How to install Eeebuntu with a usb flash drive

eeebuntu-desktop

So you want to install Eeebuntu 2, the new custom version of Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex designed for Asus Eee PC mini-laptops that was released a few days ago. You’ve downloaded the disk image from the Eeebuntu homepage or BitTorrent. But now what? Eee PCs don’t have optical disc drives, so even if you burn the disk image to a DVD, how do you use it to load the operating system onto your netbook?

Well, if you happen to have a USB DVD-RW drive all you need to do is burn the image to disk, plug the DVD drive into your netbook, and hit Esc during bootup in order to choose the DVD as your boot device. A LiveDVD version of Eeebuntu will load, allowing you to explore the operating system. If you want to install it, just click the Administration tab and choose install. One of my favorite Windows utilities for burning the Eeebuntu ISO you downloaded to a DVD is CDBurnerXP.

But here’s how to do it if you don’t have a USB DVD drive:

  • Download the Eeebuntu disk image.
  • Download UNetbootin for Linux or Windows.
  • Insert a 1GB or larger USB flash drive into your computer.
  • Launch UNetbootin and you’ll get a window that looks like this:

unetbootin

  • Select the location of the disk image and the location of your USB flash drive.
  • Click OK and UNetbootin will copy all of the installation files to your USB flash drive and make it bootable.

If you’ve been following all of these steps on your Eee PC you’ll need to reboot your Eee PC in the next step. If you’ve been using a different computer, unplug your USB flash disk and insert it into your Eee PC.

  • With the USB flash disk inserted into your Eee PC, hit the power button.
  • Hit Esc when the Asus splash screen shows up.
  • Choose your USB flash drive from the boot menu.

After a few moments a fully functional Eeebuntu desktop will load. You can explore the operating system, launch applications, surf the web, or do pretty much anything you’d like now. But you will not be able to save your settings unless you install the operating system to your hard disk or SSD. You can do this by navigating to the Administration menu and hitting the install button. You’ll find several options here, including the option to wipe whatever operating system is already installed on your Eee PC and replace it with Eeebuntu, or the option to install Eeebuntu in whatever free space exists on your system. you can find more information about the installation process at Ubuntu’s official help page.

After playing with Eeebuntu 2 for a bit, there are a bunch of things I like. You can easily choose between versions preconfigured with the Ubuntu Netbook Remix interface or a typical GNOME desktop. There’s also a stripped down version that comes with few applications prloaded that’s ideal for netbooks with little storage space.

The developers have also added a custom start menu button that makes it easy to access Ubuntu’s menu system without dedicating space to separate applications, system, and places menus. And there’s a handy Eeebuntu EeeConfigure application that gives you easy access to hardware settings like your netbook’s fan speed controls, hotkeys and WiFi, Bluetooth toggles.

eeeconfigure

I installed the NBR edition which comes with the Ubuntu Netbook Remix program launcher. But for some reason it doesn’t include the Maximus utility that automatically opens applications in fullscreen and eliminates the top toolbar to save space. Ubuntu Eee 8.04.1 includes Maximus and while I wasn’t thrilled with the utility the first time I installed that operating system, it grows on you as you realize how valuable every millimeter of space is on a laptop with a 10.2 inch or smaller display. Still, it shouldn’t be that hard to add Maximus and any other applications you like the to the startup options for EeeBuntu.

  • http://twogoodhands.wordpress.com Peter G

    I had installed 8.02 from a flash drive onto my Asus 1000H after reading about it here….it looked cool but I had problems with the wireless and sound and so I never really used it. I'm pretty much a stranger to Linux so fixing a problem like that seemed daunting. So I have two questions…1) does it make sense for me to “upgrade” to Eeebuntu 8.10 and 2) do I have to/should I/how do I uninstall the earlier version? Okay so that was actually several questions crammed together….

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  • Shan Gee

    This is Easy Peasy right?

