Recently I had to install ubuntu on a machine with a bad cdrom drive, which made me look for alternative ways of installing ubuntu. This article describes two ways of how to install Ubuntu by copying the content of the installation CD to an USB drive such as a memory stick (or flash drive) and making the USB stick bootable. This is handy for machines like ultra portable notebooks that do not have a CD drive but can boot from USB media. On a side note, I have to point out that booting from USB stick can be very handy, but there is no guarantee that it will work with your particular combination of computer and USB stick. Even if you are able to boot from your USB stick on one computer, this does not mean that it is going to work with the next one. You can try experimenting with different settings in your PC’s BIOS to make it work.
Method I: UNetbootin GUI-based install.
(runs from either windows or linux)
UNetbootin allows for the installation of various Linux/BSD distributions to a partition or USB drive, so it’s no different from a standard install, only it doesn’t need a CD. It can create a dual-boot install, or replace the existing OS entirely.
1- Download Unetbootin from here
2- Select the Linux distribution you plan to install
3- Click “Disk Image”, select ISO, and find the location of the iso image
4- Select your usb drive.
5- Reboot the system and boot off your usb thumb drive
Method II: Isotostick.sh (shell script install – Linux)
1- drop to a shell and download the isotostick.sh shell script
2- next type sudo apt-get install syslinux mtools
3- make your script executable chmod +x isotostick.sh
4- and finally put the iso onto the usb stick sudo ./isotostick.sh ubuntu-8.10-desktop-i386.iso /dev/sdX1
5- Reboot the system and boot off your usb drive.