Any downside/complication for install to a USB thumbdrive?

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Any downside/complication for install to a USB thumbdrive?

Postby bodhidharma on Mon Jan 06, 2014 7:33 pm

Can anyone help me with the following situation:

I'm teaching a class in a lab filled with Windoze machines. I bought a bunch of 16GB thumbdrives, and I was going to do a fresh install of LM on the thumbdrives. I'll give these to the students, and each class the first thing they will do is reboot to the LM off the thumbdrive, and then we'll all work happily in open-source heaven.

Can anyone see any trouble with this? In particular:
1) Is there anything to be aware of in installing LM to a thumbdrive?
2) Can anyone suggest a fast way to copy the installation to multiple thumbdrives? E.g., maybe just raw copy the whole device...?

Any insight would be deeply appreciated!
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Re: Any downside/complication for install to a USB thumbdriv

Postby Incentive I.C on Mon Jan 06, 2014 7:39 pm

Maybe make a spare partition do they can save content to the Harddrive? Or they could just save on the Windows Partition ( I think) I know you get read and write to NTFS partition but not sure it is read and write if the Partition has an Os.
The best way to learn from it is break it OS's (is there a plural for OS?) included.
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Re: Any downside/complication for install to a USB thumbdriv

Postby Reorx on Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:48 am

Don't forget, the installation is (somewhat) machine specific - so a USB created on one machine won't necessarily be "compatible" with a different machine...

The downsides of USB installation compared to HD installation are that USB sticks are generally smaller and perform slower than a HD.

Something to be aware of is the location where GRUB is installed. You should put it on the USB stick. ONE way to make sure this happens correctly is to disconnect the HD when you are doing the USB installation. This way GRUB is on the USB stick and you won't be bothered with any GRUB menus at start up because when you did the installation, (because the HD was disconnected) there was no other OS on the machine... :mrgreen:

You should be able to duplicate any stick with your favorite cloning software...
Procrastinate now!
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Re: Any downside/complication for install to a USB thumbdriv

Postby wayne128 on Wed Jan 08, 2014 3:34 am

Any downside/complication for install to a USB thumbdrive?

Just my experience over the years of using USB installed with Linux OSes on many computers.

Downside:
1. attempt to run 64-bit installation on 32-bit computer
I did that a few times!! and felt bad each time such thing happens,
thus I used 32-bit Linux OS for most of my works.
2. installed with proprietary driver, then try to boot a computer without that graphic hardware so you will likely get BSOD.
3. some other hardware related issues that is incompatible with the computer you wish to boot.
such as: install USB drive with Linux OS in msdos format and try to boot a Win8 computer with secured boot enable and fast boot enable, Win8 does not even see the USB! so you will be given NO CHOICE to boot from USB.



bodhidharma wrote:
Can anyone see any trouble with this? In particular:
1) Is there anything to be aware of in installing LM to a thumbdrive?
2) Can anyone suggest a fast way to copy the installation to multiple thumbdrives? E.g., maybe just raw copy the whole device...?

Any insight would be deeply appreciated!


1) as in the above.. just my own play-learning
2) simple to use dd ( or gparted to format the usb plus copy and paste the whole partition) to copy from the 'master usb' to the 'target usb', follow by installing boot loader to mbr of the 'target usb'.

3) remember, DO NOT install any proprietary graphic on USB drive..
stay with free linux driver for 'widest compatibility'.
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Re: Any downside/complication for install to a USB thumbdriv

Postby usbtux on Wed Jan 08, 2014 2:02 pm

Easy to do :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKL1tmn-xC0 External install
Full install encrypted usb or flash drive http://youtu.be/Nw99gRGWGuw

You may be better using the OEM version as this allows the user to set their own passwords and account names.
You can use several types/ways of backup/restore the easiest would be install the first usb then use redo backup to make a backup and then restore to the other usb drives.
I'd use the 32bit distro Mint XFCE - its quite lightweight and performs well even with low amounts of memory. XFCE pt1 http://youtu.be/IRpM72yQI9M
You need to use the fastest usb sticks you have ie Kingston Data traveler G3 Even then they will be relativity slow to boot and even slower to do the first update.
http://goo.gl/DXKgM useful tutorials for installing mint on USB drives.
http://www.usbtux.hostzi.com/
http://goo.gl/WFu0u Installing Mint - the screen cast videos.
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