Run UBOS from a boot stick on a PC (64bit)ΒΆ

You can install UBOS on a USB flash drive, and boot a standard PC directly from it. This will leave your PC’s hard drive unchanged and lets you try out UBOS easily.

Note: UBOS is a 64bit operating system. All recent PCs support 64bit; older hardware may not.

Follow these steps:

  1. Download a UBOS boot image from Beta images for x86_64 are at Look for a file named ubos_yellow_x64_64-pc_LATEST.img.xz.

  2. Optionally, you may now verify that your image downloaded correctly by following the instructions at Verify your downloaded UBOS image.

  3. Uncompress the downloaded file. This depends on your operating system, but might be as easy as double-clicking it, or executing

    % sudo xz -d ubos_yellow_x86_64-pc_LATEST.img.xz

    on the command line.

  4. Write this image file “raw” to a USB flash drive. This operation depends on your operating system:

  5. Remove the USB flash drive, insert it into a spare PC that is currently off, and boot that computer from the USB flash drive. Depending on that computer’s BIOS, you may have to set its BIOS to allow booting from USB first, or change the boot order, so the computer actually boots from the USB flash drive and not some other drive. Some BIOSs are less than friendly about this and hide this setting in very strange places, and you may need to experiment some.

  6. When the boot process is finished, log in as user root. By default, there is no password on the console.

  7. Now: wait. UBOS needs to generate a few cryptographic keys before it is ready to use and initialize a few other things on the first boot. That might take 5 or 10 minutes. To determine whether UBOS ready, execute:

    % systemctl is-system-running

    To speed up the process, generate lots of random activity, such as looking through the file system, and typing lots on the keyboard. You only need to do that once, on the first boot.

    To speed up the key generation process, at the potential loss of some entropy, execute:

    % sudo systemctl start haveged

    Wait until the output of

    % systemctl is-system-running

    has changed from starting to running. If it is anything else, consult troubleshooting.

  8. If you have Ethernet plugged in, and your network runs DHCP (most networks do), your computer should automatically acquire an IP address. You can check with:

    % ip addr

    Make sure you are connected to the internet before attempting to proceed.

  9. Update UBOS to the latest and greatest:

    % sudo ubos-admin update
  10. You are now ready to set up your first app and site.