I only have two flash drives: 4GB and 1GB.

I would like to create a bootable flash drive for a live Lubuntu installation, so that in case my very old laptop's Lubuntu can't boot, I can rescue my files by booting into the live Lubuntu out of my flash drive.

Since lubuntu-18.04-desktop-amd64.iso is 1GB, my 1GB flash drive (with actual size a little smaller) will probably not be able to hold it.

I am not sure if it is a common practice to dedicate a whole flash drive to a live OS, but I think it is a waste to use the entire 4GB flash drive for live Lubuntu.

So I was wondering if there is an alternative to lubuntu-18.04-desktop-amd64.iso for my 1GB flash drive? How can I use the alternative to boot into my laptop, and to retrieve my files there? I haven't tried other Linux distributions other than Ubuntu, so I am scared of trying those minimalist Linux distributions without GUI, but I am a little familiar with cp and rsync which I can use to copy the files out.


  • Ubuntu minimal/netboot should fit your needs: cdimage.ubuntu.com/netboot/18.04 It could also be used to repair your installation, since it uses the same repositories as Lubuntu.
    – Mio Rin
    May 23 '18 at 2:34
  • Thanks. I was wondering how to put the netboot into my 1GB flash drive and make it a live OS. Shall I first download archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/bionic/main/installer-amd64/…, and then run dd if=/path/to/mini.iso of=/dev/sdb bs=4M && sync, assuming my flash drive is /dev/sdb? mini.iso is less than 100MB, so shall I dedicate my 1GB flash drive to it?
    – Tim
    May 23 '18 at 2:43
  • Yes, that is correct.
    – Mio Rin
    May 23 '18 at 2:53
  • Will the live OS out of mini.iso work for me to retrieve files, if I don't have access to the internet? @Mioriin
    – Tim
    May 23 '18 at 3:07
  • 1GB is a LOT for a rescue system. You can have rescue disks with 200MB May 23 '18 at 3:07

For rescue work, I can recommend SystemRescueCD. Also comes in a USB version

It has everything you need to repair a damaged system from the command line.

Of course, no one stops you from rolling your own, if you like.

  • Thanks. SystemRescueCD is 32-bit OS. Will it work to rescue files on ext4 under 64-bit Lubuntu 18.04?
    – Tim
    May 23 '18 at 11:22
  • Yes: The filesystem looks the same, no matter if the kernel is 32-bit or 64-bit. Having different filesystems for 32-bit and 64-bit Linux variants would be a major PITA, and lots of people would have complained...
    – dirkt
    May 23 '18 at 11:39
  • Thanks. I create a bootable flash drive by sudo dd bs=4M if=systemrescuecd-x86-5.2.2.iso of=/dev/sdb conv=fdatasync, but when I reboot and select the flash drive to boot into, it doesn't boot into the SystemRescueCD in the flash drive, but the Lubuntu on my hard drive. So I was wondering if I miss something? (note that previously, I ran similar dd command to create a live Lubuntu OS on a flash drive, and I could boot into the live Lubuntu on the flash drive in the same way)
    – Tim
    May 23 '18 at 15:33

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