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46 - Ubuntu 11.04 - boot from ISO

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This tutorial is for Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal). You can make a persistent version (2GB+ USB stick or USB hard disk required) so that any changes you make will be remembered (e.g. wireless WEP/WPA settings, country, wallpaper, etc.). In addition, once you have created a bootable USB stick - you can use it to install Ubuntu onto a PC (or even dual boot on a PC). 

Boot from ISO

Do you want to have a persistent OS but run from an ISO file and use grub4dos and have only 4 files on your USB drive? No Problem!

  1. Download and copy the single file ubuntu-11.04-desktop-i386.iso to a new folder on your hard disk (e.g. C:\Ubuntu) or if you have a USB drive already prepared, copy it to the USB drive.

  2. Make or add these lines to a new menu.lst file in the same folder, contents are as below:

    Note: if you want a persistent filesystem then keep the word 'persistent' in the command line and make a casper-rw file in step 5.


    title Try Ubuntu without installing
    find --set-root /ubuntu-11.04-desktop-i386.iso
    map /ubuntu-11.04-desktop-i386.iso (0xff) || map --mem /ubuntu-11.04-desktop-i386.iso (0xff)
    map --hook
    root (0xff)
    kernel /casper/vmlinuz  file=/cdrom/preseed/ubuntu.seed noprompt boot=casper persistent iso-scan/filename=/ubuntu-11.04-desktop-i386.iso quiet splash --
    initrd /casper/initrd.lz

    title Install Ubuntu
    find --set-root /ubuntu-11.04-desktop-i386.iso
    map /ubuntu-11.04-desktop-i386.iso (0xff)  || map --mem /ubuntu-11.04-desktop-i386.iso (0xff)
    map --hook
    root (0xff)
    kernel /casper/vmlinuz  file=/cdrom/preseed/ubuntu.seed noprompt boot=casper only-ubiquity iso-scan/filename=/ubuntu-11.04-desktop-i386.iso quiet splash --
    initrd /casper/initrd.lz

    title Check disc for defects
    find --set-root /ubuntu-11.04-desktop-i386.iso
    map /ubuntu-11.04-desktop-i386.iso (0xff)  || map --mem /ubuntu-11.04-desktop-i386.iso (0xff)
    map --hook
    root (0xff)
    kernel /casper/vmlinuz  boot=casper integrity-check noprompt  iso-scan/filename=/ubuntu-11.04-desktop-i386.iso quiet splash --
    initrd /casper/initrd.lz

    title Test memory
    find --set-root /ubuntu-11.04-desktop-i386.iso
    map /ubuntu-11.04-desktop-i386.iso (0xff)  || map --mem /ubuntu-11.04-desktop-i386.iso (0xff)
    map --hook
    root (0xff)
    kernel /install/mt86plus

  3. Format your USB drive using RMPrepUSB (v2.1.605 or later) - FAT32 + HDD, set the 5 - Copy Files source to the C:\Ubuntu folder of your hard disk - click 6 Prepare Drive and wait for it to finish. If you already have a bootable USB drive with grub4dos and a menu.lst then skip this and just copy over the ISO file and add the menu entries to your existing menu.lst file.
  4. Run Install grub4dos and install a grub4dos MBR (answer='Yes') and allow it to copy the grldr file over.
  5. If you want a persistent filesystem to keep all your changes, make a new casper-rw file using the Create Ext2 FS button in RMPrepUSB (1GB recommended).
          Your usb pen should now contain these 4 files:

 Directory of E:\

16/07/2011  18:15           280,024 grldr
22/07/2011  17:43             1,128 menu.lst
22/07/2011  10:01       718,583,808 ubuntu-11.04-desktop-i386.iso
22/07/2011  18:24     1,100,003,840 casper-rw
          4 File(s)    1,818,868,800 bytes

That's it - go try it!

Note: If you want to place the ISO file in a different folder, make sure you change all the references to the iso file in menu.lst.

Instructions for installing from USB to Hard Disk can be found here.

Installing Ubuntu (from DVD but is the same as from USB)

To install onto a hard disk alongside Windows 7, choose 'Something else'
and then choose a 5GB+ partition to install Ubuntu to. The partition will be re-formatted
so you need to make sure that there is nothing you want on it.
You can first use EaSeus Home Partition Manager to shrink an existing partition if you like and then create a new partition.

Top things to do after installing Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal (includes installing Flash and getting latest updates).

Let me know how you get on here.

Updated on Jul 30, 2011 by Steve Si (Version 28)

Attachments (2)

Ubuntu_grubmenu.jpg - on Jul 23, 2011 by Steve Si (Version 1)

Ubuntu.jpg - on Jul 22, 2011 by Steve Si (Version 1)