  • http://www.eeebuntu.org Heheheee

    No, this is Eeebuntu 2.0 (Intrepid Eeebex) based on Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex.

    Easy Peasy is the new name for Ubuntu Eee, which will also be based on Ubuntu 8.10 and which will be released in January.

  • gordon howe

    Does this work on Acer One's and Dell Mini 9's?

    If not, can someone suggest me one of those Linux distros that are tailored for netbooks?

  • JD

    Thanks .. love ur articles .. u seem to come up with all the right guides and explain it so that an average user wont have any further questions .. Great job .. thanks

  • yehoni

    The new eeeConfigure utility should fix any problems you had with the earlier version.

    I don't think you can upgrade from version 1. If you plan on using your eee's entire disk for eeebuntu, just back up all your data, and then when running the installation process, when you get to the partitioning step, choose guided, use entire disk. That will wipe out anything you had there previously, so you don't need to worry about uninstalling eeebuntu 1.0.

  • yehoni

    The new eeeConfigure utility should fix any problems you had with the earlier version.

    I don't think you can upgrade from version 1. If you plan on using your eee's entire disk for eeebuntu, just back up all your data, and then when running the installation process, when you get to the partitioning step, choose guided, use entire disk. That will wipe out anything you had there previously, so you don't need to worry about uninstalling eeebuntu 1.0.

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  • ARo

    Thanks a lot! Clearly explained to those of us who are still fresh on this sort of thing :)

  • ARo

    Thanks a lot! Clearly explained to those of us who are still fresh on this sort of thing :)

  • flyingalan

    thank you very helpfull. As a new “idiot” have been trying to figure out how to do a full install and been trying to do it thro initial boot menu. Never thought to look in the fully booted live version. A big thanks for easing my frustration.

  • thepete

    Does the USB stick need to be formatted first? Say, to ext3? Is there an easy way to do this in XP? I'm trying to get Eeebuntu on a bootable SD card.

  • Eeebuntu

    Format the USB stick as FAT32.

  • Jim

    The easiest method to get eeebuntu for the Eee is to purchase a USB drive or SD memory card with Eeeubuntu already loaded from http://www.linuxbootsticks.com (Linux Boot Sticks). They have Liver versions and fully Installed versions available. They work great.

  • thepete

    Did that. No workie. :( Will try again.

  • thepete

    Did that. No workie. :( Will try again.

  • brooklynbob

    How might I do this if my primary is a Mac and my netbook is a eee 900?

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  • Zoltán

    I also have some problems with the usb flash install/live: it simply doesn't start (yes, I tried to set the bios boot sequence too, no luck…). If I want to have the help from the eeebuntu start (it offers to create a boot option for itself prior to reboot), it says: “Could not find any appropriate CD”…

  • visu

    Handy alternative if you don't have a external drive. Thank you, I followed the guide and it worked on my Eee PC 1000H. I had to tweak a few things afterwards, but if one has some basic Linux knowledge, everything should work fine.

  • Rich

    I burned an ISO image of the nbr-version. It works just fine if you boot from the CD on my 1000H/XP that is also dual booted with Windows 7 on the D: partition.

    But if you try the 2nd option in the startup window to install it in Windows as an application (under Windows 7) it does install but doesn't run and there is nothing in the Ubuntu directory that will run it.

    Will it install under Windows 7 (dual-booted with XP Home).

    I have Windows 7 running like a champ with all the warning messages gone.

  • Judi

    I have an Asus EeePC 2 G Surf, with an 8 GB memory card installed. This was given to me with Windows XP installed and no apps, and my need is for the openoffice apps, not video and gaming. Ergo, I've been trying to follow these wonderful directions to get this happening. I have successfully (no error messages) completed all the steps to get to the point of booting from the usb stick.

    I get a boot error message and that's it. Tried every which way, but the stick seems not bootable despite what appears to be the right stuff on it. Is there an option to try short of Jim's suggestion to send away for a liveboot stick (I live in Canada) that I am just not seeing? Help!

