Please help me install to run from USB [SOLVED]

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serenityvalley
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Please help me install to run from USB [SOLVED]

Post by serenityvalley » Sun Sep 06, 2015 12:05 pm

Hi,
I have never used Linux. I want to install and run Mint/Mate from within a 32 GB USB, bootable and persistent. (This is so I can become familiar with Linux in a contained environment. I realize this will have shortcomings)
I am looking for clear instructions on how to install this (not just he live version to be used as an installation for the hard drive) directly onto my USB.
I am running into considerable problems on this site, since all of my search queries are being refused--apparently USB, ISO, install, and boot are all either too short or to common to be accepted for search terms.
I imagine the instructions for what I want exist here, but the only thing I've found so far is a 4-year old tutorial that got ripped apart in the comments for being inaccurate.
Can anyone please point me in the proper direction?
Thanks, I really appreciate your time and help.
Last edited by serenityvalley on Tue Sep 08, 2015 6:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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seeley
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Re: Please help me install to run from USB

Post by seeley » Sun Sep 06, 2015 12:40 pm

Hi!
Please read through my help:
Quickly get help / signature.
Important question: BIOS or UEFI or UEFI with CSM (BIOS emulated).
seeley @ Linux multiboot

serenityvalley
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Re: Please help me install to run from USB

Post by serenityvalley » Sun Sep 06, 2015 2:21 pm

Thank you for your reply.
My computer has a pretty old BIOS but I can set it to check for USB boot first. It does not have the secure boot nonsense.

Going through your post, I think I could make out that you use a live USB to then install onto a second USB? It appears that your process for this is only available in German? I had a few years of German in High School/college, but I am nothing resembling fluid.

Does anyone have an alternative that allows me to install to one USB directly (or from a installer on my windows 7 desktop)? If I must create a live CD/USB first, then I can do that. I am assuming it would be the same as installing on a regular hard drive/SSD, but pointed to the USB and setting up the boot properly on the BIOS?

Thanks again.

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Re: Please help me install to run from USB

Post by WharfRat » Sun Sep 06, 2015 2:45 pm

When you boot the installation dvd/usb just have the usb stick you want to install to also plugged in and install it just as you would to the hdd.

Lastly and most importantly make sure you install GRUB to the usb stick you're installing Mint to, not the hdd.

Also be patient - installing to usb will be agonizing slow, but that's normal.

Good luck :wink:
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Reorx
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Re: Please help me install to run from USB

Post by Reorx » Sun Sep 06, 2015 3:07 pm

Link to a thread here that discusses the process of installing a full blown Mint installation to a USB (NOT Live medium with persistence) >>>
>>> http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=90&t=195931
Last edited by Reorx on Sun Sep 06, 2015 3:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Full time Linux Mint user since 2011 - Currently running LM19 Cinnamon.

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Re: Please help me install to run from USB

Post by gold_finger » Sun Sep 06, 2015 3:19 pm

Edit: Had already typed all of this out before seeing link posted by Reorx and response by WharfRat. Posting anyway just in case needed.

serenityvalley wrote:Going through your post, I think I could make out that you use a live USB to then install onto a second USB?
That is correct.

You will need to make a "live" USB to boot from and the 32GB USB to install to. You'll be running the installer from the "live" USB and pointing the installation at the 32GB USB. You can not install to the same USB you are booted from.

Since your computer uses Bios firmware, that makes things nice and easy. Going to outline steps below. Recommend that you not use the hibernation feature while booted into Mint that you install to the 32GB USB. That way, you don't need to make a huge Swap partition that will waste space that could be used to save data files.

1. Use UNetBootin or a similar program to make your live USB.

2. Boot computer with live USB and give things a test run to make sure no major problems.

3. Plug-in your 32GB USB stick.

4. Open GParted -- Menu -> Administration -> GParted.

5. Select the USB stick from the drop-down menu in upper-right corner of the window.

6. If it already has one or more partitions on it and they show as being mounted, right-click the partition(s) and select "Unmount". (You'll see a little calculator-type icon next to the partition name and they'll be a mount point listed if a partition is mounted.)

