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usb drive install & boot?

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patseguin    1,313

I used to be a fairly heavy Linux user years ago. I used make my own custom kernels with Gentoo. I'm interested in testing the waters with Linux again. I just want to see if I can install it on a USB 3.0 drive that I have and boot off of that. I have a modern mobo with a coffee lake CPU, so it can boot from external drives obviously. I just can't find a definitive answer on whether or not I can install a distro and boot off the drive. I don't really want to use a VM, I want the full experience.

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Nick H.    9,829

Yep, you can. You can download an application like Rufus, download the ISO for the distribution that you want and install it to the USB. I know that Ubuntu and Mint will then send you to a live desktop so you can have a look around. There was a way that you could even create a persistence file on the USB key so that you could save files and settings to the live USB key, although I can't find those options at the moment. They might be available in UNetbootin, I haven't thought about it since I decided to go dedicated and I installed Mint to the computer.

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DaveLegg    1,000

I was installing centos on a machine at work yesterday, and it picked up the USB drive as a potential location to install to, so I would imagine the answer is yes

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patseguin    1,313
2 minutes ago, Nick H. said:

Yep, you can. You can download an application like Rufus, download the ISO for the distribution that you want and install it to the USB. I know that Ubuntu and Mint will then send you to a live desktop so you can have a look around. There was a way that you could even create a persistence file on the USB key so that you could save files and settings to the live USB key, although I can't find those options at the moment. They might be available in UNetbootin, I haven't thought about it since I decided to go dedicated and I installed Mint to the computer.

Maybe I wasn't totally clear. I want to actually install the full system to an external hard drive. Not one of those live installs on a USB flash drive. I did download KDE neon and used Rufus to make flash drive to boot from because I figured I needed to boot from that in order to install the system somewhere. MY computer won't even boot from it even though the flash drive is set as my first boot option.

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adrynalyne    12,105
13 minutes ago, patseguin said:

Maybe I wasn't totally clear. I want to actually install the full system to an external hard drive. Not one of those live installs on a USB flash drive. I did download KDE neon and used Rufus to make flash drive to boot from because I figured I needed to boot from that in order to install the system somewhere. MY computer won't even boot from it even though the flash drive is set as my first boot option.

Not sure what the issue is with your machine but yes. You can do what you are asking. 
 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.tecmint.com/install-linux-os-on-usb-drive/amp/

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Nick H.    9,829
13 minutes ago, patseguin said:

Maybe I wasn't totally clear. I want to actually install the full system to an external hard drive. Not one of those live installs on a USB flash drive. I did download KDE neon and used Rufus to make flash drive to boot from because I figured I needed to boot from that in order to install the system somewhere. MY computer won't even boot from it even though the flash drive is set as my first boot option.

Oh right, my fault. :laugh:

 

Yeah, I don't see why you wouldn't be able to. I wonder why it doesn't boot from the flash drive?

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patseguin    1,313
28 minutes ago, Nick H. said:

Oh right, my fault. :laugh:

 

Yeah, I don't see why you wouldn't be able to. I wonder why it doesn't boot from the flash drive?

Not sure. I seem to remember something about it won't do that when you have an m2 boot drive? Anyways, I finally remembered that F8 brought up the boot options. I selected the flash drive and booted to KDE and then installed to my external hard drive and I have it installed and am running it as I type this. Only thing that doesn't work is this software updater. I got a message that updates are available. It launches "Discover" and says fetching updates for a second and then crashes and quits. Tried it about 10 times so far.

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+BudMan    3,533

Not sure I would call installing to an external the "full" experience... What sort of performance are you getting read/write to the drive.. If slow that could drastically reduce the overall performance and "experience" ;)

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Mindovermaster    2,121
25 minutes ago, patseguin said:

Not sure. I seem to remember something about it won't do that when you have an m2 boot drive? Anyways, I finally remembered that F8 brought up the boot options. I selected the flash drive and booted to KDE and then installed to my external hard drive and I have it installed and am running it as I type this. Only thing that doesn't work is this software updater. I got a message that updates are available. It launches "Discover" and says fetching updates for a second and then crashes and quits. Tried it about 10 times so far.

What distro are you running? You mention you used to run Gentoo...

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Unobscured Vision    2,667

Yeah, shouldn't be much of an issue. Might run into some quirks requiring a workaround here and there but no showstoppers. That's all I foresee happening.

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patseguin    1,313
On 10/5/2019 at 9:10 AM, Mindovermaster said:

What distro are you running? You mention you used to run Gentoo...

