How to create a Live Ubuntu Linux USB key

How to create a Live Ubuntu Linux USB key

Do you want to exclude your installed operating System as the cause of an issue? Why not use an operating system on an USB key? Here is how you can do that with Ubuntu Linux.

Table of Content:

What is Ubuntu to Go?

Ubuntu Linux is a free to use operating system. It can be downloaded at no cost and can run from an USB key. This can be helpful to test a system if errors occur and you want to exclude the installed operating system.

Back to Top

Download and Preparation

To use Ubuntu you need to prepare a USB key and get the Ubuntu Setup ISO. We will use Rufus as an example on how to create the bootable USB key. You can use every tool you like to merge the ISO file to the USB key.

Note: Dell will not endorse this software and using it is at your own risk.
  1. Download the Ubuntu ISO File
    • Connect your USB key.
    • Visit and click on Ubuntu Desktop.
    • Click the download button.
    • At the next page, you can donate to the Ubuntu team or just scroll down and click "Not now, take me to the download" to proceed without donating.
  2. Merge ISO and USB key
    • Open Rufus or the Tool you want to use to merge the ISO File to the USB Key.
    • Choose the downloaded Ubuntu ISO and the USB Drive you want to use.
      Note: The USB key will be erased during this process, please backup needed data before you proceed.
    • Click start and let the process finish.

      Image 1: Rufus Main Window with a description of needed Steps.

Back to Top

Start and use Ubuntu from a USB key

Connect the USB key and start the system. At the Dell logo press F12 multiple times.

Choose the USB key in the BIOS boot menu.

Image 2: Boot menu.

When Linux starts, you will be prompted to install Ubuntu, choose test ubuntu instead.

Image 3: Linux boot menu.

You now have started a fully operational ubuntu Linux running on your USB key.

Back to Top

Additional Information

You will find a setup file on the Ubuntu desktop if you want to install Ubuntu afterwards.

Image 4: Ubuntu Desktop Setup File.

As an alternative to Ubuntu, you can also create an usb key with Windows 10. Please refer to the article SLN304299 in our knowledge base.

Back to Top

Article ID: HOW12275

Last Date Modified: 09/20/2019 10:34 PM

Rate this article

Easy to understand
Was this article helpful?
0/3000 characters
Please provide ratings (1-5 stars).
Please provide ratings (1-5 stars).
Please provide ratings (1-5 stars).
Please select whether the article was helpful or not.
Comments cannot contain these special characters: <>()\
characters left.