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Running Windows (or anything else) on your Mac Discussion of Classic or running Windows, Linux and other OSes on the Mac.

Ubuntu on a USB Stick


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sc8ing

 
Member Since: Oct 14, 2010
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Hi, I recently tried running Ubuntu 10.10 on my 8GB flash drive (on a Mac, 10.6.5). I followed all the instructions from Ubuntu.com on how to set up my flash drive, and everything worked. Until I tried to boot from the USB.

I turned off my MacBook Air, plugged in my USB, and pressed the power button. I then (quickly) proceeded to hold down the option key (to select the volumes with OS's on them). I saw the Mac Hard Drive logo, but did not see my drive or anything else.

I really have no idea what's going on, as I have read around the web and did not see anything similar to this. Thanks in advance!
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Buzzard2010

 
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Have you tried starting it up using virtualisation software like parallels?

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sc8ing

 
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No, I never thought of trying that...

Anyways, parallels costs around $80 dollars if I'm correct, and I currently don't have the money to spend on that. What I was trying to do when I was running Ubuntu was show my friend how it worked/what it's like, as he was thinking of getting a cheap net-book and installing Ubuntu alongside the current OS.

Do you think there could be a different series of commands I could try on the flash drive? I read that what you are doing in the series of commands is actually converting the .iso file into a different file type of reading. It's probably a long-shot, but could my computer not be reading it correctly and therefore I could format it to a different file type? Just a thought...
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If memory serves me right you need to extract the iso file, and then place the extracted files onto the USB thumb stick, another option is to burn it to a disk, then you can boot it from the disk. You don't have to install it either, you can just try it out

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sc8ing

 
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So, how do I extract the .iso file?

Also is there anything else I need to do to boot from it? All I have to do is extract and copy over the files? I mean, it just sounds too simple compared to what the Ubuntu site said... I thought the disk image had to be formatted to a specific type.

Oh, and I am using a USB to do all of this because I'm on an air So can't use a CD.
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I installed Ubu 9.x on our Netbook several months back, right from a USB stick and it worked terrific (I was also able to just boot and run it from the stick).

I'm assuming you walked through this:
Quote:
We would encourage Mac users to download Ubuntu Desktop Edition by burning a CD for the time being. But if you would prefer to use a USB, please follow the instructions below.

Note: this procedure requires an .img file that you will be required to create from the .iso file you download.

TIP: Drag and Drop a file from Finder to Terminal to 'paste' the full path without typing and risking type errors.

Download the desired file
Open the Terminal (in /Applications/Utilities/ or query Terminal in Spotlight)
Convert the .iso file to .img using the convert option of hdiutil (e.g., hdiutil convert -format UDRW -o ~/path/to/target.img ~/path/to/ubuntu.iso)
Note: OS X tends to put the .dmg ending on the output file automatically.
Run diskutil list to get the current list of devices
Insert your flash media
Run diskutil list again and determine the device node assigned to your flash media (e.g. /dev/disk2)
Run diskutil unmountDisk /dev/diskN (replace N with the disk number from the last command; in the previous example, N would be 2)
Execute sudo dd if=/path/to/downloaded.img of=/dev/rdiskN bs=1m (replace /path/to/downloaded.img with the path where the image file is located; for example, ./ubuntu.img or ./ubuntu.dmg).
Using /dev/rdisk instead of /dev/disk may be faster.
If you see the error dd: Invalid number '1m', you are using GNU dd. Use the same command but replace bs=1m with bs=1M.
If you see the error dd: /dev/diskN: Resource busy, make sure the disk is not in use. Start the 'Disk Utility.app' and unmount (don't eject) the drive.
Run diskutil eject/dev/diskN and remove your flash media when the command completes
Restart your Mac and press alt while the Mac is restarting to choose the USB-Stick
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sc8ing

 
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Yes, and I just ran them all again to make sure nothing was mistyped. Everything appears to happen just the way the instructions said it would, but when I reboot it doesn't give me the option of the USB stick, just the Mac Hard Drive logo.
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How is the stick formatted?

- Simon


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SammySlim

 
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Sun's VirtualBox will run Ubuntu in a virtual machine and it's free, unlike Parallels or Fusion. Something to consider.

Cheers
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Definitely give VirtualBox a try if you haven't the spare cash for parallels.

- Simon


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May 2011
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