I installed KDE Plasma to try out. It has this updater app that tells me updates are available and it just crashes. I'm probably going to delete that and try another one. Maybe Linux Mint. I don't have the knowledge or patience to build a Gentoo kernel like I used to. I'm very much into eye candy so I' was looking at the best looking Linux systems. KDE PLasma runs great and has lots of visual flare without performance suffering. However, this updater thing crashing means I'll never get system updates. Even if they fix the bug, how would I get the update?

 

@BudManI just wanted a better experience than installing it in a VM. I wanted a dual boot so I can use either my Win 10 system or a Linux system. I wasn't expecting Linux to be anywhere near as fast as my Win 10 running on a 970 Pro m2, but it runs pretty darned good on this external USB 3.0 hard drive. If I decide I want to keep Linux as a permanent option, I might throw a cheap SSD in my rig and install it there.

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Mindovermaster    2,121
9 minutes ago, patseguin said:

I installed KDE Plasma to try out. It has this updater app that tells me updates are available and it just crashes. I'm probably going to delete that and try another one. Maybe Linux Mint. I don't have the knowledge or patience to build a Gentoo kernel like I used to. I'm very much into eye candy so I' was looking at the best looking Linux systems. KDE PLasma runs great and has lots of visual flare without performance suffering. However, this updater thing crashing means I'll never get system updates. Even if they fix the bug, how would I get the update?

I thought KDE Plasma is just a DE, not a distro...

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+BudMan    3,533
38 minutes ago, patseguin said:

I just wanted a better experience than installing it in a VM

Your vm would of been running off your m2, if your cpu is decent - the vm should be pretty much just as fast as your host OS..   Dual booting is pretty much a bygone method of testing stuff to be honest.. Other than wanting to validate the OS your wanting to test actually supports the hardware your going to run it on for drivers, etc.

 

With a vm, you have access to both OSes at the same time - way better for testing out stuff, etc.  Put the vm up on 2nd monitor and you pretty much have 2 OSes at your disposal with just moving your mouse between the monitors ;)

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adrynalyne    12,105
1 hour ago, Mindovermaster said:

I thought KDE Plasma is just a DE, not a distro...

Perhaps he meant KDE neon. 

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patseguin    1,313
5 hours ago, adrynalyne said:

Perhaps he meant KDE neon. 

Yep, sorry. I like everything about it except for the crashing update app.

 

@BudManyeah I guess I'm still stuck in a time where you had to boot into an os natively in order to get the best experience. Still though, I tried a couple distros in vm's a few months ago and it just didn't feel great. I'd have to figure out how to get VMware tools to install and even then, it would use a virtual display adapter, not my 1080.

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adrynalyne    12,105
18 minutes ago, patseguin said:

Yep, sorry. I like everything about it except for the crashing update app.

 

@BudManyeah I guess I'm still stuck in a time where you had to boot into an os natively in order to get the best experience. Still though, I tried a couple distros in vm's a few months ago and it just didn't feel great. I'd have to figure out how to get VMware tools to install and even then, it would use a virtual display adapter, not my 1080.

KDE neon is pretty bleeding edge for KDE. You might be better off trying Manjaro. 

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patseguin    1,313
14 minutes ago, adrynalyne said:

KDE neon is pretty bleeding edge for KDE. You might be better off trying Manjaro. 

Bleeding is good, no? Or do you mean bleeding edge so it's buggy? Everything seems good except for the crashing update app. I'm not even sure how I'd update that when they fix it. Do Linux distros release single app updates?

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+BudMan    3,533

What are you using for your hypervisor?  vmware workstation supports gpu passthru I do believe.. And I believe there is support on virtualbox and hyper-v as well.. Not sure if your machine and video card and linux os selection will work, etc.  But yes many things have changed ;)

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adrynalyne    12,105
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, patseguin said:

Bleeding is good, no? Or do you mean bleeding edge so it's buggy? Everything seems good except for the crashing update app. I'm not even sure how I'd update that when they fix it. Do Linux distros release single app updates?

Bleeding edge also means it hasn't been tested as much. Manjaro is bleeding edge, but there is likely more testing to KDE than neon. As for your second question, not really. You can pick and choose, though I daresay most people take the whole bundle.

 

49 minutes ago, BudMan said:

What are you using for your hypervisor?  vmware workstation supports gpu passthru I do believe.. And I believe there is support on virtualbox and hyper-v as well.. Not sure if your machine and video card and linux os selection will work, etc.  But yes many things have changed ;)

Unless using one of Microsoft's enhanced Ubuntu sessions or console only...Hyper-V is utter shite for Linux performance.

