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Thread: Is there any way to install Ubuntu to USB / thumb drive ?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    557

    Re: Is there any way to install Ubuntu to USB / thumb drive ?

    Was your "successful" install from a live USB? If so, did you fix the grub.cfg devices for the first reboot (bug 384633)? Can you confirm you are not on a UEFI machine? Do you have a password on your account, and are you asked for the password before the bootloader installation ? Your error is puzzling, and some more info might help us determine what's wrong.7

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: Is there any way to install Ubuntu to USB / thumb drive ?

    You might want to try installing to a different brand of usb flash drive, it's been my experience that some were much better than others for an Ubuntu installation(not a live usb).

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    /dev/root
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    Re: Is there any way to install Ubuntu to USB / thumb drive ?

    I have also made such installations to USB HDDs, USB SSDs and USB pendrives (flash drives). I have used USB 2 and USB 3 devices. All work. So we are many people who have succeeded, and we can help you, but I think we need more information about your hardware and software. Otherwise we can only guess.

    Please let us know the

    - brand name, model and above all, the size of your USB pendrive(s)!
    - brand name, model and above all, the CPU, RAM size and graphics processor of your computer!
    - operating system you are using (installed in your computer)!
    - installation media source and target (from what device to what device are you trying to install)?
    - OS distro, version and flavour that you try to install!

  4. #14
    wpshooter is offline Ubuntu addict and loving it
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Virginia, USA
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    3,581
    Distro
    Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope

    Re: Is there any way to install Ubuntu to USB / thumb drive ?

    Quote Originally Posted by C.S.Cameron View Post
    Following is step by step how to install 12.04 on a 8GB flash drive, 13.04 is similar.

    Turn off and unplug the computer. (See note at bottom)
    Remove the side from the case.
    Unplug the power cable from the hard drive.
    Why is it necessary to unplug the hard drive ?

    It appears that you are probably correct about this but I am just wondering why this seems to NOT work unless the hard drive is disabled while the install is taking place.

    Thanks.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Crossville, TN. USA
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    174
    Distro
    Ubuntu Gnome 13.10 Saucy Salamander

    Re: Is there any way to install Ubuntu to USB / thumb drive ?

    I have a copy of Ubuntu 12.04 that I installed on an 8GB USB using UNetbootin and I've updated it just like I've done on my laptop. No difference that I can see in the way it runs.
    I've also heard of people burning the OS to a DVD(CD is too small for something the size of Ubuntu 12.04 when you include the boot loader, ect.) then they boot to the CD/DVD drive and install to their USB drive. Just choose your USB(for me it'd be sdg) and click Install.
    I'm still trying to figure out how to install multiple OS's onto a single bootable USB using UNetbootin. I posted a YouTube vid of a guy doing it but for some reason it's just not working for me or I"m not doing something right.
    Still, it is kind of fun messing around with this stuff trying to get it to work. Hope you get it figured out.
    "Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!"

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    /dev/root
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    Re: Is there any way to install Ubuntu to USB / thumb drive ?

    It is not necessary but recommended to remove the internal drive, because it makes it easier to get everything correct. Otherwise it is easy to write the bootloader to the wrong drive (as a matter of fact, the default is the (first) internal drive). And there might be problems selecting swap partitions too. All these things are possible to manage during or after the installation, but it might be harder than removing the internal drive.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Chicago Suburbs
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    Distro
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Is there any way to install Ubuntu to USB / thumb drive ?

    All the auto install choices will install grub to sda which is the internal drive in most cases.

    Or if installing to an external device you do not want to use auto install, but need to use Something Else or manual install to get the option on where to install the grub2 boot loader.

    If internal drive is disconnected then it does not matter, but manual install also gives additional options like letting you create a separate /home.
    For info on UEFI boot install & repair - Updated Mar 2015:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to close thread when/if answered completely.







  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Lynn Valley, BC
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    2,615
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    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Is there any way to install Ubuntu to USB / thumb drive ?

    Another small matter is that if you leave the internal drive active while installing, it will be mentioned in grub when you boot the USB drive.
    This may or not be preferred.

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