool does not support adding, installing, and booting from multiple Linux Distributions. Only One Distribution can be installed per USB drive. However the YUMI Multiboot USB Creator can be used to create a Multi System USB Device.

To try an ISO that isn't listed, simply choose one of the the last three options in Step 1. I recommend "Try Unlisted Linux ISO (GRUB)" because it seems to be the most successful. Please inform me of any unlisted "Linux ISOs" you get to work via these options, and I'll make a note to add them to the list.

NOTE: OpenSUSE DVD ISOs that exceed 4GB will not work due to the Fat32 limitation.

Ubuntu Server "Failed to copy file from CD-ROM" Error (should currently be resolved)?

The Universal USB Installer should run from within Linux using WINE. However, the Fat32 format option does not work. Additionally, Syslinux must be manually installed onto the USB when using UUI.

Universal USB Installer – Easy as 1 2 3 published under Bootable USB Creator Software 

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