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+BudMan    3,533

Hyper-V may be ###### for linux guests - my point was that many hypervisors support gpu passthru so the vm has use of the gpu.

 

If you do want true testing of the OS on you hardware, then just boot it from a parition/disk in your system - best would be yes fast ssd.  If your complaint in using VM for testing is that not true representation of how it will perform on the hardware. I don't see how trying to run the os off a external usb disk is going to be valid testing.

 

While the performance of external usb has come a long way, the drives normally used are not speed demons by any means of the imagination. And then you have the extra issue of anything else using the usb bus can hinder performance as well.  Even if the top speed of the usb connection is faster than what the drive can actual do.  There are many other factors that can come into play.

 

The smaller sized ssd prices have come way down.. You could get a decent say 128/256GB ssd to play with for such testing..  Under a 100 for sure.. Shoot even say the 970 evo pro 500  m.2 is right around the 100 mark.

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patseguin    1,313

Here's an issue I have now. It installed Grub on my main m2 drive, which is fine because it gave me boot options for windows or Linux. However, last night I did a reboot and didn't bring up the boot menu but just a blank screen with a Grub command prompt. I hard rebooted and the boot menu came up but it wouldn't let me select a boot option and just defaulted to Linux. Is there an easy fix? Maybe I should just restore the MBR and just forget about Linux...

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adrynalyne    12,105
Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, BudMan said:

Hyper-V may be ###### for linux guests - my point was that many hypervisors support gpu passthru so the vm has use of the gpu.

 

If you do want true testing of the OS on you hardware, then just boot it from a parition/disk in your system - best would be yes fast ssd.  If your complaint in using VM for testing is that not true representation of how it will perform on the hardware. I don't see how trying to run the os off a external usb disk is going to be valid testing.

 

While the performance of external usb has come a long way, the drives normally used are not speed demons by any means of the imagination. And then you have the extra issue of anything else using the usb bus can hinder performance as well.  Even if the top speed of the usb connection is faster than what the drive can actual do.  There are many other factors that can come into play.

 

The smaller sized ssd prices have come way down.. You could get a decent say 128/256GB ssd to play with for such testing..  Under a 100 for sure.. Shoot even say the 970 evo pro 500  m.2 is right around the 100 mark.

I was just pointing it out in the event @patseguin decided to try it. If he wants a good experience, Hyper-V isn’t where it’s at. 

40 minutes ago, patseguin said:

Here's an issue I have now. It installed Grub on my main m2 drive, which is fine because it gave me boot options for windows or Linux. However, last night I did a reboot and didn't bring up the boot menu but just a blank screen with a Grub command prompt. I hard rebooted and the boot menu came up but it wouldn't let me select a boot option and just defaulted to Linux. Is there an easy fix? Maybe I should just restore the MBR and just forget about Linux...

I would have installed grub to the flash drive.

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Brandon H    3,019
2 hours ago, patseguin said:

Here's an issue I have now. It installed Grub on my main m2 drive, which is fine because it gave me boot options for windows or Linux. However, last night I did a reboot and didn't bring up the boot menu but just a blank screen with a Grub command prompt. I hard rebooted and the boot menu came up but it wouldn't let me select a boot option and just defaulted to Linux. Is there an easy fix? Maybe I should just restore the MBR and just forget about Linux...

to get around this issue I used to install a linux entry directly on the windows boot loader with EasyBCD.

 

GRUB is nice but the windows boot loader is superior IMO so going this route seems a bit easier and more stable to me. This way with Win8/10 you still get the advanced menu if you ever still need it too.

 

https://askubuntu.com/questions/139966/how-can-i-add-an-entry-for-ubuntu-to-the-windows-7-boot-menu (was written in windows 7 time but process hasn't changed; it still works beautifully)

https://neosmart.net/wiki/easybcd/basics/adding-entries/

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+BudMan    3,533
4 minutes ago, adrynalyne said:

If he wants a good experience, Hyper-V isn’t where it’s at. 

Not a fan myself, either ;)

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patseguin    1,313
2 hours ago, Brandon H said:

to get around this issue I used to install a linux entry directly on the windows boot loader with EasyBCD.

 

GRUB is nice but the windows boot loader is superior IMO so going this route seems a bit easier and more stable to me. This way with Win8/10 you still get the advanced menu if you ever still need it too.

 

https://askubuntu.com/questions/139966/how-can-i-add-an-entry-for-ubuntu-to-the-windows-7-boot-menu (was written in windows 7 time but process hasn't changed; it still works beautifully)

https://neosmart.net/wiki/easybcd/basics/adding-entries/

I've been away from Linux for so long that I totally forgot it was going to install grub.

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