Try Ubuntu w/o changing your Windows setup
This article shows you how to create a Ubuntu “live” USB thumb drive or CD. (The word “live” means that the resulting disk will boot and run on your Windows computer independent of the installed Operating System & hard drive.)
The creation process is all done in Windows. AND, it is super simple. The only “problem” is that you must download the 700MB *.iso file from Ubuntu.com – which could take a few minutes. But when you have the iso file, the process is both easy and quick. All together, you could have Ubuntu up and running in about 30 minutes!
Afterward, running the live disk allows Windows users to use Linux commands and programs – without modification to their Windows computer or setup.
Here is a video clip of the process:
- Must have a Windows computer with a USB 2.0 (or newer) port that can be used as a boot device. Most newer computers will meet this requirement.
- USB Thumbdrive with at least 2GB of space. This could be ANY type of removable media that works in a USB adapter (memory stick, sdcard, micro sd, etc). I recommend using a device with at least 4GB available.
- Download the “Linux Live USB Creator” (LiLi) program here: http://www.linuxliveusb.com/en/download (click here for a direct download of the exe file)
- Download the Ubuntu (iso) file here: http://www.ubuntu.com/download. If you do not download the file now, the LiLi program is capable of downloading it for you. Also, the program will allow you to create the thumbdrive with some other version of Linux – which it can also download for you.
- Install the LiLi program. Most of you use Windows MUCH more than I do so you should not need help with this :-). If you do need help, check with the teenager that lives next door. He/she is probably a Windows EXPERT!
- Copy (or move) the Ubuntu???.iso file into the folder with the LiLi program. You could leave the file on the desktop or in the downloads folder (or anywhere that you can locate it) but it is simpler if you move it to the LiLi folder.
- Insert your USB Thumbdrive into an available USB port on the computer
- Execute the LiLi program & fill in the blanks..
- The USB “Key” is the “thumb drive” that you inserted in the computer. Be sure to select the correct item.
- The “Source” is the ubuntu???.iso file that you downloaded. If you moved it as I recommended, it will just pop up in the dialog.
- The slider for “Persistence” should be moved to the far right. This will use all available space on the thumbdrive. For most purposes, around 500MB is sufficient. BUT, in our case, we will be copying files into the system and running scripts there, so we want at least a couple GB of space.
- Select the option to FORMAT the USB Disk to FAT32 and “erase” the existing data. If your Thumbdrive is large enough, you COULD leave the existing data on the drive and create the Ubuntu “live” disk in the unused portion but I would not recommend it.
- Press “CREATE” to start building the “live” disk.
When the process is finished, remove the Thumb Drive & start using Linux!
Procedure: (How to use it)
- Power off your computer.
- Insert the USB Thumbdrive in one of the available USB ports on the computer
- Power on the computer
- If your computer presents any dialogs asking whether you want to use the USB or alternate boot device, respond appropriately.
- If the computer boots into Windows, just power off, move the Thumbdrive to another USB port and try that. If it still fails, you will need to set the “boot devices” option in your BIOS. If you don’t know how to do that, call up your teenage neighbor or just “Google” it 🙂
- When Ubuntu presents a screen asking if you want to “Try Ubuntu” or “Install Ubuntu” (takes a couple of minutes) click on the button (below the graphic) that says, “Try Ubuntu”
- After another minute or so, the computer will present the Ubuntu desktop and you can start issuing Linux commands or programs!
As always, we appreciate your comments. Please tell us whether this worked for you and how we can improve the guide.