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Thread: How to install ubuntu on USB drive and carry entire computing system in pocket?

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  1. #1
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    Jan 2008
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    How to install ubuntu on USB drive and carry entire computing system in pocket?

    How do you make it so you can install ubuntu on a USB flash/jump/thumb drive and save all of your documents, settings, and applications to that thumb/flash/jump drive-- but access hardware (screen, keyboard, mouse, etc.) with any computer you plug it into (that it's compatible with)?

    Step by step instructions would be greatly appreciated and if they are visually illustrated that would be even better.

    Thank you.
    Ubuntu = , but I = sometimes so I post s here and get answers then I because I get it ...
    but then I get again.
    Yup, that's pretty much how this place works

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron

    Re: How to install ubuntu on USB drive and carry entire computing system in pocket?

    You can read this website. But be sure you have an excellent flash drive with very fast read/write speeds.

    http://www.pendrivelinux.com/2008/04...drive-install/

  3. #3
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    Re: How to install ubuntu on USB drive and carry entire computing system in pocket?

    wow, thanks for all the assistance, but what exactly qualifies as a high quality super fast flash drive?

    And would 8GB be necessary or would 4GB be fine? I thought the reqs. for Ubuntu are 4GB minimum.
    Ubuntu = , but I = sometimes so I post s here and get answers then I because I get it ...
    but then I get again.
    Yup, that's pretty much how this place works

  4. #4
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    Re: How to install ubuntu on USB drive and carry entire computing system in pocket?

    also, how do you boot from the flash drive? do you plug it in and start the computer with the USB drive in or can you start from Windows/Mac OS X?
    Ubuntu = , but I = sometimes so I post s here and get answers then I because I get it ...
    but then I get again.
    Yup, that's pretty much how this place works

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Hughenden, Australia
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    Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander

    Re: How to install ubuntu on USB drive and carry entire computing system in pocket?

    how do you boot from the flash drive? do you plug it in and start the computer with the USB drive in or can you start from Windows/Mac OS X?
    Yes, you must have your flash memory stick already plugged in before you start the computer up so it will be detected during P.O.S.T. and registered in the BIOS.

    There are at least three different ways that I use, and probably others can tell you more ways to boot a USB disk.

    1. If you don't have GRUB installed to MBR in your computer, another way to boot your USB flash memory device is by pressing a key as your computer boots to bring up a menu from your BIOS this way, How I boot from my BIOS with my F12 key (or F8 key in most PCs).

    2. If you still have Legacy GRUB - You can use GRUB's Command Line Interface to boot your flash memory stick manually.
    To make it more automatic you can add a new entry to the bottom of your internal drive's Ubuntu /boot/grub/menu.lst file which will chainload the MBR or the boot sector in the USB flash memory stick.
    For example,
    Code:
    title   Hardy Heron USB Stick MBR Boot
    root   (hd2)
    chainloader +1
    3. If you're using GRUB2 - Just boot into your regular Ubuntu installation inside your computer and run 'sudo grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg', and it will automatically add an entry for the USB Ubuntu auxilliary operating system. Then boot your auxlilliary Ubuntu USB and run 'sudo grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg' for an emergency boot entry in your USB for your main (internal) Ubuntu installation.
    Last edited by Herman; August 21st, 2010 at 11:36 PM.
    Ubuntu user since 2004 (Warty Warthog)

  6. #6
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    Re: How to install ubuntu on USB drive and carry entire computing system in pocket?

    I was hoping there was a way to carry your entire computing system in a small USB drive without making changes to any host computers.

    Is there a way to do that?

    I was thinking of booting school computers, office computers, other home computers, etc. into Ubuntu when I got bored or needed a different tool or file.
    Ubuntu = , but I = sometimes so I post s here and get answers then I because I get it ...
    but then I get again.
    Yup, that's pretty much how this place works

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    100
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    Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron

    2 questions in reference to efficiency, Flash vs Hard drive?

    Here are 2 questions I have about using Hardy Heron on a latop.