  • JoseBaiano

    *DIFFICULTIES BOOTING THROUGH SD CARD*. I had a lot of difficulties to boot through SD card at the USB in my eeePC 1000H. I entered the BIOS and changed the priority to boot first through “Removable”. When I reboot, it went straight to the Windows ignoring the bootable SD in the slot. After a lot of tries and research, I realized how to do: I entered at BIOS (typing <F2> at startup). Then, I typed <F10> to save&exit. A dialog box appeared to confirm the action asking to type <Enter> to confirm. Then, I typed <Enter> and immediately I started to type <ESC> very quickly even while the machine was booting. Then, appeared a dialog box asking to choose which device will be the bootable one and I chose the SD card. Everything worked fine after that.

  • JoseBaiano

    Hi Zoltán, look below at my comment (01/21/2009) about the solution I found to this problem at my 1000H.
    JoseBaiano.

  • http://www.wewwl.com/ jake

    F2 not ESC
    used this tutorial today, everything went smooth until the hit esc part, esc wont take you in to bios, at leas not with a eee pc 900 a. you have to hit f2 as soon as the screen starts to flash, just keep hitting it until you get in to bios, form there it was smooth sailing.

  • http://cannonballjones.wordpress.com Cannonball Jones

    Found this via a post about Linux installs for Eee PCs on Charlie Stross's blog. Thanks for putting this together, I've been wanting to get rid of Xandros since I got my Eee last month but I didn't have the smarts or the patience to trawl endless forums (all of which just seemed to say “Google it!” anyway). Your guide's a great help for us mere mortals, cheers!

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  • Kusho

    Okay I'm having nothing but issues with this. I'm attempting to use a 1 GB Centon usb flash, and it boots to

    SYSLINUX 3.72 2008-09-25 CBIOS Load error – Boot error.

    After reading every forum known to man… (learning Ubuntu always seems to come down to this) and calling a friend, he had heard some type of issue with the eee not liking certain flashes and had used this same walkthru and had no issues. So I get the idea to use a sd card, and had a few of those. So I do your walkthru but using a SD card… USB boot – Now I get Unetbootin menu. I'm just posting this here to possibly list this possibility in your walk thru as this was 2+ hours of reading and only a fellow Ubuntu user was able to point me toward the issue.

    Thank you for your walkthru. We need MORE of things like this if the nails are really going to finish the coffin on Microsoft.

  • aadey

    Thanks! This was the best guide I found… Worked Great!!

  • Bob

    Your “how to” columns are great. I am computer literate but new to linux. i have eeebuntu running live (but not persistent) on a USB flash drive for my Asus eee 1000. I would like to install eeebuntu on a SDHC card such that it is fully installed –i.e. so it is persitent, I can add software, etc., That way i can boot up in either eeebuntu or the OEM Xandros. I am looking for a guide to perform this installation. Does one exist and how do i locate it?

    Thanks

  • http://liliputing.com Brad Linder

    All you have to do is make sure the SD card is loaded when you're
    installing Eeebuntu and instead of doing the guided partitioning make
    sure to select manual and choose the SD card.

    There are a handful of ways to make sure you know the correct setting
    for your SD card, but I find the easiest way is to fire up the
    partition manager from the Eeebuntu liveCD. Don't actually partition
    anything, just look in the drop down menu and see which item has the
    same amount of storage as your SD cad. It should be something like
    dev/sda or dev/sdb.

  • alan

    fantastic tutorial, thanks for that. i have the asus EeePC 2GB model, do you think that there would be enough space to install NBR eeebuntu on the 2GB internal hard drive or is 2GB too small. ?should i just stick to booting live from the UBS stick? Also does eeebuntu contain all the correct drivers for the asus Eee PC's hardware like camera, microphone, etc as i have read lots of posts on forums/blogs about people who install ubuntu and then they have these hardware issues, i guress what im sayying is that if i follow this tutorial, will all of my hardware work or are there any other tweaks to be made? thanks…. and fantastic blog by the way :)

  • Bob

    Thanks

    Bob

  • Bob

    Brad,

    One more question. Some posts I have seen say that at the end of the install you need to click on “Advanced” and do something with a GRUB menu. Is that the case? If so what exactly do you do at the advanced menu?

