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Thread: Permanent Ubuntu install on 16GB pen drive.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    3

    Permanent Ubuntu install on 16GB pen drive.

    Ok, first of all i want to say that my experience with Ubuntu and Linux is pretty much zero.
    What i am trying to do, is a permanent install of Ubuntu on my 16GB pen drive.

    I have downloaded the .iso file and installed a 'Live' version of Ubuntu using Universal USB Installer from PenDriveLinux.com, and can boot from the pen drive fine.
    But every time i boot the OS, it asks me if i want to 'try' or 'install' Ubuntu, and one of the applications on the left is an 'install' button.
    I tried clicking on install, but the only partition directories available to install on were the HDD or SSD.

    Is there a way to do a 'permanent' install onto my pen drive?

    My intention is to be able to use the pen drive to plug into any computer and boot a 'permanent' version of Ubuntu with all of my settings/programs/etc saved, rather than a 'Live' version.

    Have made several Google searches and can't seem to find what i'm looking for.
    Any help is greatly appreciated, keeping in mind that my experience with Ubuntu and Linux is VERY little.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    London, England
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    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: Permanent Ubuntu install on 16GB pen drive.

    Did you create a persistence file? If you did then you have as near as you can get. Just hit Try each time. With a persistence file the settings and documents will be saved and you can install new applications. But you will not a have a lot of space. Perhaps 4 GB as the maximum.

    Another thing you can try (and I have not tried this myself) is to create an Install image on a DVD and run the live session from that and direct it to install to the USB stick.
    It is a machine. It is more stupid than we are. It will not stop us from doing stupid things.
    Ubuntu user #33,200. Linux user #530,530


  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: Permanent Ubuntu install on 16GB pen drive.

    You can install Ubuntu on USB.

    Plug in the USB you want to install to and boot with Ubuntu Live USB. (You will need two USB Pendrives for this). While installing you have to choose the "Something Else" option to manually install Grub bootloader to install on your USB. The rest of the install is normal. Creating a small SWAP partition on USB won't hurt, about 1gb or less.

    You will have to format the USB with ext4 filesystem before installing Ubuntu. You can use Gparted on the LiveUSB format and partition.

    Good Luck....
    "Evolution is Nature's way of issuing upgrades."


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    3

    Re: Permanent Ubuntu install on 16GB pen drive.

    Ok, I might try the dvd option first. Would I just be able to burn the live version to an iso image rather than a physical disc then load the image with daemontools? Then install to pen drive with ext4 filesystem?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    Ubuntu

    Re: Permanent Ubuntu install on 16GB pen drive.

    Quote Originally Posted by kingofcheese View Post
    Ok, first of all i want to say that my experience with Ubuntu and Linux is pretty much zero.
    What i am trying to do, is a permanent install of Ubuntu on my 16GB pen drive.

    I have downloaded the .iso file and installed a 'Live' version of Ubuntu using Universal USB Installer from PenDriveLinux.com, and can boot from the pen drive fine.
    But every time i boot the OS, it asks me if i want to 'try' or 'install' Ubuntu, and one of the applications on the left is an 'install' button.
    I tried clicking on install, but the only partition directories available to install on were the HDD or SSD.

    Is there a way to do a 'permanent' install onto my pen drive?

    My intention is to be able to use the pen drive to plug into any computer and boot a 'permanent' version of Ubuntu with all of my settings/programs/etc saved, rather than a 'Live' version.

    Have made several Google searches and can't seem to find what i'm looking for.
    Any help is greatly appreciated, keeping in mind that my experience with Ubuntu and Linux is VERY little.
    Ubuntu can be made persistent on a USB stick, or you can install the entire OS on the stick - here's my thread about this
    HP | Intel iCore 7 3.2Ghz | 12 Gb mem | SSD Win7 | HDD Trusty | Mate 16.04
    Dell laptop | Intel iCore 3 2.1Ghz | 4 Gb mem | MATE 16.04 + Win 7
    Regards, Pete

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    North Vancouver, BC
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    2,672
    Distro
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Permanent Ubuntu install on 16GB pen drive.

    Following is step by step for installing 12.04.2 LTS on a 8GB flash drive on an Intel machine.
    12.10 is similar. A Full install boots faster than a Persistent install, is more secure and can be updated or upgraded.

    Turn off and unplug the computer. (See note at bottom)
    Remove the side from the case.
    Unplug the power cable from the hard drive.
    Plug the computer back in.
    Insert the flash drive.
    Insert the Live CD or Live USB.
    Start the computer, the CD/USB should boot.
    Select language
    Select install Ubuntu.
    Select Download updates while installing and Select Install this third-party software.
    Continue
    At "Installation type" select "Something else".
    Continue
    Confirm Device is correct.
    Select "New Partition Table"
    Click Continue on the drop down.

    (Optional partition for use on Windows machine)
    Click "Free space" and "Add".
    Select "Primary".
    Make "New partition size..." about 1000 megabytes.
    Location = Beginning.
    "Use as:" = "FAT32 file system".
    And "Mount point" = /windows.
    Select "OK"

    Click "free space" and then "Add".
    Select "Primary", "New partition size ..." = 4000 to 6000 megabytes, Beginning, Ext4, and Mount point = "/" then OK.

    (Optional home partition)
    Click "free space" and then "Add".
    Select "Primary", "New partition size ..." = 1000 to 4000 megabytes, Beginning, Ext2, and Mount point = "/home" then OK.

    (Optional swap space, allows hibernation)
    Click "free space" and then "Add".
    Select "Primary", "New partition size ..." = remaining space, (1000 to 2000 megabytes, or same size as RAM), Beginning and "Use as" = "swap area" then OK.

    (Important)
    Confirm "Device for boot loader installation" points to the USB drive. Default should be ok if HDD was unplugged.

