Install Ubuntu 8.04.3 to a Flash Drive from CD

Create a Ubuntu 8.04.3 Persistent USB Flash Drive via the Live CD. This tutorial will enable a user to install Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron to a USB flash drive via a running Ubuntu 8 Live CD. The process is similar to the Live CD install via Windows with the exception that you will be performing the process entirely from Ubuntu. This process uses a few less steps, thus could be performed in less time. In addition the persistence feature is being used to save and restore changes on subsequent boots.

Update: Some have reported that the persistence feature has become broken again with the latest updates to Ubuntu 8.04.3. You may want to use the Ubuntu 8.10 persistent flash drive installation tutorial instead.

Essentials for Ubuntu 8.04.3 USB installation:

  • Working CD Drive and an Ubuntu 8.04.1 CD
  • Established internet connection
  • 1GB or larger USB flash drive

How to install Ubuntu 8.04.3 to a USB flash drive:

  1. Download the Ubuntu 8.04.3 ISO and burn it to a CD
  2. Restart your computer and boot from the Ubuntu Live CD
  3. Insert a 1GB or larger USB flash drive
  4. Open a terminal window and type sudo su
  5. Now type fdisk -l to list available drives/partitions (note which device is your flash drive Example: /dev/sdb). Throughout this tutorial, replace all instances of x with your flash drive letter. For example, if your flash drive is sdb, replace x with b.
  6. Type umount /dev/sdx1
  7. Type fdisk /dev/sdx
    • type p to show the existing partition and d to delete it
    • type p again to show any remaining partitions (if partitions exist, repeat the previous step)
    • type n to make a new partition
    • type p for primary partition
      • type 1 to make this the first partition
      • hit enter to use the default 1st cylinder
      • type +750M to set the partition size
      • type a to make this partition active
      • type 1 to select partition 1
      • type t to change the partition filesystem
      • type 6 to select the fat16 file system
    • type n to make another new partition
    • type p for primary partition
      • type 2 to make this the second partition
      • hit enter to use the default cylinder
      • hit enter again to use the default last cylinder
      • type w to write the new partition table
  8. Type umount /dev/sdx1 to unmount the partition
  9. Type mkfs.vfat -F 16 -n ubuntu8 /dev/sdx1 to format the first partition
  10. Type umount /dev/sdx2 to ensure the partition is unmounted
  11. Type mkfs.ext2 -b 4096 -L casper-rw /dev/sdx2 to format the second partition
  12. Remove and re-insert your flash drive (if prompted that a new medium has been detected, select to open in a new window and click ok)
  13. Back at the terminal, type sudo apt-get install syslinux mtools
  14. Type syslinux -sf /dev/sdx1
  15. Type cd /cdrom
  16. Type cp -rfv casper dists install pics pool preseed .disk isolinux/* md5sum.txt README.diskdefines install/mt86plus /media/ubuntu8
  17. Type cd /media/ubuntu8
  18. Type wget
  19. Type cd casper
  20. Type rm initrd.gz
  21. Type wget
  22. Reboot your computer and set your system BIOS boot priority to boot from the USB stick.

If everything has gone as it should, you should now be able to boot Ubuntu 8.04 from the USB flash device and it should save your changes, restoring them on boot.

Notes: If your having trouble getting Ubuntu to boot, your memory stick may have a corrupted MBR. To repair the MBR of your USB device, at the terminal type sudo apt-get install lilo then type lilo -M /dev/sdx (replacing x with the letter of your flash device)

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