I've installed Ubuntu 12.04 on my 8 gb USB stick, and got it running. It seems like I don't have the full Ubuntu OS on the stick though, and that was my intention. Anyway, I can run a "demo" version it seems, and it looks like the normal installation of Ubuntu but with a installer package on the desktop.

The issue surfaces when i try to download the driver for my wireless card, it downloads it for a bit, then throws some error, and if I press anything after that my screen basically looks like a graphic card meltdown. ( lines in different colors all over the screen ).

All I want to do is have the USB being able to use the computers wireless card. It does not even have to be Ubuntu, just a basic OS i can access the internet with, and save files to the local hard drive. (A basic text editor aswell)

Does anyone have any idea?

EDIT: This is how it happens

  1. I choose "Try Ubuntu" in the UNetBootin bootloader
  2. It loads Ubuntu (without the files i made last time i tried this)
  3. It tells me I'm missing a driver, in this case Broadcom Wireless driver.
  4. I press install and about 2/3 in i get this error:

    BUG: Unable to handle kernel NULL pointer dereference at (null)

and log of the call stack, but i didn't manage to write it down before the screen are unreadable

Note: One of my attempts it installed the driver just fine and asked me to restart. I did, and noticed the Wireless button was blue (on my laptop). However, just before i added my home network, it froze and i had to restart. Driver was gone, and i was back to scratch.

  • 1
    You said it throws "some error". Care to elaborate on that?
    – Joseph R.
    May 10, 2013 at 22:04
  • 1
    Updated the question with the info i could find.
    – Raptor
    May 11, 2013 at 12:44
  • How about booting a virtual machine from that USB stick. You can then take screenshots of the stack trace. I think it would provide more clues to the problem. Btw, I added the "broadcom" tag hoping that this increases the chances of someone experienced with broadcom drivers seeing this question.
    – Joseph R.
    May 11, 2013 at 18:06

2 Answers 2


I am pretty sure that has something to do with the fact that you don't have the full install, just a 'test' version. And this test version doesn't have all default applications installed, or doesn't have all software sources enabled.

I would suggest installing an actual Ubuntu install to the disk, not just the live CD version.

Basically the way to do this is first get all files that you care about off of your disk, (make a backup).

  1. Boot into a live CD/DVD of Ubuntu, or another live USB stick that isn't the one you plan to install onto.
  2. Go into try Ubuntu mode, and open up GParted. Wipe the USB stick that you want to install Ubuntu onto, and create a fat file system for Ubuntu.
  3. 'Install Ubuntu' from your secondary live cd/dvd/usb onto the USB stick you want to install to. Be sure not to install to the hard disk at this point.

If you are running Ubuntu on a native file system on any machine, then you can use this(https://askubuntu.com/a/54388/115738) method of installing using a virtual box. You will still want to back up your files before doing this.

  • Very helpful link, seems like the 'test' version was the issue.
    – Raptor
    Jun 7, 2013 at 14:00

I'm posting this as an answer, as it has helped me in many scenarios similar to this one.

If you don't have the option to use cable Ethernet, and you're in installation stages:

Use tethering from your phone, and tether the WiFi at your home to USB. USB tethering usually works out of the box, without requiring any driver or configuration.

Install the drivers as required, and let go of the phone. Profit!

  • In my case tethering won't work, but device files is recognized by the os. Jun 24, 2021 at 15:37
  • What phone/OS are you installing/using? @AmirHossein
    – mazunki
    Jun 25, 2021 at 9:06
  • I was using xiaomi redmi note 9 pro, android 11 at the moment, I decided to reinstall the os without formatting the os partition. @mazunki Jun 26, 2021 at 6:31

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