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Old 06-03-2018, 08:28 PM   #1
enginestar
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How fast is Linux on USB vs hard drive? + Updating apps on USB + Dropbox on USB?


OK... so must be slower.

Assuming you have USB 3, how much slower is it than...

- Normal HD
- SSD HD

I looked at Tails... you run off USB only... looks intriguing. I'll definitely give it a try. If running on USB, can I have Dropbox??

ALSO... just thought of another question...
I'm trying Mint Linux. Looks amazing. But some apps are out of date - like Firefox and Gimp.

Can I update these apps on the USB? Or is it read only?
Do I have to make some of the USB persistent to be able to update?

Thanks.
 
Old 06-04-2018, 03:49 AM   #2
aragorn2101
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That's a very interesting question.

As far as I know, SSD should be faster than USB 3.0, but I wonder for SATA.

So, please do give it a try and tell us about your findings.
 
Old 06-04-2018, 06:11 AM   #3
RockDoctor
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I run a full install of Ubuntu Mate off a 64 GB USB3 flash drive on my HP Stream 11 (Celeron N2840, 2GB RAM) and kept Windows on the 32 GB eMMC. Large updates are slow, but I find the speed is quite adequate for normal operation.
 
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Old 06-04-2018, 04:03 PM   #4
ondoho
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i don't think even usb 3 can be faster than a normal spinning hard drive, but don't know from experience.

aside: many live distros load the whole OS into RAM, and run from there. that is blazing fast, and it is NOT running from USB!!!
 
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Old 06-04-2018, 06:52 PM   #5
jefro
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The secret is to get a very fast USB drive or usb ssd. On most systems you will not notice it usually on common desktop uses. I like the Sandisk top models but the faster ones tend to be the ones rated for windows to go. (they are not cheap)

A tip or trick that might be used is to compress the drive in the way live systems do. It has a way of making it seem faster on system that have computational surplus.
 
Old 06-05-2018, 02:51 AM   #6
_roman_
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I do make my backups on USB.

please note

USB 3.0 + uasp protocol supported by the external case (around 12 euros when i bought it)

SSD + right alignment + proper file system

--

some SSD are faster than others. I am unable to proper align the SANDISK one which I have. other work flawless with the same settings. I use several 120GB SSDs from different manufacturers, all with the same settings. The only difference is the human readable lvm names for the different lvm2 specific things
 
Old 06-05-2018, 02:43 PM   #7
AwesomeMachine
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USB flash drives are considerably slower than USB 2.0 max speed. So it doesn't matter which USB interface you use with them. Flash drives are considerably slower than HDDs, but not as slow as CD/DVDs. SSDs are much faster than anything previously mentioned.
 
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Old 06-05-2018, 03:10 PM   #8
jefro
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"Can I update these apps on the USB? Or is it read only?
Do I have to make some of the USB persistent to be able to update?"

The best way to make a usb is a correct install like one would do for a hard drive. Some files can be adjusted or modified on live or live plus persistence however you can't get into the basic linux files on the squashfs as it will be read only. The squashfs is a compressed virtual file system.

USB 3 on a very fast flash drive is about the same speed in real terms as a laptop mechanical drive I'd guess. USB's seem to suffer on a combination read and write operation.

Millions of folks I'd guess use a usb flash drive linux every day.

Last edited by jefro; 06-05-2018 at 06:56 PM.
 
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Old 06-05-2018, 06:02 PM   #9
enginestar
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@jefro, very education.
i installed elementary OS and tried out. (i hated how it felt - i didn't like the mac feel at all. and it was lacking many basic keyboard shortcuts i use all the time in windows - like ctrl tab and moving between tabs and pressing alt+d to get to an address bar.)

i tried installing a few things like libreoffice. worked ok. but i couldn't remove.
i installed dropbox and ran. worked nicely.

i used etcher to burn the image. i didn't specifiy anywhere about a persistent part - i guess it was built in?

i also tried updating the OS. it threw some errors and wouldn't allow.

are all linux like this? will find out in due course anyway - i'll be installing and uninstalling loads. but would be greatful for a headsup anyway - save some time finding out.
 
Old 06-05-2018, 06:59 PM   #10
jefro
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Etcher is a live to usb not a real install exactly unless they changed it.

Etcher like other programs allow a user to easily take some .iso images and place them on a usb drive and even add in for uefi.
 
Old 06-05-2018, 07:04 PM   #11
dolphin_oracle
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with antiX running in ram and root persistence file in ram, the only thing "slow" is initial boot, and even then I'm not so sure my USB3 live sticks aren't just a little faster than my spinning laptop hard drive. its not going to beat a fast internal ssd.

I even run virtualbox off the antiX live-USB, steam games, and live streams on youtube. I can't speak for other linux versions, but its possible to do whatever you want off a liveUSB. (I usually don't even bother to actually do an antiX install, just run live all the time.
 
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