Ubuntu – How tonstall Ubuntu on MicroSD


I bought MicroSD SanDisk PRO V30 A2 128 GB to which I would like to install Ubuntu 18.04 (is it possible to install linux on it?)

Currently I have Ubuntu 18.04 on a USB (SanDisk 32GB).
I also have Windows 10 on the eMMC drive (only 32GB)

So now, Ubuntu doesn't read the new microSD.
I tried on Windows 10 and reads it and found out there is only two options to be formated to: NTFS and exFAT.

What should I do to make this MicroSD be compatible with Ubuntu so I can install it.

Best Answer

In most cases the running operating system will see and read an SD card. But it is 'more difficult' for the computer's early stages during boot, the UEFI/BIOS system, to see the SD card and be able to boot from it.

  • Most computers can boot from an SD card, which is connected via a USB adapter. But some computers and adapters are not compatible for booting.
  • Some computers (far from all) can boot from an SD card, which is connected via a built-in slot (typical in laptops).

If you fail to boot from your SD card, you can try with an[other] USB adapter, but you have better chances to succeed, if you get a fast USB 3 pendrive with at least 16 GB according to this link,


When installing, it is easiest to

  • Create a live USB drive by cloning from the Ubuntu iso file to a USB pendrive, which can be small and cheap, for example a USB 2 drive with 4 GB.

  • Disconnect the internal drive.

    • It is often but not always possible to do via a UEFI/BIOS menu.
    • You can try to unplug it physically
    • If none of these methods work, you can borrow another computer for this task, a computer, where you can disconnect the internal drive.
  • It may also work if you

    • check the flags on EFI system partition of the internal drive (in linux with the tool gparted, in Windows there are also tools for it).
    • Make a note on a paper
    • Remove the flags on EFI system partition of the internal drive
    • ... and after the installation is finished, restore the flags according to the note on paper

    • But I have never used this method, and cannot guarantee that it will not damage the internal drive. Therefore you had better make a fresh backup of the operating system in that drive (Windows) before following this route.