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Thread: How to install Ubuntu Edgy to USB, to boot from any USB bootable machine

  1. #21
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    Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot

    Re: How to install Ubuntu Edgy to USB, to boot from any USB bootable machine

    Quote Originally Posted by DigitalDingo View Post
    I just tried to install Edgy on my 250 GB usb hard drive so I can use that as a crash test dummy before touching the version on my laptop.
    Well, as install method I chose "Erase entire disk" and GRUB automatically chose hd0.
    But during the installation (15% done saying: "Creating ext3 file system for / in partition #1 of SCSI1(0,0,0)(sda)") there is a failure: the progress bar jumps back to 5% and a dialog appears: "The ext3 file system creation in partition #1 of SCSI1(0,0,0)(sda) failed."

    Any idea on how to fix this?
    i did have this exact problem. All you have to do is before you start installing,
    System > Preferences > Removable Drives and Media and deselect the following options
    * Mount removable drives when hot-plugged
    * Mount Removable Media When Inserted
    * Browse Removable Media When Inserted
    then when you are on the partitioning step of the installation unmount all disk and proceed...
    i think this problem happens because after this step the live cd auto mount the usb disk again. When i did this that problem was solved.


    Now me....
    I have an Acer computer, my moterboard dosent have a boot sequence like cdrom usbdisk and hdd, but has, when booting, doing F12, a boot option to select a hard drive to boot. ok, i complet my installation of ubuntu in my usb disk, and manage to see grub screen, so it can see my usb disk, but when i select the option to boot, gives me error 17, cant mount drive.
    Why???? i have changed to hd0,0 hd1.0 but cant manage to mount the drive anyway. since i can see grub why cant it mount the drive......

    PS: sorry for my english

  2. #22
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    Re: How to install Ubuntu Edgy to USB, to boot from any USB bootable machine

    Quote Originally Posted by flamarro View Post
    manage to see grub screen, so it can see my usb disk, but when i select the option to boot, gives me error 17, cant mount drive.
    Why???? i have changed to hd0,0 hd1.0 but cant manage to mount the drive anyway. since i can see grub why cant it mount the drive......
    Flamarro,

    1) Are you absolutely *POSITIVE* that you didn't install GRUB to your main HD's MBR? When the USB disk isn't attached, and you boot normally, GRUB doesn't show up, right?

    (Just checking the simple mistakes first.

    2) When you installed, did you disable or remove all internal hard drives? Your error is very similar (same?) to what I was getting when I'd do an install with an internal SATA drive. GRUB would get confused about how to install, and install to the correct place, but with the wrong parameters. Error 17 indicates this, as it means "This error is returned if the partition requested exists, but the filesystem type cannot be recognized by GRUB." So, I'm guessing it's looking at your other HD, possibly a windows partition and saying "this isn't linux". Faz sentido?


    Thanks,

    Michael
    My projects and ramblings: http://stuporglue.org
    http://www.mormon.org/bookofmormon -- Free Book of Mormon

  3. #23
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    Re: How to install Ubuntu Edgy to USB, to boot from any USB bootable machine

    Hello there , i just discoverd this tutorial!
    I just tried to install Edgy on a USB Drive! I tried the "normal" install with Live CD but as depicted above the internal mbr always put an error.

    After That i looked up the forums and found this:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=80811

    But its far more difficult than ur tutorial!

    Its a rather simple yet brilliant idea to remove the PCs internal HD ^^° ( why i didnt think of that :O )

    since i am on a Notebook i cannot remove THAT easily my HD but i simply will turn it off in the BIOS

    maybe this weekend i check out ur install method

    Nice Work!!

    wbr Shin Gouki

  4. #24
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    Re: How to install Ubuntu Edgy to USB, to boot from any USB bootable machine

    Quote Originally Posted by stuporglue View Post
    Flamarro,

    1) Are you absolutely *POSITIVE* that you didn't install GRUB to your main HD's MBR? When the USB disk isn't attached, and you boot normally, GRUB doesn't show up, right?

    (Just checking the simple mistakes first.

