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Thread: [Idea] Use an Ubuntu device as a Live USB

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2016

    [Idea] Use an Ubuntu device as a Live USB

    So here's a thought:

    There is an app for Android called DriveDroid.

    You run the program and plug your phone into the computer with USB. It essentially takes a Linux ISO and presents it to the computer as a read only storage device. Instead of your phone using MTP to browse files on the device, the program makes your computer think your phone is a Live USB drive.

    I want this on Ubuntu Touch as a toggle in System Settings.

    If you want to test a distro, you just download it, run the program, and plug your phone into your computer.

    Why I bring this up is that I believe this not only feels very in line with the overall theme of "convergence", but it makes showing off Ubuntu dead simple and it makes Ubuntu vastly more useful in day to day life.

    There can be two types of convergence, "True"/"Live" and "Mock"/"Bootable"

    The first is where you plug your phone into a dock or use a wireless monitor to interact with your phone as if it was a desktop. We all love this idea. This it True Convergence.

    The second is where you take your phone, and use it as a fake drive to boot a read only Live Session on a computer. This is Bootable Convergence.

    This is useful for
    - Showing off the general idea of convergence without being technically difficult or requiring special hardware.
    - Quickly and easily showing Ubuntu to people without any risk to your phone or their computer.
    - Using the Live Session to work on a malfunctioning system (you are never without an emergency Live USB)
    - You always have access to an alternate secure "computer" if you don't trust the software running on your parents'/client's/library's computer, for example.
    - Using a heavily specialized Read/Write Persistent Live Session as a backup for when True Convergence options like docks or wireless displays are not available. Instead of plugging your phone into a monitor, you plug it into a computer and boot it like a normal Live USB. It should have access to your files in this case.
    - It gives people waiting for True Convergence something to actually use in their day to day life.
    - Plus so much more.

    I honestly do believe that if this can be done without eating up all the storage space on our phones or tablets, then Canonical should add this feature ASAP. It is a low effort, low cost, easy example of how you can use a device that you truly own using quality software from industry leading companies who care about the security of their users.

    Perhaps the already-existing ROM that Ubuntu Touch devices boot from can be used? I imagine it's all ARM code though. Maybe the ISO or equivalent can be something that is moved to a micro SD card? Maybe it's something that you opt-in to download and use so people don't waste storage space?

    Please, tell me your thoughts.
    Last edited by wkm2007; December 2nd, 2016 at 06:25 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver

    Re: [Idea] Use an Ubuntu device as a Live USB

    The Ubuntu Phone and Tablet sub-forum is for technical support for Ubuntu mobile devices.

    Thread moved to Mobile Technology Discussions.
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    Member: Not Canonical Team

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2016

    Re: [Idea] Use an Ubuntu device as a Live USB

    Thanks coffeecat.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver

    Re: [Idea] Use an Ubuntu device as a Live USB

    I don't have a cell phone, but I do have Ubuntu installed on my mp3 player so I can use it like a persistent USB.
    I wonder if it would work to just install Ubuntu to a phones Micro SD card.


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