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All I want to do is, install ubuntu onto a pendrive, so that I don't need to use my internal HDD. Another motto is to install packages on Ubuntu, in pendrive(so I don't want to use the 'live pendrive' thing)

I installed it on the pendrive, and selected the boot installation to dev/sdd1. But when I boot the pendrive, it says 'Missing Operating System'

Also, one more question, can the same pendrive be booted on any other computer?

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To install ubuntu on a external HDD/pendrive(more than 4Gb) you can either use the method explained by @Liang or proceed just as you would for a normal installation but partitioning the pendrive as you would with your internal HDD and choosing to install the bootloader to your pendrive (not internal hdd).

Yes, you can boot from any computer which bios allows booting from USB.

I did this 2 years ago with a 32Gb pendrive and I have a couple of advices:

  • You should be careful with installing proprietary drivers, they might not be well accepted when you boot from an other computer.
  • Be careful with updates. When I was using this, I did some updates that erased my grub from the usb and installed the new version in the internal HDD. I don't remember all the details about this but it messed up all my pendrive, specialy because I didn't know what I was doing when trying to fixed it. So my advice is, if you need updates, remove your internal HDD.
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There are numerous way to install Ubuntu on a pendrive. It depends on which platform you are using as your host now.

For windows, visit this link and follow the tutorial carefully, it should work for you and it's very simple.

For Ubuntu: you may simply search "usb creator gtk" in the software center. This package is simple and you should easily complete your task without any help.

For other distribution: I recommend the tool "live usb install", you may simply Google it.

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Dude, but how do I store my files on the pendrive??? – Sameer Thigale Nov 22 '12 at 5:09
It's easy and quite the same in the three tools above.For example, in live-usb-install, check the "Persistent documents and settings".Check it out yourself and enjoy it~ – Liang Tingbin Nov 22 '12 at 5:57
Nope. My files are not getting stored on the pendrive :( – Sameer Thigale Nov 22 '12 at 6:20
I'd set the persistent size to 3 GB. My pendrive is 4GB – Sameer Thigale Nov 22 '12 at 6:21
REPLY PLEASE :D – Sameer Thigale Nov 23 '12 at 10:57

My advice is to use a pendrive with at least 30 gb of memory and use the lili (linux live usb installer) and as for the system it requires about 4,4 gb of memory u will rest with 25,6 gb and all of that u should make it persistent mode so that u could install drivers and make updates to your ubuntu pendrive and using it as another system just by simply conecting it to your pc ,but remember if u don't use the persistant mode u will not be able to use ubuntu as u would like to .

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  1. If you have a windows ... download ubuntu iso , create ubuntu live cd , put pendrive to usb port , boot live ubuntu cd ( test ubuntu)
  2. search application: Startup Disk Creator , create usb boot pendrive ,
  3. reboot ubuntu , boot from usb
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