How to Create a Bootable Lubuntu USB Drive Using Windows

Run and install Lubuntu from a USB drive

Lubuntu, an Ubuntu-based distribution of Linux, remains one of the most popular Linux distributions because it is lightweight and capable of running on older hardware. If you want to install Lubuntu from a USB drive so that you can dual boot Windows and Lubuntu, or if you just want to try the Linux operating system, here's how to create a bootable USB drive using Windows.

Instructions in this article apply to Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7.

What You Need to Make a Bootable Lubuntu USB Drive

You'll need the following to create a bootable Lubuntu USB drive:

  • The Lubuntu ISO file
  • Win32 Disk Imager
  • A formatted USB flash drive

The first step is to Download Lubuntu. The 64-bit version of Lubuntu is recommended for most PCs. Check the Windows Control Panel to tell if you're running a 32-bit or 64-bit system. You must also download and install Win32 Disk Imager, which you will need to burn the ISO file to the USB drive.

It's also possible to create a multiboot USB drive using Windows if you want to run multiple Linux distributions from the same device.

How to Create a Live Lubuntu USB

To create a bootable Lubuntu USB drive on Windows:

  1. Insert a USB drive into an available USB port on your PC.

  2. Open Windows Explorer and right-click the USB drive, then select Format.

    The Format command for a USB drive
  3. Choose FAT32 as the file system, check the Quick Format box, then select Start to format the drive.

    You will lose any data on the USB drive, so back up any files that you want to save, or use a blank drive.

    The File System and Quick Format options
  4. Open Win32 Disk Imager and select your USB drive under Device.

    The Device menu
  5. Select the blue folder in the Image File section to open Windows Explorer, then choose the Lubuntu ISO file you downloaded.

    Select the blue folder in the Image File section to open Windows Explorer and choose the Lubuntu ISO file you downloaded

    If you don't see the ISO file in the folder you saved it in, change the file type to Show all files.

  6. Select Write and Yes to confirm.

    Select Write and Yes to confirm

When the process is finished, you will have a bootable version of Lubuntu. However, if your computer uses the UEFI boot loader, there's one more step you must take.

How to Turn Off Windows Fast Boot

To boot from a USB drive on a PC running Windows 8 or Windows 10, you need to turn off Windows Fast Startup:

  1. Open the Windows Control Panel and search for power options.

    Open the Windows Control Panel and search for power options
  2. Select Choose what the power buttons do.

    Power button options
  3. Select Change settings that are currently unavailable.

    You may be prompted to provide your Windows administrator password.

    The Change Settings option
  4. Uncheck the box beside Turn on Fast Startup and select Save Changes.

    It is recommended to turn Windows Fast Startup back on after installing Lubuntu to your hard drive.

    The "Turn on Fast Startup" option and Save Changes button

How to Boot Lubuntu From the USB Drive

With Fast Startup disabled, restart Windows and hold down the Shift key until you see the UEFI boot menu. Select Use a device, then choose your USB drive to launch Lubuntu.

The "Use a Device" option

The desktop may look a little plain at first, but there are a number of ways to improve Lubuntu. However, keep in mind that any changes you make in the live version of Lubuntu will be lost when you reboot the system. After installing Lubuntu on your hard drive, you'll have the option to boot either Linux or Windows at startup.

The language on the UEFI boot screen may differ slightly depending on your computer.

If you don't see the blue UEFI screen, you can manually change the boot order in the system BIOS to boot Lubuntu from the USB drive.