Making a Bootable USB Drive with Ubuntu

USB Drive with tag
Picture of the USB Drive

Here is a quick blog post on creating USB drive that contains a bootable version of Linux. It has been difficult for me to find up to date documentation on for a Linux beginner. There are a lot of different version of Linux and each version has multiple revisions. Although they are all very similar at times the differences will cause problems for the beginner user. So please note the below worked for me with my setup at the time of posting this.

Using Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS:

  • Download the .iso file for the version of Linux you want to boot from. For this example downloaded Ubuntu 20.10 Groovy Gorilla
  • Verify the download. The next steps are specific to verifying Ubuntu 20.10. Similar steps should exist for other Linux downloads.
    • Open the terminal (CTRL + ALT + T)
    • use the cd command to move to the directory that contains the downloaded file.
    • Run a command to verify the check sum for the download
    • $ echo “3ef833828009fb69d5c584f3701d6946f89fa304757b7947e792f9491caa270e *ubuntu-20.10-desktop-amd64.iso” | shasum -a 256 –check
    • The command should return a confirmation. I received the following:
    • ubuntu-20.10-desktop-amd64.iso: OK
  • Plug in a USB drive and format it with the Disk Utility
Screenshot of Disk Utility Format
  • Note the device name – /dev/sdc1
  • Return to the terminal and run the following commands
  • $ lsblk | grep -i sd
  • This will return a list of the drives the USB drive should be listed and match the device name from the format step
  • Check that you are still in the directory with the download
  • After several minutes you should see a message showing how many files were copied.
  • Use the file manage to see if the files are on the USB drive.

If all went according to plan the next step is to use the USB to run or install Lenux on a computer. I took the USB that I created and installed Groovy Gorilla on my testing computer. With the following steps:

  • Turn the computer off
  • Insert the USB drive
  • Turn the computer on and access the boot sequence.
    • For my computer I hit the F12 key multiple times during the start up and select boot from the USB
  • Follow the prompts on the screen.

Please contact me with any comments or questions.