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Thread: Limitation of size of USB-installation

  1. #1
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    Limitation of size of USB-installation

    Hello,

    I read that Live CD installed on USB flash drive has a limitation of size to 4 GB.

    I assume this limitation (4 GB) regards the root file system with the system (packages installed, settings) including the data in the home partition etc?

    I have two further questions related to this, please.

    1. If I need more space, can I then just create another partition on the flash drive and store data there. (using e.g. GParted from Ubuntu or from its own CD)

    2. Why is there a limitation to 4 GB? (Since I know that FAT32 files are limited to 4 GB size I assumed that the installation was stored in a FAT32-file on the stick but that is just a wild guess, better to ask. )

    Thanks.
    /ycc
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  2. #2
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    Re: Limitation of size of USB-installation

    Quote Originally Posted by yc2 View Post
    Hello,

    I read that Live CD installed on USB flash drive has a limitation of size to 4 GB.

    I assume this limitation (4 GB) regards the root file system with the system (packages installed, settings) including the data in the home partition etc?

    I have two further questions related to this, please.

    1. If I need more space, can I then just create another partition on the flash drive and store data there. (using e.g. GParted from Ubuntu or from its own CD)

    2. Why is there a limitation to 4 GB? (Since I know that FAT32 files are limited to 4 GB size I assumed that the installation was stored in a FAT32-file on the stick but that is just a wild guess, better to ask. )

    Thanks.
    I had heard of someone with 8GB being able to install Ubuntu on half of it and keeping files in another "partition", and of course the flash drive was formatted before this was attempted.

    But yes, File Allocation Table files have a distinct limit of 4GB in size, this might indeed have something to do with it, if not being the actual reason.

    If all else fails, perhaps invest in a DVD and install Ubuntu from THAT...

    If I'm not mistaken there is not one distribution of Linux or any Operating System that constitutes more than 4GB of space to boot and install from, so no worries if that question might follow my answers...

  3. #3
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    Re: Limitation of size of USB-installation

    Quote Originally Posted by yc2 View Post
    Hello,

    I read that Live CD installed on USB flash drive has a limitation of size to 4 GB.

    I assume this limitation (4 GB) regards the root file system with the system (packages installed, settings) including the data in the home partition etc?
    I think you must have misunderstood. The limit is a minimum, not a maximum. Because root install takes at least 2.5 - 3.0 GB then it's not possible to install the full Ubuntu on a USB drive smaller than 4Gb.

    I'm currently, right now, working on a 10.10 4Gb USB Install. 2.5GB for the OS, and 0.5 GB swap file, about 1GB left for data.

    I also have an 8 GB USB drive of 11.04 A1 that boots fine. I used the 8 GB drive because I thought the Alpha 1 release might be a bit chunky and I honestly can't tell you how big it is right now. I have a 1GB swap partition on it, the rest is all 11.04 boot drive.

    Chris

  4. #4
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    Re: Limitation of size of USB-installation

    Quote Originally Posted by fabricator4 View Post

    I'm currently, right now, working on a 10.10 4Gb USB Install. 2.5GB for the OS, and 0.5 GB swap file, about 1GB left for data.

    Chris
    Ah, how difficult is it to do that? Because the way I did, I just put it all on a 2GB. If I had a 4GB I would try, though.

  5. #5
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    Re: Limitation of size of USB-installation

    Quote Originally Posted by Lt. Surge View Post
    Ah, how difficult is it to do that? Because the way I did, I just put it all on a 2GB. If I had a 4GB I would try, though.
    It's probably easier than trying to get it on a 2GB drive. Is that a light version you're using?

    I use Gparted to prepare the ext2 and swap partitions, but just run the install normally after that. When you get to the install select manual for the partitions and don't format them. You have to make sure the ext2 partition is selected to mount as root ("/") and that grub is installed.

    I followed some instructions to do this first time, (some guy here had a link to the instructions in his sig - can't remember his name) and it worked first time and every time for me. 10.04 and 10.10 on 4GB drives, and 11.04 alpha on an 8 GB.

    Whereabouts are you? (rude question!) Over on this side of the big pond the supermarkets are now selling 4GB USB sticks and SD cards for about $12. Some of the stationery chain stores (office works) are selling branded 8GB memory sticks for under $20.

    About six or seven years ago I bought my first 1 GB for my digital camera and payed $120 grey market. That was cheap - the street price was about $200 at the time. Times change.

    Chris

  6. #6
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    Re: Limitation of size of USB-installation

    Quote Originally Posted by fabricator4 View Post
    It's probably easier than trying to get it on a 2GB drive. Is that a light version you're using?

    I use Gparted to prepare the ext2 and swap partitions, but just run the install normally after that. When you get to the install select manual for the partitions and don't format them. You have to make sure the ext2 partition is selected to mount as root ("/") and that grub is installed.

    I followed some instructions to do this first time, (some guy here had a link to the instructions in his sig - can't remember his name) and it worked first time and every time for me. 10.04 and 10.10 on 4GB drives, and 11.04 alpha on an 8 GB.

    Whereabouts are you? (rude question!) Over on this side of the big pond the supermarkets are now selling 4GB USB sticks and SD cards for about $12. Some of the stationery chain stores (office works) are selling branded 8GB memory sticks for under $20.

    About six or seven years ago I bought my first 1 GB for my digital camera and payed $120 grey market. That was cheap - the street price was about $200 at the time. Times change.

    Chris
    Ah yes, I forgot to mention I installed Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Remix using he 2GB

    I live in Florida, you?

  7. #7
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    Re: Limitation of size of USB-installation

    Quote Originally Posted by Lt. Surge View Post
    Ah yes, I forgot to mention I installed Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Remix using he 2GB

    I live in Florida, you?
    Oh, I tried Netbook 10.04 (or something) on my 900SD but I didn't have much luck with it. I'm in (near) Brisbane, Australia.

    C

  8. #8
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    Re: Limitation of size of USB-installation

    Quote Originally Posted by yc2 View Post
    Hello,

    I read that Live CD installed on USB flash drive has a limitation of size to 4 GB.

    I assume this limitation (4 GB) regards the root file system with the system (packages installed, settings) including the data in the home partition etc?

    I have two further questions related to this, please.

    1. If I need more space, can I then just create another partition on the flash drive and store data there. (using e.g. GParted from Ubuntu or from its own CD)

    2. Why is there a limitation to 4 GB? (Since I know that FAT32 files are limited to 4 GB size I assumed that the installation was stored in a FAT32-file on the stick but that is just a wild guess, better to ask. )

    Thanks.

    4GB is the max size of the casper-rw file because it is FAT32.
    You can use a separate ext2, 3 or 4 partition named casper-rw for persistence and there will be no limit except for the size of the drive.

    1GB is the minimum drive size for a Live install, (no persistence), 2GB for a persistent install, 4GB is the minimum drive size of a Full install.

  9. #9
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    Re: Limitation of size of USB-installation

    Quote Originally Posted by fabricator4 View Post
    Oh, I tried Netbook 10.04 (or something) on my 900SD but I didn't have much luck with it. I'm in (near) Brisbane, Australia.

    C
    Wow how's the weather?

    Perhaps the latest incarnation of NBR would work better?

  10. #10
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    Smile Re: Limitation of size of USB-installation

    Hi,

    Reading this thread much of my doubts of usb installation are clear, but would like to know some more things:

    1. If I do a full install on a usb drive is it possible to perform all types of updates.
    2. Can I install the new version ofUbuntu as by reading this link, this link states Ubuntu 7.04.
    http://www.pendrivelinux.com/install...sb-hard-drive/

    Thanks in advance for replying.

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