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From LinutopWiki

Howto install Ubuntu or Xubuntu on a USB drive

  • Format a USB drive in FAT and copy all the files of the LiveCD on to it.
  • When the entire copying process is complete, remove the following files from the USB drive:
- start.exe 
- start.bmp 
- start.ini 
- autorun.inf 
- the directory (folder) "bin" 
- the directory (folder) "programs"
  • Copy the entire contents of the "isolinux" folder to the root folder of the key.
  • Also copy the following files to the root:
- casper/vmlinuz 
- casper/initrd.gz 
- install/mt86plus
  • Rename "isolinux.cfg" to "syslinux.cfg".
  • Remove "isolinux.bin".
  • Edit the file "syslinux.cfg", and delete all appearances of "/casper/". The system will look for the Linux image to begin loading in /casper/, but you put the files needed to boot in the root of the key, so in this file you are removing /casper/, and leaving only
  • Finish the setup by entering the following command in a DOS command prompt (without the quotes): "syslinux E:" where E is the letter of USB key and syslinux is the program which makes it possible to boot from the key.

How to create a bootable USB drive (under Windows)

You will find all the resources on :

Once all the files are installed on the USB drive, enter the following command ('E' represents the letter associated with the USB drive) :

syslinux.exe E: 

The last version of the achievable file syslinux.exe is in the compressed file that you download here :


The last version bears the name :

Keyboard (and messages) in French when booting

Add the text in bold to syslinux.cfg

DEFAULT vmlinuz
GFXBOOT bootlogo 
GFXBOOT-ACCESS-OPTIONS v2 v3 m2 SUSPENDS  locale=fr_FR bootkbd=fr console-setup/layoutcode=fr file=/cdrom/preseed/xubuntu.seed