7. Right-click all current partitions (if any), choose "Delete". Then hit the "Apply" button (along top of window) or click Edit -> Apply All Operations to finalize those deletions. If no partitions on it, skip to step #8.

8. Now go to Device -> Create Partition Table -> "msdos" -> Apply. After that you'll have a clean slate to work with. (MAKE SURE you're still showing the USB stick in GParted window and not your internal drive.)

9. Next, you'll create the new partitions (still using GParted) for the Mint installation. I'm going to have you put only a small 1-2GB Swap partition on the USB. As long as you don't try to hibernate Mint, a small Swap will be all you need.
  • Right-click unallocated space, choose "New" to make a new partition.
  • Free space preceding = skip this, it will get auto-filled in a minute.
  • New size = 1024MiB
  • Free space following = set this to zero (0).
  • Align to = MiB
  • Create as = Primary
  • File system = linux-swap
  • Label = none needed.
  • This will be your Swap partition when you install later.
  • Right-click unallocated space again, choose "New" to make a new partition.
  • Free space preceding = leave whatever is pre-filled in (either 1MiB or 0MiB).
  • New size = leave whatever is shown; this will be the rest of the space on the USB.
  • Free space following = leave whatever is pre-filled in (either 1MiB or 0MiB).
  • Align to = MiB
  • Create as = Primary
  • File system = Ext4
  • Label (optional) = MintUSB.
  • This will be your Root partition when you install later.
  • Double-check your set-up -- if satisfied hit "Apply" or Edit -> Apply All Operations to finalize all of your new partitions.
  • You can now close out of GParted.
10. Double-click the "Install" icon on the desktop to install. When you get to "Installation Type" screen, choose "Something else" install method. That brings you to a partition selection page where you instruct it where to install.
  • Find and highlight the partition you made for Root.
  • Click the "Change" button to bring up a dialog box for the partition.
    • Use as = Ext4 file system
    • Size = leave as is
    • Mount Point = "/" (for Root)
    • Format box = doesn't matter if you check it or not. You already formatted the partition in GParted. (If you format it here, it will erase any label you set for the partition in GParted.)
    • Hit "Apply" when done.
    • No need to do anything with Swap partition. Installer will automatically see and set it.
    • IMPORTANT: Along bottom of window, you'll see "Device for boot loader installation". Make sure you change that from its default of /dev/sda to that of the 32GB USB drive. Eg. If you see that the Root partition was called "/dev/sdc1", then you know the USB drive is called "/dev/sdc". So you would select "/dev/sdc" from the drop-down list.
    • When done settings for Root partition, click "Finish" installation.
  • Reboot computer when install is done.
    • Once live environment shuts down, but before reboot process begins, remove the "live" USB and leave the 32GB USB plugged-in.
    • If necessary, use whatever key is necessary to tell computer to boot from your USB again.
  • Should now boot into the newly installed 32GB USB. Will work exactly like an install to the hard drive, just a bit slower than a hard drive. You can run system updates, install software, save files, etc., just like a normal hard drive install.
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phd21
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Re: Please help me install to run from USB

Post by phd21 » Sun Sep 06, 2015 3:46 pm

Hi serenityvalley,

There is a difference in installing the "full" version of Linux Mint onto a USB flash drive versus installing it with "persistence". You can easily install any "Full" edition of the wonderful Linux Mint operating systems on to a USB flash drive using the method below. I would highly recommend using a very fast and durable USB flash drive, like the "Patriot" flash drives (available on Amazon.com), and at least 16gb or more of space, especially if you are going to run any operating system from a flash drive. The website "http://www.pendrivelinux.com/' has details on this.

What is Persistent Linux?
http://www.pendrivelinux.com/what-is-persistent-linux/

It would help to have more information about your system's setup, like what processor does it use? (& is it 32-bit or 64-bit), how much memory (RAM), video card, etc... see FYI below. Your Windows System information can provide at least some of this. Depending on your hardware, you might find that one of the four standard editions of Linux Mint works better than another. You said you wanted to try "Mate", I say that's a good idea, but why not try all of them: Cinnamon, Mate, KDE (my favorite), & Xfce? You an easily "burn" a copy of each "live" installer editions of Linux Mint to DVD's or USB flash drives to "test drive" them, before actually installing them to a USB flash drive or your computer's hard drive. If you need a really good free DVD burning software for MS Windows, then I recommend "Ashampoo Burning Studio" because it is super easy to use and it works well.

