Raspberry Pi is a good single-board computer for people to start exploring Linux and single-board computer, but running programs on Raspberry Pi is slow compared to traditional computers. ODROID also has single-board computers; ODROID-XU4 has a more powerful CPU, a bigger memory (2GB), and two USB 3.0 ports. Similar to Raspberry Pi, it's very easy for install Ubuntu to a MicroSD card or eMMC module, but a MicroSD card is slow, and an eMMC module is more expensive compared to a USB flash drive. If you are familiar with Ubuntu on a regular PC previously, it is very easy for use Ubuntu on ODROID-XU4 eventually. This tutorial will demonstrate you how to install Ubuntu on a flash drive.
Please read this tutorial and understand it before start installing Ubuntu on ODROID
Note: This tutorial is based on Install Ubuntu on Raspberry Pi on flash drive. Because there are some steps in this tutorial are very similar to Install Ubuntu on Raspberry Pi on flash drive, some screenshots are omitted, please visit that page for complete screenshot. This tutorial may also work on other ODROID products, but I only test it on ODROID-XU4.​​​​​​​
What you need:
1. A MicroSD card (recommend U1 or faster, especially if you want to create a swap partition)
You still need to have an MicroSD card in order to boot to Ubuntu, but you don't need to have a card with a high capacity.
2. A USB flash drive (recommend a USB 3.0 flash drive, especially for ODROID-XU4 since it has USB 3.0 ports)
4. An Ubuntu Mate 16.04 image (download link is in this page, please choose the appropriate image, recommend using Ubuntu MATE, not minimal)
5. A computer that currently runs Linux
First thing first, boot your computer to Linux, and install Gparted if it is not installed yet.
Prepare your MicroSD card:
1. Double click the Ubuntu Mate 16.04 image .xz file (the file name of the image you have might be different than that is in the screenshot), gnome disks will be opened. Select the destination to your MicroSD card, and click Start Restoring.
2. After finishing restoring, close gnome disks and open Gparted. Select the MicroSD card, delete the second partition and create a Linux swap partition to fill the rest of space.
Prepare your flash drive:
1. Double click the Ubuntu Mate 16.04 image .xz file, gnome disks will be opened. Select the destination to your flash drive, and click Start Restoring (For some reason, gnome disks may close immediately after it opened. In this case, you need to restart your computer and try again).
2. After finishing restoring, close gnome disks and open Gparted. Select the flash drive, delete the first partition, expand the second partition to fill the rest of space.
Note: Resizing and creating a partition may require some additional time (10 minutes is normal), please wait until all operations are performed successfully.
3. Close Gparted and remove your flash drive.
Note: Unlike the tutorial for Raspberry Pi, you should not to change UUID for any partition and expand the boot partition. I have tried them before, and there are some applications that can revert the boot configuration to the default UUID (like bootini). Hence you will encounters some difficulties when using your ODROID.
First setup on ODROID:
1. Insert MicroSD card and flash drive to ODROID, and make sure that there is only one flash drive on ODROID at the moment.
Note: On the actual board, you must adjust a switch that tells whether ODROID should boot from emmc or MicroSD card to the appropriate place in order to start the computer. ODROID might restart automatically during first boot. 
For 2017-05-10 release only: The RootFS Auto-resize feature has changed! Once everything is done after auto-reboot, the power will turn off. Wait a couple of minutes.Please press the power button if the blue LED is off.
2. When you see the login screen, use the username odroid and password odroid to login. Then, open Disks.
3. First, select the second partition of MicroSD card, click the gear icon, and choose Edit Mount Options.
4. Adjust the setting to the picture below, just be aware that your partition's UUID might be different then the UUID in this picture. Please choose UUID=********* under "Identify As" to increase the security.
5. Run sudo dpkg-reconfigure tzdata in terminal to change the timezone if necessary.
Configure Software Update:
Open Software & Updates, please change settings in first and third tabs to the picture below.
Check all boxes
Disable root account:
Ubuntu images for ODROID have root account enabled by default, use this commend to disable it:
sudo passwd -dl root
Set up SSH server:
Update System:
After connected to the network, update the system and install restricted components by executing these commands.
sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

