Install to jump drive?

Mikkel L. Ellertson mikkel at
Sun Feb 3 19:41:34 UTC 2008

Knute Johnson wrote:
> Can anybody explain to me in terms that a Linux blivet can 
> understand, why you can't do a regular install to a USB jump drive?
> Thanks very much,
 From what I remember, you have to use the expert mode to install to 
a USB storage device. I didn't check when I did the install of F8, 
but with earlier versions, the installer would not see the USB drive 
in the normal install mode.

It sort of makes sense, because you have to know a bit more to do a 
USB install. If you are going to boot from the USB drive, using the 
BIOS option to boot from a USB drive, then you have to tell Grub 
that the drive will be hd0 when you boot, even though it will be 
some other drive during the install. This is because most BIOSs will 
map the internal drive(s) before the USB drives when booting from 
anything but the USB drive.

You may also run into problem of shortened life on the jump drive 
with a normal install. (There has been a lot of debate on how much 
of a factor that will be.)

As another option, you can install a live CD image to a jump drive. 
I don't have the link handy that gives the detailed instructions. It 
gives you the advantage of lower ware on the jump drive. You can 
also install to a smaller drive, because of the compressed file 
system used in the live CDs. The disadvantage is that you have a 
hard time updating or adding packages.


   Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons,
for thou art crunchy and taste good with Ketchup!

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