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Author Topic: Problem with running Ubuntu 11.04 from USB?  (Read 1132 times)
StrangeLoop
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July 13, 2011, 02:00:07 PM
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Has anybody else had problems running Ubuntu 11.04 from a USB stick? I'm fairly new to Linux, but I figured I'd familiarize myself with it, learn more about building computers, and mine some bitcoins by setting up a cheap mining rig. I was trying to avoid buying an HDD by using Linux from a USB stick instead, but I've had all kinds of problems trying to get the rig set up software-wise.

I've tried both the 32bit and 64bit desktop versions (on an AMD Athon II X2). And I've used persistence, installed via Unetbootin. It just hasn't been stable at all. Many times, it has started in desktop mode, and then when I reboot, it goes into netbook mode on its own. A few times, the desktop has failed to load at startup and it went straight to the command line. One time, after reboot, the desktop image and color scheme had completely changed to a neon green all on its own. Another time, it starting telling me there was zero disk space when there should have been over 2GB available. And this last time, it started giving me a bus error and input/output errors.

I finally gave up and ordered a hard drive from Newegg. Has anyone else had problems like this running Linux from USB, or do I just fail at Linux?  Embarrassed And any tips on what I'm doing wrong would be appreciated.
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Arius
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July 13, 2011, 02:04:38 PM
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I haven't had any problems at all.  Well, that's not entirely true.  USB read speeds are a lot slower than SATA, so the install takes about an hour.  Here's what I do:  I assemble a new computer, attach a usb cd drive with the Ubuntu install CD, and startup the comp.  I've built 14 computers using this system without a single hitch.  Sounds like you're using a cheap USB thumb drive.  I'm sure I paid too much for mine, but I bought the $35 model.
sgravina
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July 13, 2011, 02:08:33 PM
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I run Ubuntu 11.04 from a USB and it is stable but I had a lot of problems too.  Not as bad as yours.

Rebooting from a USB takes a long time and when you are learning how this works there are a lot of reboots.  I would recommend getting it working form a hard disk first just to save the time rebooting takes.

One problem I had was due to a bad memory stick.  Run the memory test that comes with ubuntu when you get a chance.

The best way I have of installing Ubuntu is to make an install CD from the distribution and install it on the computer that I am using.  I have succesfully cloned my USB sticks but it doesn't always work on a different computer.

Sam
StrangeLoop
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July 13, 2011, 02:44:02 PM
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Interesting. I probably do have a cheapie USB stick (can't remember how much I paid for it). And I've definitely noticed the slow boot times because I have had to reboot a lot, which is where all of these problems came in. I'm going to wait a few days for the hard drive to arrive and give it another shot. Thanks for the tips  Smiley
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