Personal computing discussed

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whm1974
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Installing Linux on a USB stick.

Wed Dec 14, 2016 1:12 pm

I'm thinking of the next time someone asks me about checking out Linux, I'll have that person buy a cheap decently sized USB stick and then I will  do a full install to the stick instead of making a liveUSB. That way they can fully test whatever distro is installed and I don't have worry about messing with their current setup. Will 16 to 32 GB be good enough for this?
 
spiritwalker2222
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Re: Installing Linux on a USB stick.

Wed Dec 14, 2016 1:47 pm

I would think 16GB that would be plenty, assuming your also not installing other massive programs.
Maybe a USB3.0 stick for a bit more snap.
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chuckula
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Re: Installing Linux on a USB stick.

Wed Dec 14, 2016 1:49 pm

16GB should be plenty just for a basic software setup.
Obviously this excludes big collections of music/photos/movies and assumes you have a standard desktop + browser + office suite & non-crazy huge applications.
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whm1974
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Re: Installing Linux on a USB stick.

Wed Dec 14, 2016 1:52 pm

spiritwalker2222 wrote:
I would think 16GB that would be plenty, assuming your also not installing other massive programs.
Maybe a USB3.0 stick for a bit more snap.

I'm thinking that a 32GB USB 3 stick would give them plenty of room to work with if they wanted to install a bunch more apps.
 
Chrispy_
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Re: Installing Linux on a USB stick.

Wed Dec 14, 2016 4:30 pm

You can run Linux, Android, Windows10 just fine on a 16GB tablet. It's a squeeze with Windows10 but certainly enough space to give it a spin and install a few key apps. I only use Linux distos off USB occasionally but I know there are plenty of tiny Ubuntu, Slackware and Debian distros that'll be happy on a 4GB stick.
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whm1974
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Re: Installing Linux on a USB stick.

Wed Dec 14, 2016 4:43 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:
You can run Linux, Android, Windows10 just fine on a 16GB tablet. It's a squeeze with Windows10 but certainly enough space to give it a spin and install a few key apps. I only use Linux distos off USB occasionally but I know there are plenty of tiny Ubuntu, Slackware and Debian distros that'll be happy on a 4GB stick.

Speaking of which, I do have a 4GB stick somewhere...
 
Greyguy 1948
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Re: Installing Linux on a USB stick.

Wed Mar 29, 2017 10:24 am

Installing on USB stick can work but it has to do with how it is downloaded. Fedora has an own downloader.
Fedora 25 for my new Ryzen 64 bit is working now. I started with a boot download on a 8 GB stick, booted and downloaded the rest of the SW on a 32 GB stick.
I have tested downloading Debian and Linux Mint but it doesn't work (damaged files?)
 
fhohj
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Re: Installing Linux on a USB stick.

Wed Mar 29, 2017 10:48 am

I used to roll my own livecds. I'd take a bunch of different disros and take their initrds and cowloop files and arrange them all on the thing to get it to work. even used to add them in bits or one by one just by weird multi-sessioning nonsense with mkisofs and cdrecord and then dvdrwtools. even made my own custom ppm boot screens for them. dig them up now, I betcha I can't read a single damn of them.
 
NovusBogus
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Re: Installing Linux on a USB stick.

Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:41 pm

I've tried doing this in the past, and found that it's very hit or miss whether a particular combination of distro and stick will work as expected.
 
HERETIC
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Re: Installing Linux on a USB stick.

Wed Mar 29, 2017 10:08 pm

NovusBogus wrote:
I've tried doing this in the past, and found that it's very hit or miss whether a particular combination of distro and stick will work as expected.


Can be pot-luck and getting worse as all now tend to be TLC.
If one don't work,try a different brand.
Another option-SD card-their quality seems more consistent (Samsung and Sandisk)

Small tip-Buy from the people that make the nand-they're more likely to keep the better
stuff for themselves, and flog off the lower quality nand to others.......................
 
synthtel2
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Re: Installing Linux on a USB stick.

Wed Mar 29, 2017 10:30 pm

A lot of ISO -> USB installation tools seem to be hit or miss, but dd hasn't failed me yet.
 
just brew it!
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Re: Installing Linux on a USB stick.

Thu Mar 30, 2017 7:24 am

synthtel2 wrote:
A lot of ISO -> USB installation tools seem to be hit or miss, but dd hasn't failed me yet.

That depends on the ISO. In order to be bootable from a USB stick it needs to be a "hybrid" ISO image. AFAIK all Linux install/live images are hybrid these days; however, the last time I tried to use dd to create a Windows installer thumbdrive it was a no-go.
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roncat
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Re: Installing Linux on a USB stick.

Thu Mar 30, 2017 7:34 am

Yes, 16/32Bb is enough. Stuff like FreeNAS (Linux based) is normally run from a USB stick, so you don't burn a disk for the OS, giving you all the motherboard ports to use for the storage array. The boot process is not bad, even for a 2.0 stick.
 
synthtel2
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Re: Installing Linux on a USB stick.

Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:45 am

True, I should have specified that was for Linux images.
 
Glorious
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Re: Installing Linux on a USB stick.

Thu Mar 30, 2017 1:09 pm

I have a ubuntu installation on Samsung 32GB USB 3.0 FIT thumbdrive, which works well enough. You can get a 64GB one for like ~20 USD.

I use it like roncat said, to save a SATA slot on a server I use for NAS.

The performance could be better, but's one of the recommended models for this sort of thing. There can be two of orders of magnitude of difference in random 4K read/write performance between these thumbdrives, so going with a model that the community has identified as a consistently decent performer is a good idea.

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