    2) When you installed, did you disable or remove all internal hard drives? Your error is very similar (same?) to what I was getting when I'd do an install with an internal SATA drive. GRUB would get confused about how to install, and install to the correct place, but with the wrong parameters. Error 17 indicates this, as it means "This error is returned if the partition requested exists, but the filesystem type cannot be recognized by GRUB." So, I'm guessing it's looking at your other HD, possibly a windows partition and saying "this isn't linux". Faz sentido?


    Thanks,

    Michael
    Faz todo o sentido
    Yes, without usb disk attached i boot normally to windows. Yes, i have a Sata disk internally.
    I dont want to open my machine because i bought it a few months ago and i dont want to remove the acer's tape and lose my guarantie. I installed with grub option /dev/sdb and was a clean install.
    Said that, i understand what you mean, so when on boot i select my usbdisk, grub is read, but selecting the option to boot it messes apart and cant be mount... Is there other option besides root (hd0,0)? As i said i tryed (hd1,0) also but no sucess. I havent tryed yet to turn off my internally disk in Bios to see what happens.... will later...

    thanks for your quick reply.... this indeed is a great forum...

  5. #25
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    Re: How to install Ubuntu Edgy to USB, to boot from any USB bootable machine

    Quote Originally Posted by Shin_Gouki2501 View Post
    Hello there , i just discoverd this tutorial!
    Its a rather simple yet brilliant idea to remove the PCs internal HD ^^° ( why i didnt think of that :O )

    since i am on a Notebook i cannot remove THAT easily my HD but i simply will turn it off in the BIOS
    Yes, disabling the HD in BIOS works as well. I discovered that a few days after making my orriginal post. Hope it works out for you.

    To Flammaro:

    Yes, try disabling the drive from the BIOS. If you're not able to do that, you may have to use a different computer to get Ubuntu installed on the drive.
    My projects and ramblings: http://stuporglue.org
    http://www.mormon.org/bookofmormon -- Free Book of Mormon

  6. #26
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    Re: How to install Ubuntu Edgy to USB, to boot from any USB bootable machine

    Ok, didn't work.
    I turned off my internal disk on Bios, and now, i dont even need to select presing F12, as i turn the pc the usb disk is detected, grub runs, but keep telling me the same, error 17 cant mount the desired disk.... changed (hd0,0) (hd1,0) (sd0, 0), this come up with error 23, but was a last resort chance
    Well, dont know what to do now....
    I think now i have ubuntu on a disk, ready to go, the only problem is mounting that disk with grub, isn't it???

  7. #27
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    Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus

    Question Re: How to install Ubuntu Edgy to USB, to boot from any USB bootable machine

    Quote Originally Posted by stuporglue View Post
    Create a large (at least 20 Gb) root partition
    Is there any chance to get this howto working for much much less space?
    I would like to use it for a 2gb usb pendrive.

  8. #28
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    Re: How to install Ubuntu Edgy to USB, to boot from any USB bootable machine

    Is there any chance to get this howto working for much much less space?
    I would like to use it for a 2gb usb pendrive.
    I would consider 10 GB the minimal for a comfortable Linux install. I believe a fresh nothing-added Ubuntu install is about 2GB, not counting swap space, so I don't think there's a way using this method to fit it on a pen drive.

    You may want to look at what Puppy Linux does with their USB booting. They use an file image or two and SYSLINUX to get it booting. You could probably use the Ubuntu live CD ISO, SYSLINUX, and a data file (to save you stuff in) to get it working on your drive. That's a whole different approach then what's happening here though.

    Good luck
    My projects and ramblings: http://stuporglue.org
    http://www.mormon.org/bookofmormon -- Free Book of Mormon

  9. #29
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    Re: How to install Ubuntu Edgy to USB, to boot from any USB bootable machine

    Quote Originally Posted by flamarro View Post
    Ok, didn't work.
    I turned off my internal disk on Bios, and now, i dont even need to select presing F12, as i turn the pc the usb disk is detected, grub runs, but keep telling me the same, error 17 cant mount the desired disk.... changed (hd0,0) (hd1,0) (sd0, 0), this come up with error 23, but was a last resort chance
    Well, dont know what to do now....
    I think now i have ubuntu on a disk, ready to go, the only problem is mounting that disk with grub, isn't it???
    Did you do a full install again with the disk disabled? That was the key to success here. Disable/remove disks from the computer during the install, then afterwards it didn't matter if they were in/on or not.