Ashampoo Burning Studio FREE for Windows to create DVD's.
https://www.ashampoo.com/en/usd/pin/711 ... tudio-free

Installing Linux Mint to a USB flash drive: You will need two USB flash drives if you are going to put the Linux Mint live installer on one USB flash drive, instead of using a DVD, and another USB flash drive to actually install a full edition of Linux Mint onto.

1. Download and install a software program in your current system that can create a bootable USB flash drive, like "unetbootin", or "Universal USB Installer".

Unetbootin
http://unetbootin.github.io/

Universal USB Installer
http://www.pendrivelinux.com/universal- ... -as-1-2-3/

2. Download a "live" installer version of any edition (and version) of Linux Mint from link below. The 17.2 editions are brand new (2015) and have "uefi" support for newer computers that use it. The 17.1 versions are very stable and can be easily upgraded to 17.2 when you want to. These installer "test drive" Mint downloads are in a ".iso" file format which can be burned to a DVD or a USB flash drive (at least 2gb).

Links to download the Linux Mint Operating Systems. You have to know if your system uses a 32-bit or 64-bit processor, check your system information, or search the web on your computer to find out.

http://www.linuxmint.com/download_all.php

3. Bring up your software to create a bootable USB drive, like "unetbootin", or your DVD burning software to create a bootable DVD from the ".iso" file(s) you downloaded, and follow their simple instructions to create the bootable USB flash drive, or a bootable DVD.

4. Once you have a bootable live installer "test drive" version of Linux Mint available, then restart your computer, and boot up to your USB flash drive, or to the DVD.

5. Connect to your internet. If you are using an ethernet cable you should already be connected. If you are using WiFi wireless connection, then in the lower right corner of the system tray panel is a wireless networking icon, click this, and click your WiFi router to connect to it, enter your password, and you should be connected.

6. You can now explore the Linux Mint edition you picked, or just click the "install" desktop icon to start the installation procedure. During the installation procedure, you will be asked where to install Linux Mint, select the USB flash drive that you want to use, and follow the simple instructions. When it is finished, you can boot up to and run the "full" version of Linux Mint on your USB flash drive.

That's it.

FYI: It would help everyone here to have more information about your system's setup: like what edition and version of Linux Mint are you using, Cinnamon, Mate, KDE (my favorite), or Xfce; version 17, 17.1, 17.2, or What?; 32-bit or 64-bit? Some more information about your hardware would be useful as well. You can get this information from top of your system menu's Welcome screen, System Information program(s), and the best is by typing in "inxi -Fxz" from a console terminal prompt, which you can then copy and paste back here. This information helps anyone here in this forum to be able to answer any questions you may have better :), thanks. You can even add this information (abbreviated) to your signature using the control panel link in the above left of this forum screen; then when you post a question or reply to one, that info will automatically be there, ex: see mine and others below their posts.
Last edited by phd21 on Mon Sep 07, 2015 10:27 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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seeley
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Re: Please help me install to run from USB

Post by seeley » Sun Sep 06, 2015 3:47 pm

Hi!
3 steps:
1. Create live-USB (2 GB or more recommended); my W7 is out of use (deleted), I don' t know if my chapter 21.1 is out of date - but it should not be a problem to "burn" a live USB or DVD with Windows.
2. Boot from your live medium, create a msdos partition table with GParted and establish
a primary partition Nr. 1, 8 - 12 GB, format ext4 (during installation your root partition, mount as "/" - without ""),
a primary partition Nr. 2, min 10 GB - depends on your wishes - format ext4 (during installation your home partition, mount as "/home" - without ""),
a primary partition Nr. 3, size: 1.5 * RAM size, format as swap.
And you should leave some extra space (max. 6 -8 GB).
--------------
To find out which is your USB target [32 GB] (important for the boot loader GRUB):
Terminal:

Code: Select all

ls -l /dev/disk/by-id/*usb*
Ex.:

