How to Boot & Install Ubuntu Ibex From a USB Thumb Drive


Ubuntu released the Intrepid Ibex alpha 6 for public testing last week. If you want to install and test the new Ibex on your system, but do not want to burn the iso file into a CD (either because your computer does not has a CD-ROM or you find it a waste to burn into a CD that you might use only once), here’s a neat way to create a bootable USB thumb drive where you can use it to boot up Ubuntu Ibex and install it in your system.

The application in use here is UNetbootin. UNetbootin stands for Universal Netboot Installer and it allows the installation of various Linux/BSD distributions to a partition or USB drive, without the CD. It’s no different from a standard install and can be used to create a dual-boot install, or replace the existing OS entirely.

Creating a bootable USB thumb drive with UNetbootin

Things you need:

UNetbootin only works with USB thumb drive of FAT32 format. To check whether your thumb drive is FAT32: plug in your thumb drive and type the following in the terminal

sudo fdisk -l

.Your thumb drive need to be formatted in FAT32 format.

In your terminal, type

You will see something like this:

check thumb drive for FAT32

Make sure that the wording under the ‘System’ shows FAT32. Also note your device ID on the left (i.e. /dev/sdb1)

If your thumb drive is not in FAT32 format, you will have to format it to FAT32:

unmount the thumb drive:

Format to FAT32

Install UNetbootin

UNetbootin needs p7zip-full and mtools to work. Type the following command in your terminal to install the files:

On the UNetbootin file that you have downloaded, right click and select Properties. Go to the Permission tab. Tick the checkbox “Allow executing file as program”. Click Close.

Now, double click on the file to run UNetBootin (You will be prompted to enter your password).


On the window that pop up, select Diskimage and point the file path to the Ubuntu Ibex iso file location that you have downloaded.

Under the type, make sure that it shows USB drive and the Drive is the same as the device ID that you have noted just now.

Click OK and let it run.


After it finishes, it will show a window asking you to reboot your system. Click Reboot now.

unetbootin 3

When the system reboot, press the hotkey (The hotkey is different for every computer. On my laptop, I have to press Esc to access the “boot from USB drive” mode ) to boot from your USB thumb drive. UNetbootin will then take over and boot up Ubuntu Ibex from your thumb drive.

Note: This method will also work for most Linux distribution.

Image credit: noeren

Damien Damien

Damien Oh started writing tech articles since 2007 and has over 10 years of experience in the tech industry. He is proficient in Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS, and worked as a part time WordPress Developer. He is currently the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Make Tech Easier.


  1. hey, im trying to use unetbootin to put the iso image of backtrack4 on my usb, and i installed everything that i need to run unetbootin on my ubuntu hardy os. the thing that i do not understand is it says finished, but i click on exit instead of restart and i remove my flashdrive from the usb port and i put my flashdrive into another pc im building, i set the BIOS to boot up from the flashdrive first and it tries to boot up but… nothing. i removed my flashdrive and tried it on my laptop with the right boot settings and… nothing again. i checked and my flashdrive is formated with fat32. hum…. the only thing i could think of is i have a 4G sandisk cruzer with U3…. is the U3 messing with the boot up? i also tried the Windows 7 install iso image on my flashdrive before and the same thing happened. -ty matt

  2. ha! i fixed it now! i just used ubuntu fdisk commands and partitioned and formated the flashdrive and set the partition as active then i used unetbootin and put the backtrack iso on it and it worked! :D

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