I'm posting this about and to RARING (daily 13.04) because that's the only experience that I can attest!
Over the past few days I've been reading about persistence, live dvd & usb sticks, grub2, plop, etc. There exists some confusion about persistence and live dvds using usb sticks.
My experience is that a dvd CAN be made persistent by using a formatted usb stick. I followed this guidline
I also found that a full OS can be installed to a usb hard drive or usb stick following these steps:
I partitioned the usb stick prior to starting ... hind site you can do this step after booting in step #2
I had positive experience installing on both a flash drive (usb stick) and a usb hard drive. System boots quite a bit faster than booting a live dvd!
- Boot a live dvd
- Select try Ubuntu
- Start gparted (it's installed on live dvd)
- Identify the usb device (in my instance /dev/sdb1)
- Unmount the device
- exit gparted
- Click on install (the second icon down on left)
- Choose something else
- In sure to select where to install boot loader (in my instance /dev/sdb1)
- Check main partition (I chose ext4 and mount as root / )
- Double check selection for boot loader (installer has a tendency to 'wander')
- Before clicking install now double check which device is selected (in my case selection reverted to my internal drive /dev/sda)