How to create a Ubuntu Live USB drive in Windows

Ubuntu Live USB drive lets you test drive Ubuntu without actually installing it on your computer. Hence, there will be no change in your system configuration or hard disk partitions.

Ubuntu is one of the most popular Linux distributions used worldwide. It is decently stable, quick, and can run on a system with just 2 GB RAM and 25 GB hard disk space.

If you want to test drive or install Ubuntu, you will need a Ubuntu Live DVD or a USB live drive. You can easily create a Ubuntu Live USB drive yourself on your Windows machine.

Dash to Panel enabled desktop on Ubuntu 17.10
Ubuntu 17.10 desktop

Ubuntu Live USB drive lets you test drive Ubuntu without actually installing it on your computer. Hence, there will be no change in your system configuration or hard disk partitions.

After your test drive the Live environment, and when you feel Ubuntu can become a daily driver, you can use the same Live USB drive to install Ubuntu on your computer.

Creating Ubuntu Desktop Live USB Drive

STEP 1: Get an empty USB flash drive of at least 2 GB capacity. I don’t recommend more than 8 GB because not all PCs can boot through USB drives of more than 8 GB capacity.

STEP 2: Download Rufus utility for Windows. It is a free portable utility and so doesn’t need installation. You can execute the program right away.

Download Rufus

STEP 3: Download the latest version of Ubuntu Desktop from their website. Again, this is also 100% free operating system. The downloaded file will be in ISO format. The downloaded ISO should look something like this: ubuntu-16.04.1-desktop-amd64.iso. The version number may vary depending on when you are downloading.

STEP 4: Right-click on the downloaded Rufus program and click ‘Run as Administrator’.

STEP 5: Rufus Settings:

Rufus Settings
Rufus Settings

(#1) Click on the CD drive icon near the checkbox ‘Create a bootable disk using ISO Image’ and select the Ubuntu ISO file that you downloaded, for example, mine says ubuntu-16.04.1-desktop-amd64.iso.

(#2) In the same interface, click on the drop-down list under ‘Partition scheme and target system type’, select ‘MBR partition scheme for BIOS or UEFI’.

(#3) Next select file system as ‘FAT32’.

(#4) Finally, click ‘Start’.

STEP 6: Keep the ISO Image mode to write when prompted and click OK.

Rufus Prompt
Rufus Prompt

STEP 7: Wait until Rufus writes the data to the USB flash drive.

That’s it. Your Ubuntu Desktop Live USB drive is ready! You can boot into it and test drive it. It also serves as an installation media just in case you decided to install it.

Kiran Kumar
Hi there! I'm Kiran Kumar, founder of FOSSLinux.com. I'm an avid Linux lover and enjoy hands-on with new promising distros. Currently, I'm using Ubuntu as a daily driver and run several other distros such as Fedora, Solus, Manjaro, Debian, and some new ones on my test PC and virtual machines. I have a day job as an Engineer, and this website is one of my favorite past time activities especially during Winter ;). When I'm not writing for FOSSLinux, I'm seen biking and hiking on scenic trails. Hope you enjoy using this website as much as I do writing for it. Feedback from readers is something that inspires me to do more, and spread Linux love!. If you find a time, drop me an email or feedback from the 'Contact' page. Or simply leave a comment below if you found this article useful. Have a good day!

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