Home > boot > Is it possible to use Ubuntu from a USB without installing or editing the boot menu?

Is it possible to use Ubuntu from a USB without installing or editing the boot menu?

February 19Hits:1
Advertisement

This question already has an answer here:

  • How do I install Ubuntu to a USB key? (without using Startup Disk Creator) 12 answers
  • How to create a bootable USB stick? 4 answers

I was just wondering if it is possible to install Ubuntu on a USB Flash Drive, and then run Ubuntu from the USB without rebooting, touching the boot menu, or installing. Just using it on Windows 7, from a USB. Then, say the USB is removed, it goes back to Windows 7.

Many of you will probably ask why I would do this when I can just install it, and here's why: I already have Ubuntu installed at home, but I want to run it at school without touching anything I could get in trouble for. Also, I have no administrator rights, except I do know how to use the login screen as an admin account, but I can't download anything. (I enabled command prompt in the login screen in place of sticky keys, and then typed: explorer.exe to bring up the start menu, etc,)

Anyway, again, I was just wondering if this is possible to do. Thanks.

Answers

I have successfully done this with both Portable VirtualBox and Qemu for Windows.

  1. The pro for Portable VirtualBox is that it gives you the full power of VirtualBox. (It's a modified version of VirtualBox.) The con is that it's very slow from a usb drive. If you use this, definitely go for Lubuntu and maybe even use openbox or fluxbox alone instead of the full Lubuntu session.

    Portable VirtualBox has also had some problems with bugs on Windows 7. The developer has stated that it doesn't seem to affect everyone, so it may be related to some arcane Win settings. I had it work fine on one computer, but to get it to work on another Win 7 computer I had to download an older version of the binary. (And it took some trial and error to find one that worked right.)

    Another downside is that setting up Portable Vbox in Windows seems to mess up any pre-existing standard VBox install on the same the machine (just the app, not the VM's you may have already created).

    LinuxLiveUsb uses Portable Vbox for it's Virtualize this Key option, but the last time I tried it the Win7 bug prevented it from working; plus that option (unlike a standalone Portable Vbox) does not allow persistence.

  2. Qemu also works well. See Qemu for Windows for the binaries and Qemu main site Qemu documentation.

    Getting a virtual machine up and running is a little more hands on than in Vbox. But it's not really difficult. This slightly dated page originally intended for Qemu on the OLAP project is helpful for getting started, but it doesn't tell you everything you need to know.

    Qemu is arguably a little faster than Vbox since it's somewhat lighter. You may find some older pages saying it's too slow to use in Windows, but my experience is that is no longer true with the newer binaries. Still, you will want to make your install as light as possible with Lubuntu or similar.

Check out portable VirtualBox - http://www.vbox.me/

find out what key is used to boot into the boot selection menu, usually F8 right after (i mean right after) the bios splash screen disappears. then in the menu, you just select the device to boot from. (this doesnt change anything in the bios as in boot order or whatever. )

[...] I was just wondering if this is possible to do. [...]

  1. Yes, it is possible - but you have to be careful.
  2. You will obviously need 2 USB flash drives
    • stick 1 is your Ubuntu Live medium
    • stick 2 is the blank one, on which the system will be installed
  3. Stick 2 should be larger than 8GB!
  4. Boot from stick 1
  5. Install Ubuntu on stick 2
  6. Install the bootloader on stick 2!

This is the crucial step!

Make no mistake here and be extremely careful!

Do not overwrite the bootloader on your working system! (You might even want to unhook the harddrives in your working system before you start the installation process).

When the installation on stick 2 is finished, you might want to edit etc/default/grub and add GRUB_DISABLE_OS_PROBER=true to make sure that the OS on the hard drive(s) are not encluded in the GRUB menu.

If stick 2 doesn't boot at home, check if there's a bootable partition!

Goood luck and enjoy!

Tags:usb, boot, grub2

Related Articles

  • Is it possible to use Ubuntu from a USB without installing or editing the boot menu? February 19

    This question already has an answer here: How do I install Ubuntu to a USB key? (without using Startup Disk Creator) 12 answers How to create a bootable USB stick? 4 answers I was just wondering if it is possible to install Ubuntu on a USB Flash Driv

  • Ubuntu has been removed but still shows up in boot menu February 26

    This question already has an answer here: How do I completely remove Ubuntu/Grub and replace it with the Windows 7 bootloader? 1 answer I installed Ubuntu as a dual-boot with my Windows 7 PC and then later removed Ubuntu (by deleting the partition an

  • Hard drive has only one Ubuntu partition, how do I install Windows to dual-boot? June 30

    Possible Duplicate: How can I install Windows 7 after I've installed Ubuntu? I'm using 12.04 64-bit on my ThinkPad R61i with an un-partitioned 160GB hard drive. Can I partition my hard drive and install Windows for dual boot without having to reforma

  • If I have Ubuntu on a usb, and install it will it remove windows?December 21

    So Windows Vista is on my hard-drive and Ubuntu is on my USB. If I were to install Ubuntu when my USB is in, would it just fully install it on my USB or would it override windows? --------------Solutions------------- If you have Ubuntu on your USB as

