Ubuntu – Can I install Ubuntu onto a USB drive and boot it up not touching the Windows 10?


I want to install Ubuntu onto a USB drive and run it without having to put another SSD into my PC and it not interfering with my existing windows 10.

Best Answer

  • BIOS/UEFI Full Install to USB

    If you would like your USB drive to be able to boot from multiple computers, I used the following method to make a Full install to USB that works with BIOS and UEFI:

    Use mkusb to make a Live system on the Installer USB (2GB or larger).

    Use mkusb to make a Persistent system on the Target USB, 16GB or larger, using default settings with ~12GB persistence, (remaining NTFS partition is used as Windows accessible data partition).

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    Open GParted and delete sdb4, the ISO9660 partition and expand sdb5 into the recovered space.

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    Remove HDD before proceeding further, (optional but recommended, highly recommended in UEFI mode).

    Boot Installer drive, select Try.

    Insert Target drive

    Start Install Ubuntu...

    Select Something else.

    Select sdx5, (on the target drive), and click Change.

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    Select Use as: ext4, Format and Mount point: /.

    Don't touch any other partitions (unless adding a /home partition).

    Select sdx5 for boot loader installation.

    Complete installation.

    Cut grub.cfg from sdx5/boot/grub and paste to sdx3/boot/grub, overwriting the existing grub.cfg file.

    Boot the target drive and run sudo update-grub, (optional).

    I figure this should work on any computer that a mkusb built Persistent drive works on.