    With the disk disabled, you may be able to use the live CD, chroot into your current install and re-install grub. Since the internal HD is disabled, hopefully you can use the default install options.
    My projects and ramblings: http://stuporglue.org
    http://www.mormon.org/bookofmormon -- Free Book of Mormon

  10. #30
    Join Date
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    Re: How to install Ubuntu Edgy to USB, to boot from any USB bootable machine

    I have worked on this for sometime now and here are some notes worth sharing. So if you have problem, please check these.

    1. During the installation of Edgy, you will be asked where to install grub. PLEASE open the /boot/grub/device.map, and check if hd0 or hd1 or hd2 is your usb device. (e.g. for pc with one internal HDD, hd0 may point to /dev/hda and hd1 may point to /dev/sda, which is your usb hdd)

    To avoid confusion, I strongly recommend that you disable all internal HDD from bios or disconnect them manually so you won't install grub on the wrong place.

    2. make sure that you know which partition did you install ubuntu to and make sure you know there device name. e.g. /dev/sda1. You should know this if you edit partition manually during installation.

    3. Note this very important thing. For a portable ubuntu on HDD. "DO NOT USE UUID" "by-id" is better.
    I choosed the default EXT3 as my primary partition for ubuntu and later found out that UUID is not a fixed value. It somehow changes when you plug it onto another PC. it happened to me. took me a while to find this out. so.. no uuid.

    Another reason to your by-id link is that your device.map file needs to be able to specify where hd0 points to and .. I could only find the uuid for all my parttions, but none for the device itself. only by-id link is available to point to the device itself. This pretty much forced us to useby-id link as a mean to have a fixed device/partition referral on any pc.

    for example: this is what use in my device.map for my transcent StoreJet USB HDD
    (hd0) /dev/disk/by-id/usb-StoreJet_StoreJet

    use the command
    ls /dev/disk/by-id -lh
    to display the by-id link and their real device point. e.g. /dev/disk/by-id/usb-StoreJet_StoreJet ..-> /dev/sda

    4. now, modify /boot/grub/menu.lst and make the following changes assuming that your device is /dev/sda and your simple id as shown in /dev/disk/by-id is usb-StoreJet_StoreJet

    Here is an example

    before:

    title Ubuntu, kernel 2.6.15-27-386
    root (hd0,0)
    kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.15-27-386 root=/dev/sda1 ro quiet splash
    initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.15-27-386
    savedefault
    boot

    after

    title Ubuntu, kernel 2.6.15-27-386
    root (hd0,0)
    kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.15-27-386 root=/dev/disk/by-id/usb-StoreJet_StoreJet-part1 ro quiet splash
    initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.15-27-386
    savedefault
    boot

    Also in /etc/fstab

    before

    /dev/sda1 / ext3 defaults,errors=remount-ro 0 1

    after

    /dev/disk/by-id/usb-StoreJet_StoreJet-part1 / ext3 defaults,errors=remount-ro 0 1

    note that the "-part1" refers to partition number. e.g. sda4 = "usb-StoreJet_StoreJet-part4"

    If you are unable to boot after kernal update, edit the commands in grub and do the above changes on menu.

    Anyway. the key here is to refer to your partition using the by-id link instead of the actual device link.

    My usbhdd now boots on all the PCs that I have tested so far. from work and at home. with different setups. (internal IDE HDD or internal SATA HDD and with and without other USB/fireware HDDs).

    The next problem is to do with the hardware detection, video card detection to be exact, I still haven't figure out how to make ubuntu re-probe the video hardware at each boot, like the way it does on live CD. If you know, could you please share the know how? (dpkg-reconfigure does not detect changes in video card PCI bus correctly. e.g. on-board intel video, APG video and PCI-Express video cards.)
    Last edited by soldonz; January 14th, 2007 at 06:26 AM.

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