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Making a bootable USB pendrive with a linux OS

Discussion in 'Linux and Unix' started by machv, May 6, 2010.

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  1. machv

    machv Thread Starter

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    I have tried many many many different how to tutorials on how to make a USB drive bootable and have a Linux OS installed. I have also tried many different versions of Linux as the OS too all have failed the closest i got to achieving this was seeing the flash screen telling me Ubuntu was loading, but nothing happened after that it just hung and setting it to verbose showed me it crapped out somewhere during that process and it was so long ago i don't remember what it was. I have downloaded many Linux Cd's so I have around five or six disks with various flavors on them. Until recently I was using wifi with an Atheros card and could never get a reliable driver to work for it either. Now I have a wired connection again and won't have to stay offline due to a combination of my inexperience and inability to get a working driver for a wifi connection.

    I am looking for step by step instructions that are reliable and by reliable I mean that you yourself has tried and succeeded personally with what I am trying to achieve. I mean no offense by asking for that I am just weary from links to a tutorial that someone else wrote and I try them and then fail. When that happens I am left unsure if it is my error or the other persons.

    I will list what my hardware specs are so that it is not due to my flash drives size or something like that.

    I have a 16gb Maxell USB stick that I want to use. So that I can store more things on it. I have a 4gb Sony USB stick too if that is better or needed. I remember someone mentioning USB sizes as a concern, but can't remember what it was.

    I need to know which OS version to get and where and also which file system to use when formating the drive so that it will be compatible with Linux.

    I am familiar with Windows and am running Windows 7 ultimate 32bit. I would prefer to set this up in Windows, but will use Linux if that is better. If it's Linux then I will need baby type steps as I am very green when it comes to Linux commands and lingo, what may seem obvious to you guys would be Greek to me. Man! I hate being a newbie.

    Thank you for your time and patience with helping me with this and if you require any info from me please let me know.:confused:
     
  2. arochester

    arochester

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  3. machv

    machv Thread Starter

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    yes. i tried to install ubuntu 9.10 to USB using the live cd. i changed bios to boot usb first, a message said missing mbr so i unplugged all usb devices but the flash drive and i got the splash screen then it hung up. my laptop has a broken screen and touchpad so i use external keyboard, mouse and screen and the broken lcd is removed to stop it choosing that at bootup
     
  4. saikee

    saikee

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    Try Puppy.

    Not all Distros are ready-made to be bootable from a USB device. You can always install it but the kernel boot-up speed is too fast for the USB port resulting some files unavailable at the time needed and so leading to a kernel panic.

    You need to choose the distros wisely.
     
  5. machv

    machv Thread Starter

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    ahhh. so which distro works?
     
  6. flan_suse

    flan_suse

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    Do you wish to create a bootable USB with a Linux distro on it, such as Ubuntu, rather than burning it to a CD-R? Are you going to use this bootable USB only for temporary Live sessions to play around with Linux, or do you want to have a persistent USB stick that will be used as an alternative to a hard drive install? Or will the bootable USB be used as a re-usable installation medium? For example, you copy Ubuntu 10.04 to it, boot from the USB, then install Ubuntu to the hard drive, then later you erase the USB, copy openSUSE 11.3 to it, boot from the USB, then install openSUSE to the hard drive, etc.
     
  7. saikee

    saikee

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    Try Puppy.

    Puppy is a small distro with several installation options. One of them is to install in a pen drive.
     
  8. jrbuergel

    jrbuergel

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    Jim
  9. machv

    machv Thread Starter

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    I want the 16gb Pendrive to be used and act like it was a hard drive. Also the utility i tried would not allow me to create a documents and settings storage space any larger than 4gb. is there a way around that and if not will i need to manually create the partition to use up the rest of the drive or is that done automatically? thanks
     
  10. machv

    machv Thread Starter

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    i've never heard of puppy llinux, is it easy to use and learn?
     
  11. saikee

    saikee

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    Let me say a few words of warning to those wanting to do a full Linux installation with a USB jump drive.

    It is basically a bad idea.

    For a start a jump drive is very slow and the USB port is a bottleneck. JUmp drives may be good for random access but for continuous read/write it is extremely slow in operation.

    Most USB installations get away by doing a Live CD version. That is to say no installation but just place the files from the iso onto a jump drive and altering its boot loader. The footprint is therefore the same size as the iso or the size of a CD say 600Mb large.

    In a proper Linux installation the footprint can be 5 times larger than the iso size after the files are uncompressed. This is a very very slow drag to put 2.5 to 3Gb data into a jump drive.

    Not all distros have been factory made to be bootable from a USB device and many would failed after the installation.

    I have done a few USB installations and consider it a waste of time. I don't believe any user would have a patience to wait for the slow the slow response.

    If a Linux has to be booted from a USB device put it in a USB "hard disk"! A hard disk is a realistic option for a full installation.

    Puppy is somewhere between the size of Damn Small LInux and Slax. It excels in offering all sorts of installation. I believe you can install it in a USB jump drive as a full install or Frugal install. The latter means to install it like a Live CD. Small footprint distros can survive the slow speed of the USB jump drives due to the small sizes.
     
  12. adengappa

    adengappa

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    May 8, 2010
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    Hi,

    My slax is not booting again on the same 4GB flash drive, which I used to work with till y'day. I formatted my flash drive(with fat32), extracted a files directly to my Flash(freshly). When I boot my PC from USB(by pressing F12key) , all I could see is a cursor blinking on my screen. I dumped the error logs and check with that all were good. I didn't get any error message when i ran the bootinst.bat file. I downloaded the latest kernel from kernel.org 2 days ago.
    Did that corrupt my slax? After that also, I was using slax. Does anyone have an idea?
     
  13. Gigacore

    Gigacore

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