Home Server – Install Linux from USB

Since I haven’t got a SATA CD/DVD drive to connect to the board to install ubuntu I decided I would install from the USB memory stick. Finding out how to do this when you haven’t got a Linux PC proved to be harder than I thought.

I came across many pages recommend various programmes for doing it, but when I downloaded the current versions they no longer had the option and was just for making LiveUSB installs of linux.

I found a guide here with a manual process for LiveUSB and also a guide here for using Linux to do what I want. So using those I came up with a windows method.

In brief

  • USB memory stick formatted as FAT32
  • Download the iso of the linux you want. I’m using 12.04 Server.
  • Download 7-zip for extracting the contents of the ISO and zip files, if you alrady have a method for doing this then you don’t need it.
  • Download latest syslinux in zip format and extract the contents
  • from the extracted win32 folder in a command prompt runĀ syslinux.exe –mbr –active –install e: where e: is the USB stick
  • Open the iso using 7-zip or your method of choice. Extract the contents of the iso to the USB memory stick.
  • Rename the isolinux folder to syslinux.
  • In the syslinux folder rename the isolinux.cfg to syslinux.cfg

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