Installing a Linux distribution on a live-USB stick

Hello once again! I’m back again, and this time we’ll be going through again some of the basics of setting up a simple live-USB stick and other stuff.

I’ll be using my laptop this time (specs provided below) and show you how to create a live-USB and how to boot into it on Windows 10. As always remember to back your files up in-case of any issues that might arise.

OS: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit (Anniversary edition – version: 1607 – build: 14393.82)
CPU: Intel Core i5 6300HQ
GPU: Intel HD 530 (integrated) + Nvidia 950M (2GB DDR3)
STORAGE: 128GB SSD (OS) + 1 TB HDD (Programs)

You will need a USB stick for this tutorial, I recommend a USB stick with at least 2GB of space for the live-USB. I’ll be using a simple old USB 2.0 4GB stick that I’ve had on my desk for too long without any real use.


Downloading the software required to create a live-USB

First we need to download the software we need. Head over to and download the right version corresponding to your operating system. We’ll be selecting windows as we’re running a windows operating system. After downloading the program, insert your USB stick you intend to use for the live-USB and run the program. You should see a screen pop up where you can choose different settings.


The program should automatically chose installation method as distribution and find your USB stick. From the drop down list called == Select Distribution == select the distribution you want to use, in this tutorial we’ll select Xubuntu. The program should automatically select the latest stable build of the distribution selected, for us it chose 16.04_Live but we are using a 64-bit system so we want to change to the 64-bit version. Select the version drop down list and change to 16.04_Live_x64. By now you should’ve already backed your system up, but if you haven’t, then do so now. Check that the program has selected the correct USB stick and then hit OK.


The program will now download the distribution you’ve selected and install it on your USB stick. In the mean time you could go make some coffee or just watch the progress bar slowly moving forward (if you’re into that sort of thing).


Your live-USB stick is now ready to be used!

Booting into your live-USB stick from Windows 10

Now we are ready to boot into the live-USB stick running our Linux distribution. There are lots of ways to run a live-USB, and it depends on what you want to do with it. Do you want to run the live-USB only once? Or do you want to always boot first into a live-USB stick if there is one inserted when you boot your computer? We’ll be going through this tutorial on how to only once boot into the live-USB, as every computer has it’s own buttons one has to press to enter the boot menu and/or change the boot order from the computer BIOS.

The simplest way is to just launch windows advanced boot menu. To do this press the windows button and open the shutdown menu (where you can select sleep, shut-down or reboot). Hold shift down and press reboot. After that you’ll be greeted by a blue screen with a couple buttons. Click Use a device and you should see 3 to 4 options. If you can’t find your specific USB drive from the list, just select EFI USB Device and you’ll be booted into the live-USB.


If you get an error about not being able to boot into a USB due to USB booting not enabled in BIOS, just hit enter and you should be directed into the boot loader where you can select the USB stick with the computer keyboards arrow keys and hit enter. After that select try Xubuntu without installing to make sure that your computer even supports running a Linux distribution.



That’s it for today! You now know how to install and setup a live-USB and how to boot into it from windows 10 advanced startup. Hope this helps anyone who has any issues and I’ll see you next time 😉

  • Sebastian Eriksson

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