Originally Posted by saikee
The whole idea of not installing a Linux in a pen drive is that it takes too long. So long that one thinks it gets stuck and does not have the patience to see it through. It is so ridiculously slow that it should be immediately apparent that is going to be a bad idea because after the installation the boot up speed is going to be a test of patience too.
Distross that have been successful with putting themselves into a pen drive are those with small footprint and always work as a Live CD or Frugal install (same size as the CD). Puppy is great with 100Mb size but a fully installed Ubuntu can be 3.5Gb.
Thanks for the suggestion. I gave up on Ubuntu and used Puppy for this. Here is what I posted on another forum of how I did it in case someone else is trying to do the same:
Solved, sort of: I'll post here in case another newbie is trying to do the same. Do at your own risk, I'm a newbie.
I bought this cheap ($15) 16GB USB pendrive off of Ebay and thought it would be cool to have Ubuntu installed on it so I can boot other computers; but still be able to use most of the drive to transfer files between Linux and Windows environment.
Ubuntu gave me a lot of problems partitioning the drive as discussed in this thread. Then someone on another forum suggested that Ubuntu is not even a good candidate for this due to it's extensive footprint and to use Puppy Linux. The latest version 5.0.1 "is built from Ubuntu Lucid Lynx binary packages" so I thought it may be the best of both worlds.
Here is what I did:
1- Downloaded the Puppy iso and burned on CD as an image (not data disc)
2- Disconnected the hard drive on the laptop and booted from the CD
3- do not plug the drive in yet
4- pick the keyboard, language and time zone
5- Pick resolution, I picked 1280x800 for my 14 inch Dell 620 and chose what was suggested
6- Once the OS is up plug in the drive
7- go to menu/system/gParted
8-unmount the USB drive and delete all the partitions
9-click apply (top green check mark)
10- right click on the drive and click new
11-leave everything as is except the file system, change that to FAT32
12- Click Add and Apply
13- When done, right click on the drive and click manage flags and check boot for it
14- close Gparted
15- now got to menu/setup/puppy universal installer
16- click OK to the defaults for a few windows
17- when the window for installation comes up, click on the button at the top to install puppy on the sdx1. It gives you the option to start gParted in the lower section and partition the drive but you have already done it.
18- click OK to default chosen options and pick the CD to find the files
19- once done the CD pops out, take it out
20- now go to menu and shut down
21- before the computer shuts down it asks you to save to file
22- chose it, I think this is the persistent option to save your changes in that session (not sure but makes sense)
23- click OK again to defaults
24- I chose EXT2 when given the option for the file
25- I also gave it a name when asked so I could locate the file easily
26- I also used heavy encryption and chose a password in case I lose the USB drive
27- also used the maximum that was given (1.25GB) for the file, I read somewhere not to exceed 1.8GB (later you have an option from one of the menu items to increase the size)
28- Now press SAVE/ENTER only once. I did it twice by accident and it would not boot. I had to start all over again. It does take a while so be patient and don't press any buttons.
29- Once it's done, the computer shuts down.
That's it. I can boot from the USB and save my session with security. I can also plug the drive into a Windows Machine or Linux box (Ubuntu) and use the flash drive to transfer files. I created some folders so they would be separate from Puppy files. It's pretty fast loading up. Love it.