Code: Select all

lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root  9 Sep  6 16:39 /dev/disk/by-id/usb-JetFlash_Transcend_4GB_0LRR28GG-0:0 -> ../../sdc
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 10 Sep  6 16:39 /dev/disk/by-id/usb-JetFlash_Transcend_4GB_0LRR28GG-0:0-part1 -> ../../sdc1
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 10 Sep  6 16:39 /dev/disk/by-id/usb-JetFlash_Transcend_4GB_0LRR28GG-0:0-part2 -> ../../sdc2
[-> target is /dev/sdc, not sdc1 or sdc2!
Target is a device, not a partition!]
---------

3. Afterwards run the installation process:
...
something else - manual partitioning
/dev/sdX1 -> root
/dev/sdX2 -> home
/dev/sdX3 -> swap
bootloader: MBR (Master Boot Record) of your USB target (not USB live): /dev/sdX
where X is your target drive (where to install Mint)

Edit:
Corrections
Last edited by seeley on Mon Sep 07, 2015 3:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Please help me install to run from USB

Post by I2k4 » Sun Sep 06, 2015 10:40 pm

If all you want to do is test drive various Mint and other Linux versions, you should create a persistent Live USB to install the *.ISO from the Mint site - an 8gb drive with half set to "persistence" works well. If you have Windows available on the same or any other PC, you can make the Live USB (setting persistence to allow you to save installations and settings between reboots) by using this Windows app:

http://www.pendrivelinux.com/universal- ... -as-1-2-3/

Instructions at that link are pretty clear. As others mentioned, you do need to set BIOS to move the USB drive above the hard drive for boot order, which you seem to know. There are other similar Windows apps, unetbootin or LiLi but I find Pendrive the most straightforward.

A persistent Live USB will last weeks or months - just don't do any system upgrades or try to update more than one or two software packages at a time, since that overloads the USB drive. Otherwise you should make a point to try installing software you want and see if it supports everything you want to do with the PC. It will be marginally slower than a full install, but if it fails to support your hardware or important peripherals you need, that's not going to be cured with a full install. If you decide you want to then regularly install Linux either to a hard drive or to another large USB drive, you can use the same Live USB to do that.

IMHO no point in doing any full install before giving your particular PC and peripheral devices a full workout and satisfying yourself Linux is for your personal purposes. No harm no foul if it isn't.
TRUST BUT VERIFY any advice from anybody, including me. M18.3 XFCE (Dell 1520) 64 bit. Dual booting M19.1 XFCE / W7 (Acer netbook) and M19.1 Cinnamon / W7 (Lenovo desktop) 64 bit. Persistent live USB pretesting M19.2 Cinnamon and XFCE.

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Re: Please help me install to run from USB

Post by serenityvalley » Mon Sep 07, 2015 10:21 am

Wow. This is just amazing. What a fantastic group of people on this board! I think I have everything I need to give it a go.
Thank you all so much!

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MtnDewManiac
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Re: Please help me install to run from USB

Post by MtnDewManiac » Mon Sep 07, 2015 3:45 pm

serenityvalley wrote:I am running into considerable problems on this site, since all of my search queries are being refused--apparently USB, ISO, install, and boot are all either too short or to common to be accepted for search terms.
You can use a search engine website to search a web-based forum such as this one. Add this line to your query:

Code: Select all

site:forums.linuxmint.com
along with whatever search term(s) you are looking for.

Regards,
MDM
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If guns kill people, then pencils misspell words, cars make people drive drunk, and spoons made Rosie O'Donnell fat.

serenityvalley
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Re: Please help me install to run from USB

Post by serenityvalley » Tue Sep 08, 2015 6:47 pm

@MDM:
That is an extremely helpful tip--thank you!

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Re: Please help me install to run from USB

Post by MtnDewManiac » Wed Sep 09, 2015 1:47 am

serenityvalley wrote:@MDM:
That is an extremely helpful tip--thank you!
Ah, it's a fairly well-known thing - lots of web-forums run really crappy software.

Regards,
MDM
Mint 18 Xfce 4.12.

If guns kill people, then pencils misspell words, cars make people drive drunk, and spoons made Rosie O'Donnell fat.

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