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

If Ubuntu was installed (full installation) on a USB flash memory, and then tried to boot that flash memory on another PC, will it boot?

I am trying to decide whether to use full installation or use a live cd image with a persistent file.

share|improve this question
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Yes it will boot, the only thing you need to be careful about it installing proprietary drivers, so if you have the Nvidia drivers installed on the USB key and you boot it on a machine with ATI graphics, that likely won't work.

But generally speaking installation to a USB stick should work on most computers out of the box.

share|improve this answer

Other than Windows Ubuntu will detect your hardware on boot, not on installation. Therefore it is possible to install Ubuntu to a portable drive for booting on another machine:

However sometimes there may be issues when the hardware of the target machine needs additional drivers to be installed, or in case you had installed additional drivers for hardware that are not compatible with the target machine.

share|improve this answer

There should also be NO problem if you've got some unique additional drivers. The system will boot anyway.

The only problem (with X) could be when you've forced using some graphical drivers in the OS configuration (e.g. /etc/modules, /etc/X11/xorg.conf).

If you're using common kernel drivers, than there should be no problem at all. I do this regularly.

share|improve this answer

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.