Installing Linux on a Netbook from a USB Thumbdrive

In my household, netbooks fly around like curse words.  I have had more Acer’s come through my home office than I would like and for some reason, they either come with Windows XP or Windows 7 Starter; both are worthless in my opinion.  So when my friend asked me help him install Ubuntu on his Aspire One, I obliged.  Remember, netbooks do not come equipped with CDROM/DVD drives and unless you have an external drive or converter, your only option is to use USB.

The process of preparing your installation shouldn’t take you that long.  There are, however, a few things you need to have done before you can install your new Linux OS on your netbook.

  1. You need to choose which Linux distribution you want and download the .iso to your desktop. We are going to use Ubuntu Netbook Remix
  2. Download the Universal USB Installer
  3. You need to have a thumb drive that is at least 1GB.

If you have all that ready and downloaded, you are ready to start the process of “thumbing” the .iso to get the installer running on your netbook.

  1. Insert your USB thumbdrive
  2. Execute the application Universal USB Installer
    1. Accept the agreement
  3. In the dropdown at the top titled Step 1: choose Ubuntu Netbook Remix
  4. For Step 2: Navigate to where you saved the .iso and select Open
  5. Next, choose the drive letter for your thumb drive.  I would double and triple check this because I am going to recommend that you select the check box next to this option to have the installer format the drive.
  6. Press Create
  7. A series of confirmation windows will show informing you what the application is about to do, and reiterating my initial recommendation of verifying the drive letter of your USB thumbdrive. Click Yes – Twice
  8. Click Close when the process completes

You are now ready to take your thumbdrive over to your neat and sleek netbook.  Before you get too far ahead of yourself; make sure you have internet access, your netbook has at least 2.5GB of available drive space, and that you are connected to your power source.

All that is left to do is start the installation.  I always start from a powered down system and boot to the thumbdrive for this.

  1. Insert the thumbdrive into your netbook’s USB port and turn it on.
  2. Enter the BIOS (usually press DEL at boot) and make sure that your USB drive is #1 for boot priority.
    1. Acer ONE is F2 to enter BIOS
  3. If all is well, you will see the Ubuntu installer starting.  Once up and running a welcome screen will allow you to try Ubuntu-Netbook or install it.  Choose Install Ubuntu-Netbook and start having some fun!

The rest is a series of prompts and mostly standard knowledge.  If you have any issues installing Ubuntu on your netbook feel free to start a discussion in our forums.

About Joe D

I have always had a passion for everything computing. In early 2000, I decided to take my passion to the web. Thus, C.O.D. was born. Through the years we have made many great friends at C.O.D. and hope to continue our journey for years to come.

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