In this guide, we will walk you through the process of installing Ubuntu on a MicroSD card. This can be particularly useful for running a portable version of Ubuntu on any compatible device. However, please note that running an operating system from a MicroSD card may be slower compared to running it from an internal drive.
It is possible to install Ubuntu on a MicroSD card by formatting the card to FAT32, creating a bootable Ubuntu MicroSD using a tool like Rufus, and then installing Ubuntu on the MicroSD card. However, please note that running an operating system from a MicroSD card may be slower compared to running it from an internal drive.
Before we start, ensure you have the following:
- A MicroSD card (at least 8GB)
- A computer with an internet connection
- A MicroSD card reader
- A copy of the Ubuntu ISO file. You can download it from the official Ubuntu website
Formatting the MicroSD Card
The first step is to format your MicroSD card. If you are using Windows, you can use a tool like guiformat or SD Card Formatter to format the card to FAT32. This file system is recommended for Ubuntu.
Creating a Bootable Ubuntu MicroSD
After formatting the MicroSD card, the next step is to create a bootable Ubuntu MicroSD. You can use a tool like Rufus for this.
- Open Rufus and select your MicroSD card in the
- In the
Boot selectiondropdown, select
Disk or ISO imageand click on the
SELECTbutton to browse and select your downloaded Ubuntu ISO file.
- In the
Partition schemesection, select
MBR, and in the
File systemdropdown, select
- Finally, click on the
STARTbutton to create your bootable Ubuntu MicroSD.
Installing Ubuntu on the MicroSD Card
Now that you have a bootable Ubuntu MicroSD, the next step is to install Ubuntu on it.
- Insert the MicroSD card into the device on which you want to install Ubuntu.
- Restart the device and enter the BIOS/UEFI. The key to enter this varies by device, but it’s usually
- In the BIOS/UEFI, set the boot order to boot from the MicroSD card first.
- Save the changes and exit. The device should now boot from the MicroSD card.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to install Ubuntu. When asked for the installation type, select
- Find your MicroSD card in the list of devices (it’s usually
/dev/sdb), select it, and click on
New Partition Table.
- Create a new partition on the MicroSD card for Ubuntu. The size of the partition depends on the size of your MicroSD card, but it should be at least 8GB.
- Select the newly created partition, click on
Ext4 journaling file systemas the file system, and set the mount point to
- Click on
Install Nowto start the installation.
Congratulations, you have successfully installed Ubuntu on your MicroSD card! Now, you can run a portable version of Ubuntu on any compatible device. Remember, performance might be slower compared to running Ubuntu from an internal drive. Also, MicroSD cards are not designed for frequent read/write operations, so there is a possibility of faster wear and tear.
Yes, you can install Ubuntu on any compatible MicroSD card. However, it is recommended to use a MicroSD card with at least 8GB of storage capacity for optimal performance.
Yes, you can use alternative tools to format the MicroSD card, such as Disk Management on Windows or Disk Utility on macOS. Just make sure to format it to the FAT32 file system.
Yes, there are other tools available to create a bootable Ubuntu MicroSD, such as Etcher or UNetbootin. The steps may vary slightly, but the overall process is similar.
No, you need to restart the device and access the BIOS/UEFI to set the boot order. This is necessary to boot from the MicroSD card and initiate the Ubuntu installation process.
Yes, it is possible to dual-boot Ubuntu with another operating system on the MicroSD card. During the installation process, you can choose the "Something else" option and manually create partitions for both operating systems.
Yes, you can remove the MicroSD card after installing Ubuntu on it. However, keep in mind that you will not be able to boot into Ubuntu without the MicroSD card inserted.
Yes, you can use the MicroSD card to transfer files between different devices. It acts as a portable storage device, allowing you to access and transfer files on any device with a MicroSD card reader.
Yes, you can update Ubuntu on the MicroSD card just like you would with a regular installation. The process involves connecting the MicroSD card to a device with internet access and using the update manager or terminal commands to update the system.