    1) Will I get a longer battery life using the USB device instead of the hard drive?
    2) Will Ubuntu automatically put the hard drive to sleep since in essence the flash drive will have the swap file? Since most of my files are on-line for access and I listen to the streaming radio, I really do not need to use the hard drive. I also have 3 flash drives 8 gig 4 gig 2 gig.

    Thanks for you help

    Ooops, I forgot

    In future reference of buying a flash drive, if it can handle windows ready boost, does that mean it will have better random read and write speeds?
    Last edited by esteckis; May 11th, 2008 at 12:30 AM.

  8. #8
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    Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander

    Re: How to install ubuntu on USB drive and carry entire computing system in pocket?

    but what exactly qualifies as a high quality super fast flash drive?
    I don't know, but it does seem to me as if there does could be a difference in quality between flash memory sticks, but maybe it's only my imagination, I haven't done any controlled tests on that subject yet. Others seem to be of the same opinion though.

    EDITED ON 6th Jan 2010: I have since been doing some testing and a lot of reading and some flash memory and Solid State Drive manufacturers spend a lot of money having scientists and engineers researching ways to make flash memory faster, longer lasting and more reliable as well as affordable to the consumer. Flash memory is not all created equal, and prices are no indication of quality either, you need to be prepared to do your own up to date research if you want to be a smart flash memory shopper.

    And would 8GB be necessary or would 4GB be fine? I thought the reqs. for Ubuntu are 4GB minimum.
    I always thought that Ubuntu takes up a minimum of about 1..8 GB of hard disk space, but we should allow an extra 25% on top of that for the file system to have a little 'breathing space'. Linux file systems never need defragmenting, but they do perform best with a little extra unused space in the partition.

    Right now I have Hardy installed in a Toshiba flash memory stick and a Kingstom Data Traveller, both are 4.0 GB in size, 0r 3.84 GiB according to Gnome Partition Editor.
    In both of mine I have an extra Desktop installed, I did that because I didn't know how to get Gnome working at the time I first installed these two sticks. One has the Ubuntu (Gnome) Desktop plus XFCE (Xubuntu), and the other one has Ubuntu (Gnome) Desktop plus IceWM. I believe that adding an extra desktop takes up quite a bit of disk space.
    I will need to uninstall the extra desktops or install again fresh to see how big Hardy Heron is as a default install, but I can tell you that at the moment both of my USB installs have about 2.38 GiB used and 1.24 GiB unused out of a 3.62 GiB / (root) partition. There's a swap area of 219.61 MiB after that.

    I would recommend people use a 4.0 GB stick or larger if a larger one is available. In my town 4.0 GB is the largest they stock in the local electrical store, or I would have a bigger one too.

    UPDATE: The bare-bones Ubuntu Hardy Heron install occupies 1.98 GiB of space in the flash memory stick. You will need more space for adding software and some files, depending on what you're planning on using the stick for.
    Last edited by Herman; January 5th, 2010 at 09:53 PM.
    Ubuntu user since 2004 (Warty Warthog)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    chicago area
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    56
    Distro
    Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

    Re: How to install ubuntu on USB drive and carry entire computing system in pocket?

    Thankyou very precise info was using a 2 gig thumb drive almost worked but forgot ya need more room for ubuntu. gonna try again i never give up having more fun with linux and learning more and more. who says ya kan't teach an old dog new tricks, bondo101

  10. #10
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    Apr 2008
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    Post Re: How to install ubuntu on USB drive and carry entire computing system in pocket?

    Hey everyone...just wanted to let u know something..i heard installing an OS on a pendrive decreses its lifetime..because, a normal pendrive has some one million write cycles...(not sure on the number) but it does have LIMITED write cycles..so if u install an OS, frequent read-writes (eg swap etc. ) occur and the lifetime decreases...

    and with reference to some guy name redrazor23,in the starting of the post, he asked if it was possible to use the OS on the pen drive without affecting the computers it has been plugged into...
    well YES..booting off a USB stick does not AUTOMATICALLY alter any information on the HDD..but i guess you can MANUALLY read/write data on the HDD..

    Thnx..
    Last edited by shrinathk87; August 4th, 2008 at 01:40 PM.

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