    Click "Install Now".
    Select your location.
    Continue.
    Select Keyboard layout.
    Continue.
    Insert your name, username, password, computer name and select if you want to log in automatically or require a password.
    Selecting "Encrypt my home folder" is a good option if you are worried about loosing your USB drive.
    Select Continue.

    Wait until install is complete.
    Turn off computer and plug in the HDD.
    Stick the side panel back on.

    Note:
    You may omit disabling the hard drive if, when partitioning you choose to install grub to the root of the usb drive you are installing Ubuntu to, (ie sdb not sdb1). Be cautious, many people have overwritten the HDD MBR.
    You can revise grub later, if you wish.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Beans
    774
    Distro
    Ubuntu

    Re: Permanent Ubuntu install on 16GB pen drive.

    Quote Originally Posted by C.S.Cameron View Post
    Following is step by step for installing 12.04.2 LTS on a 8GB flash drive on an Intel machine.
    12.10 is similar. A Full install boots faster than a Persistent install, is more secure and can be updated or upgraded.

    Turn off and unplug the computer. (See note at bottom)
    Remove the side from the case.
    Unplug the power cable from the hard drive.

    Plug the computer back in.
    Insert the flash drive.
    Insert the Live CD or Live USB.
    Start the computer, the CD/USB should boot.
    Select language
    Select install Ubuntu.
    Select Download updates while installing and Select Install this third-party software.
    Continue
    At "Installation type" select "Something else".
    Continue
    Confirm Device is correct.
    Select "New Partition Table"
    Click Continue on the drop down.

    (Optional partition for use on Windows machine)
    Click "Free space" and "Add".
    Select "Primary".
    Make "New partition size..." about 1000 megabytes.
    Location = Beginning.
    "Use as:" = "FAT32 file system".
    And "Mount point" = /windows.
    Select "OK"

    Click "free space" and then "Add".
    Select "Primary", "New partition size ..." = 4000 to 6000 megabytes, Beginning, Ext4, and Mount point = "/" then OK.

    (Optional home partition)
    Click "free space" and then "Add".
    Select "Primary", "New partition size ..." = 1000 to 4000 megabytes, Beginning, Ext2, and Mount point = "/home" then OK.

    (Optional swap space, allows hibernation)
    Click "free space" and then "Add".
    Select "Primary", "New partition size ..." = remaining space, (1000 to 2000 megabytes, or same size as RAM), Beginning and "Use as" = "swap area" then OK.

    (Important)
    Confirm "Device for boot loader installation" points to the USB drive. Default should be ok if HDD was unplugged.

    Click "Install Now".
    Select your location.
    Continue.
    Select Keyboard layout.
    Continue.
    Insert your name, username, password, computer name and select if you want to log in automatically or require a password.
    Selecting "Encrypt my home folder" is a good option if you are worried about loosing your USB drive.
    Select Continue.

    Wait until install is complete.
    Turn off computer and plug in the HDD.
    Stick the side panel back on.

    Note:
    You may omit disabling the hard drive if, when partitioning you choose to install grub to the root of the usb drive you are installing Ubuntu to, (ie sdb not sdb1). Be cautious, many people have overwritten the HDD MBR.
    You can revise grub later, if you wish.
    If on the other hand you're dealing with a laptop
    power off
    look for the screws on the bottom that secure the hard drive, remove, and slide the hard drive out.
    HP | Intel iCore 7 3.2Ghz | 12 Gb mem | SSD Win7 | HDD Trusty | Mate 16.04
    Dell laptop | Intel iCore 3 2.1Ghz | 4 Gb mem | MATE 16.04 + Win 7
    Regards, Pete

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Beans
    5

    Re: Permanent Ubuntu install on 16GB pen drive.

    I succeeded with the USB Installer from pendrivelinux.com. It supports Ubuntu 13.04 as you can see.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Beans
    187

    Re: Permanent Ubuntu install on 16GB pen drive.

    You dont really need to remove the harddrive. Go to BIOS and disable your harddrive (You only need to do this if you're using old computer that doesnt support USB booting well). Set primary boot to USB. Boot your computer/laptop with the USB that has the Ubuntu installer (I used Unetbootin to create one). Enter Ubuntu, plug in the big USB you want to install to. Then just install on that USB.

    Edit, the typer of USB drive you are using and the USB port you are using does matters. USB 1.0 is slow, normal HDD will be way faster. USB 2.0 is pretty okay, If you can get yourself a USB with read/write speed more than 7MB/s its comparable to a 7200 rpm HDD. If you're using USB 3.0 you can get really fast, way faster than spinning HDD, but still slower compared to SSD, not that you will notice the difference unless you really do a lot of read/write. Note that, on packages, they will usually said up to 10 MB/s for USB 2.0, but you need to test it yourself to be sure, I'm not sure if there is a website that does the tests and keep tracks of it.

    I install 13.04 onto one, and it sure was fast and stable on an Acer ZG5, it was a USB with 6.0MB/s +- write speed.

    Do remember that if you accidentally disturb your USB, i.e. budging it and the connection is lost, you need to restart. Try getting some like this http://www.sandisk.com/products/usb/drives/cruzer-fit/ .
    Last edited by zemega; April 28th, 2013 at 04:39 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    North Vancouver, BC
    Beans
    2,672
    Distro
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Permanent Ubuntu install on 16GB pen drive.

    Quote Originally Posted by zemega View Post
    I picked up a few 16GB Sandisk Fits.
    They run Ubuntu really well, I am impressed with the speed considering the price.
    Only problem is I keep misplacing them.
    Probably a good option to encrypt home when installing to one of these.
    Last edited by C.S.Cameron; April 28th, 2013 at 04:51 AM.

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