To install linux from a USB stick:

  • Make sure the USB drive does not contain any data you want to keep

  • Download the ISO for the distibution you want to use.

  • Use either dd or unetbootin:


Make sure the USB drive is not mounted:

sudo dd if=ubuntu-11.10-desktop-amd64.iso of=/dev/sdb oflag=direct bs=1M


sudo apt-get install unetbootin

… or download and make the binary file e.g. unetbootin-linux-506 executable. (I used Nautilus to do this because chmod +x didn’t seem to work).

Run unetbootin (or the file you downloaded).

  • Select the ISO you want to use.

  • Type, USB Drive

If you like, UNetbootin will also download a distibution for you.