Creating a USB bootable installer

*Installation/FromUSBStick documents the process of creating a bootable Ubuntu Desktop LiveCD/installer USB memory stick.

*Installation/FromImgFiles documents the process if you download an '.img' flash image file instead of a '.iso' CDROM image file. This is especially helpful for installing Ubuntu Netbook Remix, which as of this writing (2009 September) comes by default as an '.img' file.


You should now be able to boot the USB device(memory stick, external CD/DVD-ROM drive, or external hard disc) and start the LiveCD/installer. You may want to toggle the boot order in the BIOS, or simply hit ESC at the BIOS post to boot the USB device without changing the boot order. When booting from the USB device, you will see the normal Ubuntu Desktop LiveCD boot prompt. Select "Start or Install Ubuntu" to get started with the LiveCD.

(This section does not apply to Netbook Remix)

It should be noted that due to the small display and lower resolution the Ubuntu installer does not fit within the confines of the screen. You'll need to use your ALT key in combination with dragging the mouse to move the active windows around in order to find the "Next" buttons. Also, as Ubuntu 7.10 activates basic Compiz features by default, the ALT-drag method does not work without de-activating Compiz. Simply navigate to "System > Preferences > Appearance" Go to the "Visual Effects" tab and set the effects to none. This will turn off Compiz and allow you to ALT-drag your windows in order to function.

Alternative Method - ideal for 701's

Open a Terminal and at the prompt type:

xrandr --output LVDS1 --mode 800x480 --scale 1.5x1.5

Substitute the "-- mode 800x480" for your native resolution if using on other Eeepc's (901 etc)...

Installation on the EeePC continues normally.

701 and 11.04 - "Natty Narwhal"

Installation of Ubuntu 11.04 - "Natty Narwhal" will fail on 701's due to the installer requiring a minimum of 4.4GB free space. However a workaround is possible.

  • . After booting the live image, select the Test option to boot into the live environment.

  • . Open a terminal and copy and paste :-

xrandr --output LVDS1 --mode 800x480 --scale 1.5x1.5
  • . Then, once the screen has resized, copy and paste :-

gksu gedit /usr/lib/ubiquity/plugins/
  • . Gedit will open with a python file for the installer which you need to edit. Navigate to line 310 which will say something like:-

"min_disk_size = size*2"
  • . Change the above line to read :-

"min_disk_size = size*1"
  • . Save your changes and close the Text Editor, then close the Terminal. You can now start the installer with the icon on the desktop as normal.

Note - it is probably best to skip installing updates and the non-free files during the install, as space will be limited on the SSD. It is best to do this afterwards from the installed environment once you have cleared off any unnecessary applications using Software Center/Synaptic.

(tested on 701 4G-Surf - 11/07/11)

Solid State Drive (SSD) and partitioning

You may want to consider a few changes in the partitioning.

The EeePC uses a Solid State Drive(flash-media) for its hard drive. It is in your best interest to restrict the amount of writes to the device helping to prolong the drive life. Based on this the following are suggested guidelines:

  • Select an ext2 file system. The default Xandros installation uses an ext3 for one of the partitions, but it's argued that ext2 will limit the number of writes to the drive.
  • Do not create a swap partition. We don't want the machine writing swap to the SSD hard drive. If you really need swap space post-installation that can be achieved via a swap-file. The installer will complain briefly about the lack of swap space, this can safely be ignored.

Alternate viewpoint on SSD writes

Some people consider the risk of prematurely wearing out an SSD to be acceptable, or minimal. See for example this discussion thread: . There are thus people who argue the following features are more important than limiting SSD writes:

  • Ext3 journaling provides better safety for file integrity in case of a system crash or power loss, than does Ext2 (which has no journaling)
  • Hibernation, as of this writing (2009 Sept) will not work very well without a swap partition, that is at least the size of your main RAM memory.

Post Installation

Before you dive into the hardware related tweaks and driver additions there are two quick things we'll want to remove so that your installation no longer expects or needs the USB device you installed from.

Remove the reference to the cdrom in the /etc/fstab, as you don't actually have a CD-ROM and it can conflict with mounting devices later:

/dev/sdc1       /media/cdrom0   udf,iso9660 user,noauto,exec 0       0

Remove the reference to the CD-ROM in the /etc/apt/sources.list file if you don't want to plug in the USB installer and would rather just download the packages from the internet.

deb cdrom:[Ubuntu 7.10 _Gutsy Gibbon_ - Release i386 (20071016)]/ gutsy main restricted

This can also be accomplished by removing(un-checking) the CD-ROM from System>Administration>Software Sources. This step is not necessary in 8.04 Hardy Heron.

EeePC/Installation (last edited 2011-07-11 14:52:32 by ultimatecombination)