How to Create an Ubuntu Boot Disk

by Allen Bethea

At one time, only technically competent and persistent mavens could install Linux on their business or personal computers. Today, however, just about anyone can quickly and easily install Linux distributions like Ubuntu by simply booting a CD and answering a few questions. Windows has a built-in utility you can use to create an Ubuntu boot disk by burning an ISO, or International Organization for Standardization, disc image containing the operating system and all the files you need to install and run Ubuntu Linux.

Step 1

Remove all CDs or DVDs from your computer. Insert a blank CD-R into your computer's disc burner drive.

Step 2

Launch your Web browser and go to the Ubuntu website (see link in Resources) where you can download the ISO file for the latest version of Ubuntu.

Step 3

If the "flavor" or processor architecture of Ubuntu you need differs from the one recommended by the website, click the button directly beneath the text "Choose your flavor" to choose either the 32- or 64-bit ISO.

Step 4

Click the "Download Ubuntu" button. Click "Save" in the browser Notification bar.

Step 5

Click "View Downloads" when the the download is complete.

Step 6

Right-click on an Ubuntu ISO image then select “Burn disc image” to launch Windows' Disc Image Burner utility.

Step 7

Click the check box next to "Verify disc after burning" to ensure that an error-free boot disc is created.

Click the "Burn" button to begin writing the Ubuntu disc.


  • Instead of burning a CD or DVD, create a "Live" Ubuntu installation on a USB stick or thumb drive. Netbooks and some ultra-thin notebook PCs may not have a optical disc drive, but they will have at least one USB port you can use to install Ubuntu Linux. In addition, Ubuntu's performance in the live, "Try Ubuntu" mode is much faster on a USB stick than on an optical disc. You can download a free, USB disc creator utility for Windows from the Pendrivelinux website (see link in Resources).


  • Even if you verify your Ubuntu CD as you write it, your ISO can still become unusable if it is later cracked, broken, smudged, scratched or warped from exposure to heat. To protect your discs, keep then in a sleeve or plastic jewel case. In addition, store your discs in a relatively cool and dry location.

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