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Ubuntu booted from USB

Discussion in 'Computers' started by jonbonazza, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. jonbonazza

    jonbonazza Android Expert
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    Well, I have been a long time linux user, spinning everything from SlackWare to Ubuntu, but I realized the other night that I have never attempted to make a live, persistent USB install, so I decided to devote last evening to doing just that.

    The good:
    Ubuntu makes liveUSBs and LiveCDs a since with its usb-creator application. I had a working install within minutes.

    The bad:
    As would be expected, it was slow as all hell and borderline unusable. This should be obvious as all IO is happening via USB which isn't exactly the fastest interface in the world, however I was hoping that maybe Ubuntu created some sort of magic using fairies, unicorns and a collection of rainbows to make it work at a usable speed. It seems they lacked the right amount of unicorns.

    Summary:
    Don't waste your time.
     

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  2. SUroot

    SUroot Extreme Android User
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    It loads into a RAM disk, so no IO.. Booting of the device from live usb should also be faster than cd.

    I've had great success with live usbs. In fact I carry a YUMI produced multi OS live usb with me at all times. Perfect for the desktop technician who wants to always be prepared
     
  3. argedion

    argedion The TechnoFrog
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    not sure what your issue was but I've never had a problem with a live usb or a persistent one I do believe with Ubuntu on a persistent usb you are limited to 4gig but that should really have nothing to do with the speed. Heck I have even had ultimate boot cd on usb and it ran much faster than the cd. Are you sure you don't have a failing thumb drive?
     
  4. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
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    It could also be that you have a USB 1 interface either because the hardware is older or the flash drive is not mounting properly. I've seen this happen with some older Dell's and Sony's.
     
  5. jonbonazza

    jonbonazza Android Expert
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    Hmm.. not really sure what the issue was then.
     
  6. argedion

    argedion The TechnoFrog
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  7. bylerj1

    bylerj1 Member
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    I have used Ubuntu on a live USB several times without this particular problem...I agree with lunatic it may be a slower USB connection causing the problem.
     
  8. jonbonazza

    jonbonazza Android Expert
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    Well, I followed the above tutorial, and nothing seemed to change. The laptop is a 2 (or maybe 3) year old Dell XPS, so I suppose the USB issue could be the problem. At any rate, I bit the bullet and went back to a dual-boot setup. Thanks all for the help.
     
  9. 9to5cynic

    9to5cynic Android Expert
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    Strange. Like some of the others I too have used a live USB, and it has always been much faster than the CD. I am thinking that who ever mentioned that maybe you're on a USB 1 device might be right.
    Not sure though, I do know that since I've started using liveUSBs I've given up on live CDs. ;)
     
  10. argedion

    argedion The TechnoFrog
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    if laptop is only 3 years old it should be usb 2 i'm thinking the thumbdrive itself is the issue. I run fedora 16 on a usb 160gig harddrive that I have hooked up to my laptop. I also have a 320 gig storage drive on here and a 500 gig internal hd with Windows 7. I use the 500 gig more for storage than for windows as I rarely go into windows but dude I have no issue or lag running fedora this way.
     
  11. jonbonazza

    jonbonazza Android Expert
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    The drive that I stored it on was bought just the other day, specifically for this purpose. It's an 8GB PNY stick. :thinking:
     
  12. SUroot

    SUroot Extreme Android User
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    I can't see how its usb port or stick. It loads it into RAM, so once its running, it should barely be using that bus.

    Would be interesting to see if cd yields better performance though.

    Anyway, best way to test usb flash memory is with h2testw.exe from a windows pc. Be patient and test the full volume. It will detect any issues.
     
  13. jonbonazza

    jonbonazza Android Expert
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    CD Definitely yields better performance. I will give that diag util a go and see what I come up with. Thanks.
     
  14. argedion

    argedion The TechnoFrog
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    What kind of RAM do you have and whats is your bus speeds? I never heard of a USB being slower than a CD that is very strange.
     
  15. johnlgalt

    johnlgalt Antidisestablishmentarian
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    To add to this: I too have used USB, and it's a minimum of 3-5 times faster than using a CD / DVD / BD for installs.
     
  16. jonbonazza

    jonbonazza Android Expert
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    quick question: When installing ubuntu to USB, which version of the distro do I need to use?
     
  17. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
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    Whichever one you want.

    I've had pretty good success using Fedora LiveUSB Creator with the ISO's of many distros just to try them out.
     
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  18. jonbonazza

    jonbonazza Android Expert
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    I mean, I can use the normal Desktop iso? I don't need a special iso to boot from live? The reason I ask is because whatever tool I use to create it (I have used many) I am always asked at startup weather I want to "try ubuntu" or "install." Is this normal for a live install? I know it's supposed to do that when you burn the iso to a cd or let ubuntu put itself on a usb stick, but I would think that if you wanted to create a live, persistent USB installation, that the try and install options wouldn't be there and it would act just like it would if it was installed to an HDD. Am I wrong?
     
  19. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
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    All of the iso images of distros will have the try/install option since they are intended to install the distro to a permanent location. If you want to add a persistent customized linux installation that will save settings apps and data, take a look at Boot and run Linux from a USB flash memory stick | USB Pen Drive Linux. Can't say that I've done it, though.
     
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  20. argedion

    argedion The TechnoFrog
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    The Infernal Swamp
    lunatic hit it with his link in the above post but in order to do a persistent you have to flash it a bit differently. The normal "Live Boot" only lets you create an live instant for checking things out. You are limited though to the amount of memory it gives you which is I belive around the size of a cd. A persistent one actually saves data and settings so when you shut it down and restart it your data and settings are saved. However they are also limited in the amount of space you can have. Ubuntu used to be 4gig but That was back with 10 I'm not sure about now
     

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