Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have no hard drive installed, Only USB thumb drive. Will this be a problem?

share|improve this question
up vote 12 down vote accepted

It will work just fine. I've often used it as a tool to diagnose computers with hard drives that have quit working.

If you want to save stuff, you could plug in a thumb drive or a USB hard drive and save it to that. A thumb drive will show up just like it would on a normal Ubuntu install.

Another option if you want persistence is to make a LiveUSB drive with Ubuntu's startup disk creator and use the option to have persistence.

share|improve this answer
Exactly, just what I needed. So the system would be running 2GB ram and run a live USB with persistence, lets say 8gb thumbdrive. Would this work. IYO – Ringtail Feb 14 '12 at 1:56
Should work just fine. Do note that persistence doesn't seem to store things like packages installed. It just seems to keep stuff in the home folder. – Azendale Feb 14 '12 at 4:06

As long as you have RAM go for it, a LiveCD does not need a hard disk or even a writable media installed to run properly.

share|improve this answer
is 2GB enough to run Natty – Ringtail Feb 14 '12 at 2:05
2GB is enough. The whole Ubuntu install is 2GB as far as I know, and you won't be needing all that at once, so yeah. – Ruben Bakker Feb 14 '12 at 16:47

It should work fine, I've used a live CD on machines with totally broken hard drives with no problem.

If you want persistence you'll need to boot off a USB key instead of a CD.

share|improve this answer
This would be a good thing. Is there a persistence while using the CD/DVD – Ringtail Feb 14 '12 at 1:49
The CD will be mounted read-only, so no. Any changes are lost on reboot. – Caesium Feb 14 '12 at 14:53

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.