dual boot, on a flash drive?

Discussion in 'Linux Compatibility and Software' started by nailbeeer, Feb 21, 2009.

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  1. nailbeeer

    nailbeeer Notebook Enthusiast

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    just wondering, is it possible to put multiple OS installs on a single USB flash drive, and maybe still have space for files on it, as well? mine is 16gb. but also, i don't know how to install an OS onto a flash drive. i ordered an eee 901, it should come next week sometime, and i want to experiment with different kinds of linux and gain experience with that, of which i have absolutely none of atm.

    do you need to partition the drive, and is that even possible on a flash drive? does it need to be completely clear of everything else to install an OS?
     
  2. ALLurGroceries

    ALLurGroceries http://chromebookbuyer.com Super Moderator

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    Yes, you can partition a USB stick and boot multiple OSes off of it. You can probably fit 2 or 3 full linux distributions on 16GB depending on which you choose. Good luck :)

    Whether you clear it entirely or not is your choice, you can either resize the existing partition(s) or start fresh.
     
  3. nailbeeer

    nailbeeer Notebook Enthusiast

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    how do you partition a flash drive, and, er, how do you install an OS in it?
     
  4. ALLurGroceries

    ALLurGroceries http://chromebookbuyer.com Super Moderator

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    It's easy to resize/repartition from the linux installer.... installing the OS is a bit of a different story, that'll be dependent on which you want to install... A good place to start is pendrive linux

    Note that there's a lot of guides there for installing FROM usb, you want to install TO usb, so make sure to keep that in mind...
     
  5. nailbeeer

    nailbeeer Notebook Enthusiast

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    so if find something to install from, when i start installing it is there an option to select which drive to install to, or what partition?
     
  6. ALLurGroceries

    ALLurGroceries http://chromebookbuyer.com Super Moderator

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    Yes, the installers differ between linux distributions, but most allow you to resize partitions. All of them have a partitioning step where you create and set the mount points of the partitions. It's important to make sure you are partitioning the USB stick and not your internal hard disk, but beyond that it's pretty straightforward. There are loads of tutorials on that site I linked and others. It'll require a bit of reading no matter what distro you choose.
     
  7. nailbeeer

    nailbeeer Notebook Enthusiast

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    awesome, thanks for the help, guess i've got some reading to do.
     
  8. ALLurGroceries

    ALLurGroceries http://chromebookbuyer.com Super Moderator

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    Yeah, post back if you have a specific problem, somebody here will help! Good luck ;)
     
  9. kingbob

    kingbob Notebook Evangelist

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    I am trying to determine if my pc will boot from a usb drive. I plugged in an empty usb drive, restarted, entered bios, and I am still only showing three boot devices, cd/dvd, hdd, and gasp, floppy drive. No usb option. Am I correct in assuming that booting from usb in not an option on my pc, or is there another way to check it? Thanks. I had hoped to try running Linux from a usb drive to test it out as the live cd is so slow that it is almost unusable.
     
  10. ALLurGroceries

    ALLurGroceries http://chromebookbuyer.com Super Moderator

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    Hmm... it should show 'removable devices' in your boot order or somesuch, if not, you probably can't boot from USB. That'd have to be an older machine, you might try looking for a BIOS update.
     
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