LinuxQuestions.org
Welcome to the most active Linux Forum on the web.
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Hardware
User Name
Password
Linux - Hardware This forum is for Hardware issues.
Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?

Notices

Reply
 
Search this Thread
Old 11-12-2005, 12:38 PM   #1
samgu3990
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Nov 2005
Posts: 6

Rep: Reputation: 0
about installing linux on a usb hardisk


hi all.
i hv windows on my main internal hardisk and lot of works and documents inside it but i need linux for my study,so if anyone could tell me that whether it is possible to install linux on a external usb hardisk and boot linux from there when i switch on my mechine?if it is not possible..could anyone give me a suggetion of what to do?(full instruction needed...i am a beginer...hehe)

lots of thanks!!!
 
Old 11-12-2005, 01:26 PM   #2
superdude_876
Member
 
Registered: Jan 2005
Location: Canada
Distribution: SuSE 10.0
Posts: 55

Rep: Reputation: 15
Yes, it is quite possible. I have recently been looking into it myself. You may want to try out Slax or Damn Small Linux. For instructions on how to install these on USB sticks just do a google search
 
Old 11-13-2005, 05:54 PM   #3
RRepster
Member
 
Registered: Dec 2002
Location: aksarben
Distribution: Several
Posts: 116

Rep: Reputation: 15
those aren't actually "installs". They are simply running the "live" mode from a drive/stick instead of a cd which gives you faster speed whenever the os needs to inflate a compressed program. Unless your doing intensive things such as programming large databases or editing video it will probably suit your needs though and save you a TON of hair pulling.
 
Old 11-13-2005, 06:48 PM   #4
J.W.
LQ Veteran
 
Registered: Mar 2003
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Distribution: Mint
Posts: 6,642

Rep: Reputation: 69
The ability to boot from a USB device will depend on your BIOS. Check to see if USB is listed as a boot option; if so, move it to the top, and you should be able to boot Linux. As RRepster mentioned though, using a Live CD is probably a simpler and easier option
 
Old 11-14-2005, 04:33 AM   #5
samgu3990
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Nov 2005
Posts: 6

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
yeah,my bios can reconise the USB drives and it is possible to boot from my usb disk but could anyone tell me more specifically how to install linux on the usb drives?i got slackware 10.1
 
Old 11-15-2005, 07:01 AM   #6
morpix
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Nov 2005
Posts: 7

Rep: Reputation: 0
hi
i am not an expert an i have the same ploblem
in some tread i have learn about a kernel problem
slax is a good distro....... i know well but the initrd dont initialize your root device well
try searching about a forum member called 4partee
he tried the same thing with succes


Morpix


i suggest you to use in your usb hd with 2 installation
a slax live
a real slackware installation
 
Old 11-22-2005, 02:24 PM   #7
mjrdzine
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Texas
Distribution: Suse 8.2x
Posts: 11

Rep: Reputation: 0
I recently installed Suse 10 on a 40gig USB drive. The Suse install routine even suggested to partition and install to the USB drive, since it was empty, rather than the main NTFS formated HD. As was mentioned above, you need to set up your bios with the USB as secondary boot, with your CD/DVD being your 1st boot device. Every thing should go fine. BTW, Suse 10 seems to support a vast array of hardware that previously were unsupported.
 
Old 11-23-2005, 07:49 PM   #8
RRepster
Member
 
Registered: Dec 2002
Location: aksarben
Distribution: Several
Posts: 116

Rep: Reputation: 15
interesting. you were able to install right to the usb drive no differently than any other drive eh? It must be booting the usb modules first. That is impressive that they thought about that. I found Suse 10 to be unstable with my ATI Radeon X300. I could get the driver installed but x would intermitently crash. (was the eval version). Ubuntu 5.10 has been running rock solid though.
 
