Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 17

Thread: Can I install a full version of Ubuntu on a flash drive?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Beans
    10

    Can I install a full version of Ubuntu on a flash drive?

    I have a live cd version on a flash drive. My question is, can I install a full, living and breathing (and mostly personalizable), version of Ubuntu on a flash drive? I tried yesterday, it went through the process, but at the end it said it had problems installing the bootloader. I don't figure I would need a bootloader on a flashdrive version of it, since it would use the bootloader of the computer it was plugged into. What I want is to be able to customize a flashdrive version, with programs like: arp-scan, nmap, testdisk, etc. If anyone could help me, I would appreciate it.

    Ben

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Chicago Suburbs
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Can I install a full version of Ubuntu on a flash drive?

    What error did you get?

    I have full install in 8GB on my 16GB flash drive with the other 8GB as data. I have it more as another "drive" in case I need it with my laptop, but do not use it a lot. Since only 8GB I would have to do regular housecleaning if using it more.

    It should just like any install to another drive. Always use Something else or manual install so during the partitioning, you can specify which drive's MBR to install grub2's boot loader into.
    Or do you have a very new system with UEFI?

    Screen shot was regular install to my Larger sdc drive with many partitions, but at bottom it shows combo box with choice of drive to install grub2 boot loader into. It shows sda in screenshot but you would want sdb or whatever flash drive is.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    For info on UEFI boot install & repair:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to close thread when/if answered completely.







  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Beans
    10

    Re: Can I install a full version of Ubuntu on a flash drive?

    I don't actually remember what the full error message said, but it was that is couldn't install the bootloader. I'll try it again and let you know if I get the message again. Your above post is reassuring that it is possible though. Thank you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Arizona U.S.A.
    Beans
    1,225

    Re: Can I install a full version of Ubuntu on a flash drive?

    Yes, easily done. There is an student exercise with steps in doing this I posted here:

    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2169661

    See post #2 on this thread.

    The drawback is that performance on the flash drive can be slow, depending on the drive's read/write performance.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Chicago Suburbs
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Can I install a full version of Ubuntu on a flash drive?

    I did make a few settings to reduce writes.
    Install seemed slow as it is a lot of writes.

    I also have noticed my new USB3 flash drive is about 10% faster even on my old USB2 ports.

    Settings I changed:
    With SSD or Flash (trim does not work on flash) drives, Use ext4 without journal where sdXY and X is drive and Y is partition:
    sudo tune2fs -O ^has_journal /dev/sdXY
    sudo tune2fs -o discard /dev/sdXY
    No swap or set swapiness or install 'Dynamic Swap Space Manager' from the Ubuntu Software Center
    After installing, change the fstab so that everything gets mounted with noatime.
    For info on UEFI boot install & repair:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to close thread when/if answered completely.







  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Beans
    10

    Re: Can I install a full version of Ubuntu on a flash drive?

    I just tried it again and got the same message:

    "Unable to install GRUB in dev/sdc

    Executing 'grub-install/dev/sdc' failed.
    This is a fatal error."

    It gives me an option, after I click OK, to continue with one of three paths: Choose another device for the bootloader, Continue without installing the bootloader, or cancel the installation.
    Last edited by ben15; October 26th, 2013 at 06:52 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Chicago Suburbs
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Can I install a full version of Ubuntu on a flash drive?

    post this:

    sudo parted /dev/sdc unit s print
    For info on UEFI boot install & repair:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to close thread when/if answered completely.







  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Beans
    10

    Re: Can I install a full version of Ubuntu on a flash drive?

    Now have it plugged into a different computer, getting ready to test it, so it is now sdb.

    "sudo parted /dev/sdb unit s print" gives me:

    Model: USB DISK Pro (scsi)
    Disk /dev/sdb: 15116736s
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
    Partition Table: msdos

    Number Start End Size Type File system Flags
    1 2048s 11020287s 11018240s primary ext4
    2 11020288s 15116287s 4096000s primary linux-swap(v1)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Chicago Suburbs
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Can I install a full version of Ubuntu on a flash drive?

    Looks ok.

    Since only 8GB, I might not have so much swap. Only 6GB for / (root) now is not very large. You may have to houseclean regularly. On flash drive I do not have any swap, but restrict myself to not loading more than one or maybe two smaller apps at once.
    For info on UEFI boot install & repair:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to close thread when/if answered completely.







  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Beans
    10

    Re: Can I install a full version of Ubuntu on a flash drive?

    That's where I'm confused. I can get rid of (or shrink) the swap partition, but would that allow me to install a bootloader? I tried it and it wouldn't boot, it just sat with a blinking cursor.

    I'm not really looking to run too many apps, mostly the file explorer and Gparted in the GUI, and a few in the CLI (basically, making a recovery/salvage drive).

    Also, if I install Ubuntu will it be universal or computer specific (with the hardware driver install, etc.)?

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •