1. Overview
  2. Requirements
  3. USB selection
  4. Partition scheme and ISO selection
  5. Hybrid image confirmation
  6. Write ISO file
  7. Installation complete


Bootable system, for example Linux, from USB allows:

  • Install/upgrade software
  • Test out system desktop environment without touching PC configuration
  • Boot into system on a borrowed machine or from an internet cafe
  • Use tools installed by default on the USB stick to repair or fix a broken configuration


  • 2GB or larger USB stick/flash drive
  • Windows 7/8/10
  • Rufus, a free and open source USB stick writing tool
  • An Linux ISO file. See Get Ubuntu for download links
Rufus 3.0.1304
Rufus 3.0.1304

USB selection

  • Launch Rufus
  • Insert your USB stick
  • Rufus will update to set the device within the Device field
  • If the Device is incorrect, select the correct one from the device field’s drop-down menu

Partition scheme and ISO selection

Keep the Partition scheme and target system type set as MBR partition scheme for UEFI. However, if you need to use the USB stick with older hardware, change this to MBR Partition Scheme for BIOS or UEFI.

To select the Ubuntu ISO file, click the optical drive icon alongside the enabled Create a bootable disk using field. This will open a file requester from which you can navigate to, and select, the ISO file.

Hybrid image confirmation

Leave all other parameters with their default values and click Start to initiate the write process.

You will then be alerted that Rufus has detected that the Ubuntu ISO is an ISOHybrid image. This means the same image file can be used as the source for both a DVD and a USB stick without requiring conversion.

Keep Write in ISO Image mode selected and click on OK to continue.

Write ISO file

The ISO will now be written to your USB stick, and the progress bar in Rufus will give you some indication of how long this will take.

Installation complete

Rufus will complete the write process and silently drop-back to its default window. Congratulations! You now have Ubuntu on a USB stick, bootable and ready to go. If you want to install Ubuntu, take a look at our install Ubuntu desktop tutorial.


  1. Ask Ubuntu
  2. Ubuntu Forums
  3. IRC