    Thanks
    Bob

  • peter

    Thanks for the tutorial–worked great on my 1000H, and fun to explore Ubuntu. I like it.
    I found that I had to do the UNetbootin drill on the actual eee machine that I was planning to boot eeeUbuntu on. When I tried to do it on another (non-eee) Windows machine the resulting SD card would not boot on the eee. Also I found I had to disable Boot Booster using the eee's bios utility (invoked by pressing F2 on startup). Thanks again!

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  • vpurto

    I have installed ubuntu 8.4 on eeepc 4g 701 and installation does not work: does not have wi-fi drivers first of all. Then I tried to download eeebuntu 10 from eeebuntu.org and got nowhere. Please help
    1. Uninstall ubuntu 8.4
    2. why eeebuntu.org doesn't provide downloadin?

  • Billytex

    Holy Sh!7 was that ever EASY!! with 1 MB/s down speed through utorrent, I had the ISO in under 30 min!! 10 min after that, it was unetbootin-ed to Kingston data traveler. 10 min after that, my 701SD was EEEbuntu 2.0 standard XDD Take that M$ !!! (All from windows box (shame shame)

  • gunnar-eee

    Great post, it will help people take the step. Unetbootin is a savior for many since it abstracts many geeky details that otherwise turn people away.

  • Vek

    Yes, it will run on the Aspire One

    http://www.liliputing.com/2009/01/eeebuntu-20-u

    Links to article about doing so, and within article, link to tutorial on installing from SDHC.

  • Vek
  • David BXL

    I could not install Eeebuntu Standard 2.0 on my EEE900!
    Eeebuntu Standard 1,0 works well on EEE900 for 2 years,
    when I start installing Ver 2, installation stops after 5 minute,
    and nothing to do whit,
    I tried with SD & USB memory,
    is there a solution ?

  • Ben

    I had a problem booting the usb drive at first. It finally worked when I refomatted the USB stick as FAT32.

  • jean

    I could not configure the Internet connexion in connexion sharing with my main PC on Ubuntu 8.04

    the network connection window simply don't register the auto eth0 IPv4 Settings.

    I have no successful ping to my sharing computer.

    I got the same problem with another laptop with xubuntu where this window is also used.

    Can I fill the parameters without using this GUI which seems bugged ?

    Thanks

  • Kate

    Thanks for the very clear instructions. I had no difficulty creating a bootable flash drive (Kingston Data Traveler I 2GB) and booting into EEEbuntu Standard on my EEE PC 900, configuring a wireless connection, and getting onto the web.

    So far I really like EEEbuntu. My guess is that after playing with it a little longer, I'll install it directly.

    Kate

  • Stefan_K

    Very nice description! I've just installed Eeebuntu 2.0 on my new S101. I've resized the Win XP partition using the free EASEUS Partition Master tool. The S101 came with SD card, I've used UNetbootin to make it bootable and to copy the Eeebuntu installation files, booted from SD and installed on the internal SSD – everything was running find, including dual boot. Short description with links: [[http://texblog.net/latex-archive/linux/eee-pc-s101-eeebuntu/|Eeebuntu / Ubuntu Linux on the Asus Eee PC S101]]. Stefan

  • Monika

    Hi,

    First off, thank you so much for the tutorial you provided here. I have followed all the steps to install eeebuntu on my ASUS 4GB surf 701 model after I can't seem to access the internet anymore with it.

    I did some upgrades from within the recommended backups and since then I have no internet access. It keeps giving me an error with a needed upgrade from GTK+ library of 2.8 to higher.