Old 11-25-2005, 02:30 PM   #9
james419
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Oct 2005
Location: Berwyn Heights, MD
Posts: 5

Rep: Reputation: 0
Installing linux on USB drives is becomming more common. Sometimes in order to boot it will be necessary to generate a new initrd.img file to include the force installation of the necessary USB drivers. Different distros will work some what differently. If you do a google search on the distribution you select you will find lots of information that is useful. I presently have several USB drives with linux on them. The distros I have on USB drives at present are : SUSE 10, Mandriva 2006, PCLinuxOS .92, SimplyMepis 3.4-1.1rc, Fedora Core 3 & 4, Kanotix and Sarge. With these I can give some suggestions if needed. Of all of them SimplyMepis 3.4 was the easiest to use- it installed a correct initrd.img. No extra work was required.

Note as long as your computer can be set to boot from a USB hard drive you only need to install the linux bootloader on the USB drive not your main drive. When the USB drive is not connected or turned off your computer will the boot from your main drive.

Good luck

Jim
 
Old 11-28-2005, 02:20 AM   #10
RRepster
Member
 
Registered: Dec 2002
Location: aksarben
Distribution: Several
Posts: 116

Rep: Reputation: 15
interesting

interesting. I'd like info on how to install simply mepis to a usb drive without effecting my internal.
 
Old 11-28-2005, 06:14 AM   #11
aikempshall
Member
 
Registered: Nov 2003
Location: Bristol, Britain
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 387

Rep: Reputation: 40
I've installed slackware 10.0 onto an external 20gb USB drive and subsequently upgraded to 10.1 and 10.2. Search this site for aikempshall for more info. Before starting you need to know the concepts of amending, compiling and installing a new kernel. Building an initrd and a boot CD and the possiblility of overwriting the boot sector on your internal hard drive thus temporarily stopping access to windows. So if you are comfortable with this proceed.

Basically how I would approach the problem is
Install slackware onto the USB drive;
without rebooting compile the kernel to generate the required modules;
create the initrd image with the required modules;
create a boot cd, with the kernel and initrd;
test to ensure that you can boot from the cd;
do the lilo/grub business so that you can boot into slackware from the USB drive. This is the fun bit as if you're not carefu you will overwrite the boot sector of your internal hard drive. If this happens get a live distro with testdrive-static so that you can recreate the win boot thingy on the internal hard drive.
Probably a good day's work here if everything goes to plan - well worth it in the end though.


As you give no indication as to wishing to move to Linux I suggest you use knoppix, 30 minutes effort to get up an running storing your mail box, documents and programs if you intend to write them. When you've some confidence with Linux and found your way around try the above
 
Old 11-28-2005, 10:58 AM   #12
RRepster
Member
 
Registered: Dec 2002
Location: aksarben
Distribution: Several
Posts: 116

Rep: Reputation: 15
who you talking to?

Not sure who you're talking to but I've used Slackware since version 8 and on the "big rig" computer in basement I currently use Ubuntu 5.10 64 bit. I've just been curious about usb drive booting for use with my very finicky laptop. I like XEphem and Xplns for astronomy use. But sadly the whole idea I've found by using SlaxLive is moot because of lack of power management under linux with this laptop so it saps battery life too fast to be useful under the stars.
 
Old 11-28-2005, 04:59 PM   #13
aikempshall
Member
 
Registered: Nov 2003
Location: Bristol, Britain
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 387

Rep: Reputation: 40
samgu3990 who started this thread!
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
umount the usb hardisk bxr1981 Red Hat 1 08-17-2005 05:11 AM
installing from hardisk javedakhtar Red Hat 5 07-26-2005 05:33 AM
usb 2.0 auxilary hardisk problems mshahwan Linux - Hardware 1 06-12-2005 05:49 AM
How to mount USB hardisk? cn_chopsticks Linux - Newbie 10 05-22-2005 05:03 PM
How to mount USB hardisk? cn_chopsticks Linux - Software 5 05-22-2005 02:55 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:34 PM.

Main Menu
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
identi.ca: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration