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Old 06-29-2010, 08:35 PM   #1
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Making a USB drive for install Ubundu(desktop) or Netbook Edition ?

Hi guys,

I have already installed Ubuntu from an USB drive, however everytime I have to install it on a desktop/laptop or netbook, I have to "burn" the USB again, so I wonder if there is any way to have both (Ubuntu desktop and Netbook Edition) on the same USB drive and choose wich one you want to install at the boot moment.

I usually have the ISO images and copy the files to the USB with the "Startup Disk Creator" utility built in Ubuntu or eventually with Universal USB Installer or UNetbootin...

Thanks you in advance.-

Last edited by jorgemarmo; 06-29-2010 at 10:08 PM.
Old 06-30-2010, 06:11 AM   #2
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Let me make sure I have this straight.. you currently have Ubuntu (installer) on a USB drive..and you use it, to install Ubunutu.. onto... other USB drives??

And when you want to use it as an 'install server' to other machines.. desktops, whatever, you need to reinitialize the USB drive for those devices... correct?

The only thing I remember about creating install servers in debian (ubuntu) is that you NEED to unpack the iso files onto a partition.. then you can use grub to boot it. But I am not even positive about this.. since it has been awhile since I have messed with this type of work.

I know you can boot iso (images) directly-- NORMALLY.. but if I am not mistaken, it will not work (properly) when doing this with debian (type) install disks (iso's).

However like I said, things may have changed over the last year or so since I've attempted this.. so verify it first.

When I did attempt this, I'v always seemed to have problems.. but basically I have gotten it to work.

I suppose you can just set up 2 or 3 different partitions.. one for each *type* of install that you want.. however..

I don't know why just *one good partition* for the install server would not be enough?
Old 06-30-2010, 08:08 AM   #3
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I've never tried to do it, but if you've used StartupDiskCreator or Unetbootin and have a large enough USB flash drive, you should be able to configure it multiboot with the appropriate modifications to syslinux.cfg. Note: I have not tried to do this with Ubuntu, but actually have successfully configured a USB stick to multiboot Puppy and TinyCore
Old 07-01-2010, 12:55 PM   #4
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Something Like This Might Work

I've been working on something similar to this on my 2Gb USB. Using Ubuntu's "Startup Disk Creator" I created a boot USB from a downloaded iso file. The utility required 2Gb - even though the installed files afterward take up less than 1Gb. Then I used gparted to reduce the partition size and create a second partition. I copied the files from a second linux boot. Now all I need to do is re-install grub on my USB to create a multiboot USB; . I think it might be that simple. But I have not yet read how to use grub.

Other options:
Since using "Startup Disk Creator" takes a bit of time, it may be faster for you to copy the files from a USB boot disk and then just copy them back each time you switch OS versions. In addition to copying the files you would need to copy the MBR too. Use DD:
  dd if=/dev/sdX of=mbr.backup bs=512 count=1
  dd if=mbr.backup of=/dev/sdX
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