    I've searched the net high and low to find a solution but wasn't lucky. So then I eventually found your tut and figured I could just do a total new install through the help of an USB stick and then wipe out my obviously faulty existing installation on the netbook.

    However, I get as far as inserting the USB into the asus, then hit esc before it loads (which right now it just goes to an error 2) message and the message tells me the it isn't possible. Again there is an error 2 message.

    Any idea on why this is and what can I do? BTW, the factory reset install CD also didn't work.

    I'm kind of getting desperate as I have no idea what is going on.

  • Daniel

    Does anyone know why it would ignore the USB stick? I've got it set to priority one in the BIOS and the USB stick is Fat32, but it just keeps loading the old OS. This is on the 1000HE.

  • TG

    If one uses unetbootin on a PC, it makes the stick bootable on a PC (icon with .exe and everything). I can't take that stick and put it into my eeePC and get anything besides error 15 or table not found

  • zzz

    My 2 cents,
    The eee PC wouldn't boot from USB key.
    I formated it several times on Windows & it did not work.
    Then I used disk utility on MAC & then it worked.

  • C Bast

    Exelent :D

  • Andy

    After I boot the SD disk, all that comes up is a screen that says unetbootin and thats it. So now what do I do

  • http://www.thomashermine.be/ Thpmas

    6 months later, your comment help a little belgian geek ! Thanks a lot! This “boot device order” bug is really boring!

  • LittlePig

    Is it possible to put the iso on an sd card and then boot from that? If so I could put eeebuntu on an sd card in the eee pc's slot while I am testing eeebuntu to see if I like it. Much tidier than having a usb drive sticking out the side.

    I will try it tonight and report back…

  • http://liliputing.com Brad Linder

    Yup. In fact, you could do the same thing with a USB disc drive or any
    other sort of removable media.

  • Name

    I have been using the pendrivelinux eeebuntu install method because I can save my changes back to the stick.

    http://www.pendrivelinux.com/persistent-eeebunt

  • LittlePig

    Thanks, I did this and it booted no problem…

  • nealicc

    Installed from a pen drive…excellent package. Is there a way to save the settings in Thunderbird and Firefox when you log out and on again?

  • leebryan

    You rock! At last a full guide to the EEEBunto installation. For a Mac user who actually uses computers rather than messing about with their guts this guide is unparallelled. No other guide mentions that 'Administration' panel and 'Install'. Well done for conquering geekdom!

    Now my EEE Pc is an equal to my Mac for convenience and useability.

  • Ray

    For those having trouble booting from a USB key with an eee 901. After formatting my USB key (FAT32), then using the unetbootin with eeebuntu-NBR 3.0.1, I had to do this:

    Go into bios -> Boot menu -> Hard disks (NOT boot order)
    Change the first entry in the list to “USB Cruzer+” (the name of my USB key)
    THEN go into boot order and change the 1st boot up drive to the USB key.

    If I didn't set the 1st drive as my removable drive, it would not let me boot from the USB key.

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  • Matt

    I'm so glad I found this site. I was trying to install Eeebuntu and wipe my Windows OS, but every website I was on just stopped before telling you how to install Linux on your HD. This may be a trivial thing, but I've NEVER used Linux before so it wasn't so intuitive. Thanks again whoever wrote/posted this.

  • Matt

    I'm so glad I found this site. I was trying to install Eeebuntu and wipe my Windows OS, but every website I was on just stopped before telling you how to install Linux on your HD. This may be a trivial thing, but I've NEVER used Linux before so it wasn't so intuitive. Thanks again whoever wrote/posted this.

  • John Gsee

    I love you men, my first time with linux no other forum could be as simple as this…. wow finally.

  • thebarak

    Well I would love to say I did this, but all I’ve achieved is starting and shutting down Windows all day. I hit the power button and press the escape key, I see the selection screen for about a 1/100th of a second, then Windows starts again. Windows seems to override the BIOS on my Asus EeePC 1025PEM. It’s unstoppable. With each Windows boot taking several minutes, it’s a nightmare.