Almost 29 years ago the free and open-source OS, Linux broke down all of the limitations made by proprietary software giants. Programmers, web developers, computer scientists, system administrators are getting more and more biased toward Linux as it is facile to use. Learning how to install Linux can be very useful.
As CDs and DVDs are starting to obsolete gradually, Linux installation from disks is getting antediluvian method day by day. Being ubiquitous, USB flash drives or pen drives are now mostly preferred by people for OS installation.
Installing Linux is a pretty lengthy process with abstruse steps. If you are searching through the internet for the steps of how to install Linux from a USB drive in the easiest way, here we are to help assiduously.
Today’s Top 4 Linux Distributions
Being an open-source platform, Linux is changeable, sharable, developable, and can be used for a purpose of whatever you want. Linux provides an open-source kernel, the central part of Linux. Taking advantage of its granular control requires fair enough technical knowledge.
Depending on different stacks of software tools and desktop environments tied to the kernel that combines to form the complete operating system, there are different versions of Linux called distributions or distros.
By far Ubuntu is the most popular distro of Linux on web servers. For new users, Ubuntu can be an ideal choice to start the journey. This includes some well-known apps like Firefox and OpenOffice. The inclusion of a migration assistant for Windows users, latest technology support, and ease of use makes Ubuntu notable.
Ubuntu is very secure and users can try all the features before full installation using the installation image. Unity, the best, smooth, modern in-house built desktop environment makes Ubuntu unique. 700 MHz processor, 512 MB RAM, 1024*768 resolution VGA, CD/DVD drive, or a USB port, internet access is the minimum requirement of the installation.
Fedora was designed with up to the mark security feature. It is the free version of Red Hat. So, it is quite strong on enterprise features. For building a tailored solution for users, Fedora establishes an innovative, free, and open platform.
Fedora is well-known and reputable for focusing on innovation and the integration of new technologies. Better power management, End-user software, Dynamic firewall, virtual desktop support are some best features of Fedora. Each version of it lasts nearly 13 months which means this has a short life cycle. The default desktop environment is GNOME and GNOME SHELL is the default user interface.
3. Linux Mint
Linux Mint is an Ubuntu-based Linux distro with the inclusion of a distinct desktop theme and a different couple of applications. This includes few other graphical tools like mintDesktop for desktop environment configuration, mini install for effortless software installation, and easy navigation with mintMenu.
This is a full packed system with browser plugins, media codecs, Java, DVD playback support, etc. 512 MB RAM, disk space of 9 GB, 800*600 resolution graphics card, USB or DVD support is the minimum system requirement for Linux Mint. The installation process is quite straightforward for new users. Overall, this super stable and elegant distro of Linux is quite popular among Linux users.
Debian is the distro of Linux which comes with a motto of free OS and does not focus on new releases frequently. It mainly focuses on a super stable release. Debian is a foundation of Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Deepin, etc.
This OS is super stable and thoroughly tested to make it bug-free. This supports a large number of kernels and architectures. With utterly responsive security, fast memory, quick fixing of problems, Debian is quite reliable among users. Minimum ram of 256 MB, 10 GB hard drive, and 1 GHz Pentium Processor is the basic system requirement of Debian.
How to Install Linux from USB Stick
In this section of the article, we will show you the method of how to install Linux in the Ubuntu distro using a USB drive. you can also follow this method for other distros of Linux. As the method is quite lengthy and you need to be chary, we divided the whole process into 4 easy to follow steps to install Linux and subdivided the steps into points where it was necessary to make the process easy to follow.
Step-1: Download Ubuntu Installation Disk Image from Browser
To download the Ubuntu installation disk image, go to your preferred browser and find out the ubuntu download page. Here, we are going to install the LTS (Long Term Support) 18.04 version of Ubuntu as it works on most of the systems, is more secure and less vulnerable. If you want to install the latest version 19.04 instead, you can also do that.
Ubuntu installation files are usually packed in an archived package. The formation and distribution of this package are done normally in the format of the ISO image file. You have to download the ISO image file from the download page of Linux.
Step-2: Download a Software to Create Ubuntu Bootable Installation USB Drive
The ISO image file of Ubuntu cannot be installed directly as the main installation files are compressed and packaged in it. So, extracting the ISO image file on your USB drive will not work. If we create an MBR to place the files there and format the drive with Linux compatible file system, the pen drive will be bootable.
All these works can be done automatically using a USB burner software. There is much software out there to help you get rid of doing all of these manually. We recommend “Rufus” to perform these tasks. It’s an open and free source software which efficiently makes your USB drive Bootable and extracts the contents of the Linux ISO image file.
