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[Discuss] linux on usb stick

Thanks guys for replying to my linux on a usb mem stick post.

So, after going through a grulling round of multiple linux installs on a 
usb disk, I've something to report. If you guys are interested....

So, forget about the whole live CD stuff. I got thrown off course and 
with the suggestion from Tom, I just installed linux directly onto a usb 
mem stick using VMWare as my virtual system.

After building my linux usb mem stick, I was partially able to boot it 
directly on my sony vaio pro laptop. The problem there was that the usb 
memory stick disk IO is buggy and while booting, kept throwing disk IO 
exceptions eventually corrupting the contents on the memory stick. :/

So I then used VMware on my laptop to boot off the linux usb memory 
stick configuring the VMware guest to use the memory stick as a raw disk 
device. And after some screwing around I got it to work!

So now I have a usb memory stick which I can boot (using VMware) on 
either my desktop linux system or my laptop running windows 7.

Now here's an interesting test point. When I run linux on the usb memory 
stick through VMware on my desktop, the response is phenomianl. No 
delay. It's snippy. The big test is surf to the daily show and fire up 
one of Jon Stewarts show, in full screen. Runs like a charm.

When I boot from the usb sick on my laptop, the performance sucks. The 
test of course is to surf to the dialy show and check out an episode. 
The video hangs and every 2 or three seconds stops for half a second 
then continues for another 5 seconds then stops for .5 seconds and repeats.

I have a beefy laptop, with the latest icore 7, 8 gigs of the fastest 
memory etc. But for some reason the windows 7 usb IO is on the laptop 
compared to my linux usb io on my desktop is a world of difference. (Hip 
Hip Hurray linux?) :)

As for laptops go tho, I'm quite disappointed with the sony vaio pro. 
The tab key on my keyboard has popped off and the laptop is only a few 
months old. Also, booting from the usb memory stick directly fails due 
to usb disk io errors which I chalk up to buggy BIOS firmware. The USB 
memory device seems to work fine when I use it within windows 7. So, I 
would suggest looking elsewhere for a high end laptop.

Thanks again for the discussions BLU

Cheers. Steve.

On 02/02/2014 07:56 PM, Tom Metro wrote:
> Stephen Adler wrote:
>> I'm working on building a linux system running off a USB memory stick.
>> ...the overlay partition or whatever the file system is which holds
>> the read/writable root partition is limited to only 4 gigabytes, which
>> makes doing updates to the OS rather frustrating.
> Presumably you're using a drive that is larger than 4 GB?
> I'm not familiar with this "overlay partition" you refer to or why it is
> limited to 4 GB. This sounds like something that is specific to a
> particular technique for installing a Fedora distribution on a Flash drive.
>> I'm using the command line tool livecd-iso-to-disk tool.
> Try a different tool?
> Is there a reason why you need a tool at all? Can you use the target
> system or a donor system with an optical drive or 2nd USB drive to boot
> the installer, and then install to your target USB drive the same as you
> would any internal hard drive?
> I've had situations where using the target system was not possible or
> inconvenient, and I've used VirtualBox with the USB drive set up as a
> raw pass-through device, then booted the installer ISO in the VM and
> installed to the USB drive. This approach has worked fine for Ubuntu and
> Ubuntu derivatives.
> More recently I've tried UNetbootin:
> which I think I posted about a few months back. Same idea as
> livecd-iso-to-disk. If I recall, it worked for what I used it for.
> (Which I think was to create a bootable FreeDOS drive.)
>   -Tom

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