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Old 01-07-2007, 05:24 AM   #1
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install linux from usb device?

ok i want to try a few different linux distros without having to burn each one to a dvd so is it possible to install linux from usb device e.g. usb memory stick or mp3 player?

thanks for help
Old 01-07-2007, 03:59 PM   #2
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Yeah of course it is, but the memory stick/media player version still have to be booted and your system might not allow that. Have a look at the BIOS, if it looks like it does, then you have to make sure that the BIOS is set to look at connect USB devices for an OS before the hard drives (you'd have to have the BIOS looking at removeable discs before the hard drive in anycase).


Old 01-07-2007, 06:14 PM   #3
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memory stick/media player version still have to be booted
I don't understand that part I would like it to be elaborated. Which condition (to boot/not boot the version) is not favourable for this? and what problems may it cause when attempting to install linux from a usb drive?

Thank you

Last edited by Four; 01-07-2007 at 06:15 PM.
Old 01-08-2007, 11:17 AM   #4
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It's my understanding that with just a linux image on a memory stick or mp3 player is usually connected via USB. Lots of BIOS are capable of booting USB devices, some are not. Similar to some BIOS don't allow booting from CD or DVD, while others will but have been set to boot from hard drive first. If the BIOS doesn't "know" to look for bootable USB devices, then it's not gonna look for them is it. Likewise if the BIOS isn't capable of booting from a USB device then again it ain't gonna boot from a USB device etc etc.

It's not something I've ever bothered to look into as when I first played with Linux (about 5 or so years ago) USB still had quite a lot of "teething problems" (TBA it could be a complete PITA). So I try to avoid it (habit) and run my printers and other peripherals via ethernet.

Plus, at initial boot stage (if I understood correctly when I was last reading about this) "it" won't, unless it knows to, look for USB devices.

Confirmation of how this is actually done is just a google away. It'd be better to check there as I couldn't say how easy/difficult this might be.



edit: just had a quick google myself and this was the first hit. Sure it's refering to knoppix, but if knoppix can be booted from a memory stick then I'd guess it's "doable" for other distros

Last edited by bigjohn; 01-08-2007 at 11:19 AM.


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