  • Ubuntu removed by easybcd but is still appearing in boot menuJanuary 15

    I have removed Ubuntu 12.10 from my system with easybcd and deleted the partition containing Ubuntu. Still when I start my system it gives me the option to load into either Windows 7 or Ubuntu. While loading into Ubuntu it throws errors, obviously be

  • Ubuntu 13.04 64-bit installed but hangs during boot on dual-boot Win7 Pro 64-bit systemApril 29

    My Win7 Pro 64-bit system (8GB, 1TB, 3.2ghz Intel Xeon w3565) was working fine. I wanted to add Ubuntu 13.04. I booted from USB, selected try me, everything booted fine and I got my Unity desktop. I finally installed Ubuntu alongside Win7. Grub comes

  • Installed ubuntu on a usb flash drive but doesn't bootAugust 2

    I've installed it on a usb flash drive, before I was using FreeNAS,now wanted to switch to ubuntu server,but it doesn't boot. I've checked my Bios to see if there's anything wrong with the booting options but everything looks just fine. -------------

  • ubuntu 12.04 usb stick instalation problem. help!October 7

    I recently decided to change from using windows xp on my dell dimension 1100 to Ubuntu 12.04. I followed the instructions for making a bootable USB stick and even managed to run abuntu from the USB to see what it was like before deciding whether or n

  • How to install ubuntu 15.04 with windows 8.1 in dual boot menuMay 9

    I firstly installed windows 8.1 and after ubuntu 15.04. The problem is that when the computer boots, it only runs ubuntu. I want a dual boot menu for both OS. How can fix the problem? Other question: when I install ubuntu 15.04 it doesn't let me choo

  • Ubuntu 14.04 USB installation drive not recognized during boot(Dell Latitude D630)

    Ubuntu 14.04 USB installation drive not recognized during boot(Dell Latitude D630)August 1

    Ubuntu 14.04 USB flash drive isn't recognized during boot. I have had a bunch of hardware failures this week and I am down to a hybrid image laptop harddrive with mint 12 installed on it to boot as /media/cdrom but I can't add to the OS, and I have t

  • Ubuntu Gnome Live USB won't display anything after bootOctober 15

    I recently built a computer and am trying to install Ubuntu Gnome on it. I can get to the boot menu just fine, but after boot, my monitors switch off. This happens either when booting to the Gnome environment or just trying to install without booting

  • How to install Windows on my Ubuntu netbook from USB if BIOS does not support booting from USB?July 4

    I have a netbook running Ubuntu 12.04 and I would like to put Windows 7 on it (which I have on USB). However, my BIOS doesn't have booting from USB as an option. It only has HDD, LAN and FDD. I can't figure out a way to boot from my USB... Could I so

  • Ubuntu Automatically Selects USB to Install toJuly 18

    When attempting to install Ubuntu, I selected the "Erase disk and install Ubuntu" option. This caused Ubuntu to be totally installed on the USB. As I am about to try it again, I see a prompt that says modifications will happen to the "sdb&q

  • How to delete Ubuntu from boot menu in UEFI-startup sources

    How to delete Ubuntu from boot menu in UEFI-startup sourcesFebruary 15

    I had Ubuntu on my computer, but I don't use Ubuntu anymore. I still have the Ubuntu option on my computer's boot menu in UEFI. How do I delete this crappy useless boot option with Windows and without Linsucks? --------------Solutions------------- do

  • No boot menu after installing ubuntuFebruary 20

    I installed windows 7 on my laptop at C:\, and then I installed ubuntu with a bootable usb stick, but when I restart my computer, it boot to windows 7 directly, there is no boot menu to select which os to boot. what's the problem? --------------Solut

  • l can't see Ubuntu on my triple-boot menuMay 18

    Before installation, I had a dual-boot menu (XP and Win 7, both 32-bits). I installed Ubuntu 12.04 and when I boot the system, I still see my both OS but not Ubuntu. HD devices are followings: 160 Gb HDD with XP system, 7 system and data partition 1

  • I installed Ubuntu alongside Windows but I can't see it in Windows' boot menuSeptember 29

    I have a second machine where Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and Debian Squeeze are installed on the same HD and when I boot, I have this grub menu where I can choose which partition I will used. It works perfectly! But in my Windows environment that's another sto

  • How do I try Ubuntu from a USB stick?February 27

    I wanted to replace windows 7 with Ubuntu. Is it possible to try Ubuntu from USB, like a fully functional Ubuntu?, want to test sound, WiFI connectivity etc. Is there an option to exit from the above option, in case I dont want to install Ubuntu, try

  • After installed ubuntu on my windows 8.1, boot menu not shown, i directly deleted the ubuntu hard disk partitionSeptember 7

    I'm having HP r014tx, windows 8.1 OS, i dual booted ubuntu and its successfully installed after i restarted boot menu option not showing and directly enters into windows 8.1, i tried installing easy BCD and grub2 and not resolved, so i directly delet

  • Ubuntu installation to USB stick removed windows MBRJanuary 13

    Got a Windows 8.1 Lenovo laptop. Installed Ubuntu 14.04 to an USB Stick. Can boot into this Ubuntu on a stick. But not into Windows. Want to restore Windows boot. I can still boot into Windows if I go into Bios on booting and select the Windows SSD.

Copyright (C) 2017 ceus-now.com, All Rights Reserved. webmaster#ceus-now.com 14 q. 1.018 s.