sudo apt install ubuntu-restricted-extras
After finishing update, reboot the system.
Update Kernel and Firmware:
Please use ODROID UTILITY, you can fetch this tool at https://github.com/mdrjr/odroid-utility.
Please be aware: after I finished updating kernel and firmware, ODROID won't boot!
Install GNOME Desktop environment:
If Mate desktop environment doesn't look nice to you, you can try install KDE desktop environment by executing sudo apt install gnome.
Install KDE Desktop environment:
You can also install KDE desktop environment by executing sudo apt install kubuntu-desktop.
When proceeding the installation, you will receive an error message like this:
Errors were encountered while processing:

N: Ignoring file '20auto-upgrades.ucf-old' in directory '/etc/apt/apt.conf.d/' as it has an invalid filename extension
E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1)
and it prevents you from installing and removing software.
You have to do something in order to solve this problem by executing the following commands in terminal:
sudo dpkg -r account-plugin-google
sudo apt -f install

sudo apt install account-plugin-google
After you restart your computer, you will be able to use KDE desktop environment (You might need to wait for several minutes for KDE to finish loading, please be patient).
More information:
1. Edimax EW-7822UAC AC1200 Dual-Band USB3.0 Adapter works on ODROID-XU4, the driver is already built in on its Ubuntu Mate image, but you have to plug it in before starting ODROID-XU4 to make this adapter works.
Known Issues (these issues appears on my ODROID-XU4 on Ubuntu):
1. For some reason (probably because of glitches in gl driver in Ubuntu or the GPU memory is too small), you have to press Alt+Shift+F12 to turn off composition every time when you login in KDE, and there is no animation in GNOME. Note: Unlike Raspberry Pi, ODROID doesn't have an option for you to set the size of GPU memory.
2. When installing GNOME and KDE, you can only choose lightdm as default X server during installation, otherwise you will not able to see the login screen after reboot. 
3. Be careful that you should not install other theme of lightdm beside the default one originally on the disk image, hence you need to be careful if you want to install ubuntu-artwork and edubuntu-artwork. Otherwise you will notice a message showed the system is running at low graphics mode and you are unable to use the machine.
4. LibreOffice will not display correctly on GNOME, KDE, and MATE desktop.
5. When using ssh on ODROID with X forwarding to connect to another Linux machine, and your ODROID is currently running on KDE desktop environment, if you open a graphical program, you can not resize (including maximize) nor minimize the remote graphical window, otherwise the remote window will stop responding and you have to terminate it. There is no issue if you're using GNOME on ODROID.
6. You cannot delete the stock user odroid on Ubuntu, otherwise you will receive an error when updating mali-x11, and you will not able to install or remove any software unless you solve this error. You can change the password of user odroid, and I recommend keep this account as an administrator.
7. You cannot change the mount point of boot partition on MicroSD card, otherwise boot configuration and kernel will not able to update automatically.
8. Screen Lock in KDE cannot function on ODROID-XU4, If Screen Lock is activated, there will be an instruction on the screen to unlock the system.
9. Cursors in desktop will flicker in all desktop environment.
*Please Note: 
The statement under title is based on the performance (both read and write speed) and the price of eMMC Module XU4 (64GB) on www.hardkernel.com, Lexar® JumpDrive P20 USB 3.0 flash drive (64GB), and Lexar® JumpDrive® S37 USB 3.0 flash drive (64GB) on www.lexar.com.
eMMC Module XU4 (64GB) has the reading speed of 140 MB/s, the writing speed of 39.3 MB/s, with the price of $62.50.
Lexar® JumpDrive P20 USB 3.0 flash drive (64GB) has the reading speed of 400 MB/s, the writing speed of 270 MB/s, with the price of $59.99.
Lexar® JumpDrive® S37 USB 3.0 flash drive (64GB) has the reading speed of 150 MB/s, the writing speed of 60 MB/s, with the price of $29.99.
Specifications of flash drives listed above are based on the flash drive that is used under USB 3.0; data listed above is fetched on April 21, 2017; actual performance and price may vary; price listed above might excludes tax, shipping, or other fees; you still need a MicroSD card or eMMC module in order to boot to an operating system on ODROID.

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