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Is is possible to do a normal install to a usb key, but place swap partition on internal hard drive?

My Lenovo laptop has 4 primary partitions including 2 recovery. I want to do the above so that I don't wear out my USB.

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Yes, this is certainly possible but I don't know how you'll create an extended part. on your HDD since you already have 4 primary partitions.


  1. Install Ubuntu normally on USB, manually partition, skip creating swap, boot from USB.
  2. Use sudo mkswap /dev/sdX to create swap on hard drive.
  3. Edit /etc/fstab to include the swap partition and automount it.
  4. Use swapon to turn it on.
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Why not try without the swap? If your computer is not too old it should work fine. – Ramon Suarez Aug 2 '12 at 8:42
@RamonSuarez: that's a... "lifestyle" choice ;) – izx Aug 2 '12 at 8:43
Yes, correction--I have 3 primary partitions, and one extended. True, I am not sure if I can actually make the logical ext4 on one of the extended. – Steve Aug 2 '12 at 8:47
@Steve: In that case, as long as there is enough free space on the extended partition, Ubuntu will be able to perfectly install dual-boot in there, including any swap partitions. Problem solved, no USB needed :) – izx Aug 2 '12 at 8:50
thanks izx--I actually tried that, but for some reason I was only given the choice of overwriting windows or "something else"-- but perhaps I should try again, with the "something else" option. – Steve Aug 2 '12 at 9:04

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