Step-3: Create Ubuntu Bootable Installation USB Drive
Once downloading the Ubuntu ISO image file and Rufus software is completed, launch Rufus from the download folder. make sure before launching Rufus, you have inserted the USB flash drive or pen drive. Also, you have to ensure the pen drive is at least 4 GB and is empty or else everything on the pen drive will be deleted permanently.
While launching Rufus it may ask you for permission for checking online updates of Rufus. If you want an update hit Yes, otherwise go with No. When Rufus is launched, you will see in the “Device” option, Rufus has detected all the attached USB drives. From these options, go ahead and select the USB drive you want to make bootable.
Next, under Boot Selection, click on “SELECT” and select the ISO image of Ubuntu in the download folder. Now, you can change the volume label and you don’t need to do anything with the rest of the options. The changed volume name will be given to your USB drive after this process is completed. Check all of the three advance format options and hit “start” to initiate this process.
Next, when it will ask you to select a mode for writing an image, select the recommended ISO image mode. This mode allows you to store additional data in the remaining space. The DD image mode will restrict the storage of additional data with the Linux installation file in the future so avoid this option.
Allow all the permissions it asks you for next and proceed. Now, Rufus will display the real-time update of the action under the status portion.
Once the process of creating the Ubuntu bootable installation drive is finished it will show the ready message in the status portion. After closing Rufus, eject the USB drive safely.
Step-4: Installing Ubuntu from the Bootable USB Drive
- Now insert the USB drive into your computer which you made bootable with Ubuntu 18.04 using Rufus. Now start the system by pressing on the power button.
- Next, you have to enter into the BIOS setting of your computer which uses different keys in different computers. In our case, we will locate the “F12” key to get in the BIOS setting. In the BIOS setting, select the “USB Storage Device” and hit “Enter”.
- After a few seconds, you will see the first screen of the installation process once the booting process is done. Now, this is going to pull up the options page where you will get the option to try Ubuntu before installation. On the left side, you can select your preferred language. If you want to take a trial of ubuntu, take the first option and if you want to directly proceed with the installation, select the second one, and continue.
- Next, this will allow you to select a keyboard and layout type. Select your preferred types and continue.
- The next step of Ubuntu installation is connecting to Wi-Fi. Go ahead and connect to the Wi-Fi. Enter the password for authentication if required and proceed to connect.
- After that, it will ask you what apps you want to install to start with. Select the “Normal Installation” option. On the same page, you can also select to download updates during installation and download third-party apps for other purposes like Wi-Fi, graphics, media, etc. After all these selections are done, click on “Continue”.
- The next step will ask you what you would like to do with the other existing operating systems if there exists any. If you want to erase the existing system you can select “Erase disk and install Ubuntu” there. We will choose “Something else” and continue to have the flexibility to create and resize partitions.
- On the next page, this will show how many drives or partitions we have on the system. Here we will delete the existing swap and ext4 area by selecting the option and hitting on the minus pattern down there. There we will see the freed-up space along with the existing partitions.
- Now we will create an 8 GB swap by selecting the free space and clicking on the plus pattern. Remember the swap area has to be double than the RAM. After defining the size, select “swap area” under “use as” option and hit ok.
- After creating the swap area, select the free space, and hit on the plus sign. There leave the size as it is, use as an Ext4 journaling file system, select “\” in mount point, and hit ok to create an Ext4 area.
- Next, you have to select the newly created ext4 partition and click on “Install Now”.
- Next, this will show you which partitions are going to be formatted. Hit “Continue” to proceed.
- Now we will have the installation page on screen after a while. After the process is complete, this will ask you about your location. It can also detect automatically your location. If it has not been detected automatically, you can select your country from the map or you can also type the country name and continue.
- Next, you have to create your user name, computer name, and password. There set the names in the option, set an easy-to-remember password, and continue. This will finally install Linux Ubuntu on your computer now, which may take 10-20 minutes.
- When the installation is done, this will notify you and you have to restart the system.
- As this is the first boot after the installation, this will take a few moments. You have to use your password on the login screen. When the system is launched, you can safely eject the USB drive.
Installing a particular distro of Linux using a USB flash drive may seem a little recondite. Most people depend on computer technicians for this simple installation which they can do easily themselves. In this context, we tried to provide the method of how to install Linux from a USB drive in the easiest way possible. Hopefully, these compendious steps will help you out to install your desired distro of Linux without any complications.