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I'm about to install ubuntu onto my thumbdrive, and want to run ubuntu 12.1 from this thumbdrive. I have made a list of steps and would like to know if they're correct. If any of them are incorrect please correct that step as answer. 1. download ubuntu and save it onto my harddrive as an iso file. I'm confused about how to save it as an iso. 2. Then turn off my computer and turn it back on. 3. From the dos menu, press f2 or f12 and tell the computer to boot from the usb. 4. then install linux.

I'm running an Asus laptop. With an intel core tm15 It also has windows 8 beta with an option between windows 7. if any of my information is incorrect please tell me. Thank you for your kindness and patience

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I'm confused. Do you intend to keep your Ubuntu installation on your flash drive, or install Ubuntu to your hard drive? – Josh Jan 10 '13 at 2:40
install it on my flashdrive – user116943 Jan 10 '13 at 3:05
Do you want to truly install or just run a live usb? – Josh Jan 10 '13 at 3:14
I want it on my thumbdrive to were I can run it, like a normal system. – user116943 Jan 10 '13 at 3:15
up vote 1 down vote accepted

First I must warn you: on the average thumb drive, Ubuntu will run VERY SLOWLY the way you wish to install it. It is also likely that you will run out of space very quickly (I happen to have installed and attempted to use Ubuntu in this very same way once).

Ok, so the first thing you need is two thumb drives (yes, two): one to run as a live usb and one to install onto (this one will need to be at least 5 GB).

So first, create an Ubuntu live usb on the first flash drive. Plug both flash drives into your computer and boot to the one that is the live usb (if you can't determine which that is, pull out the one that isn't and then plug it back in once you have booted).

Once the live usb boots, click "Install Ubuntu." On the screen asking you to choose to overwrite your current os, install Ubuntu alongside it, or something else, choose something else. This will bring you to a tool which you can use to dedicate partitions to specific purposes in Ubuntu.

Your hard drive is shown automatically. First make sure that none of these partitions are marked "swap." This happened to me and I lost the swap on my regular Ubuntu installation. Select your thumb drive that you would like to install to from the devices menu. There should be just one big partition on it. Shrink this partition by no more than 1 GB. Then, mark the big partition as the root partition and the small partition as the swap partition.

With that done, click continue or next or whatever the button is (sorry, I'm not looking at it right now) and continue with the installation as you would normally.

The installer will do the rest of the work after you input just a little more information. It will install Ubuntu onto your flash drive.

However, as I stated above, this will run very slowly and run out of space quickly, no matter how good the computer you are using it on is. I recommend simply making this flash drive into an Ubuntu live usb with the biggest persistence file possible, you should be able to run fine off of that, but a flash drive is still slower than a hard drive.

I also must include one more warning: this means that your installation is potentially going to be used on multiple machines, so if one specific machine needs something else to run (I am thinking of drivers) Ubuntu, it may render the installation unusable for any machine except the one you installed drivers for.

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Can I use a portable harddrive? – user116943 Jan 10 '13 at 4:15
With the same process? – user116943 Jan 10 '13 at 4:16
Yes. This should perform better, especially if it is able to take advantage of USB 3.0. However, with this, my last warning still applies. – Josh Jan 10 '13 at 4:17
Okay can I write over the hard drive with Ubuntu? – user116943 Jan 11 '13 at 3:12

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