I was just wondering if anyone had a good experience with Ubuntu on a flash drive... I'm installing it right now. I formatted my 16GB flash drive to Ext2 because the default file system is ext4 but that one is journaled and USB flash drives do not like journaling.

I want to use this to learn Java and Ubuntu seems to be a great OS for this. I (obviously) have USB 2.0 ports where I will put the USB in.

How is the boot time of Ubuntu on a USB?


When creating a bootable USB you probably want to give it persistence, meaning your settings and files will be saved between boots. If you don't have this, it completely resets each time. A quick Google search about persistence with a live USB will yield plenty of info. I would also suggest mounting your harddrive when running from the flash drive and saving your files to the harddrive.

Hey and if you really start loving Ubuntu (which you will) consider making your laptop dual-boot. There is also plenty of info on that if you Google it.


If you boot from a CD or a second USB stick you can install the Grub loader and Ubuntu on the first USB stick and it boots really quickly you have to use Bios to select boot drive or set removable as first boot device AND it may only work on this specific PC unlike a Live USB stick that will load anywhere.

I use this method to boot from my USB HDD.

I use Ubuntu 13.10 Boot time is similar or faster than Windows 7 in this configuration

Warning I do have problems shutting down that result in me powering off and having to do a HDD check on next boot


Welcome to AskUbuntu. Have you already seen previous questions like this: Is there a way to install Ubuntu on usb pendrive as normal instalation (not live cd)? of which the provided answers clearly states that it is possible to run Ubuntu from both USB and/or SD Cards.

I once wrote this as an answer to that question:

Based on what @zuberuber says you can even install it on SD Card. With the proper adaptor or natively on sd card embedded laptops. This is how I am writting this: Installed in a 16GB SDCard with 10.5GB Free.

Anyway I suggest you to disconnect all your hard disk drives in your computer, specially those which are having a OS installed (Windows, Linux, etc.) as you may finish having a multi-boot USB/SD Memory with GRUB and in certain cases the bootloader can be written in a different device, other than the USB Memory/SD Card.

Additional answers to this and other similar usb/sdcard related questions can be very illustrative.

BTW: The boot from USB/SD Card can slightly be slow compared to a hard disk drive install but after the boot you won't experience any speed issues at all.

Good luck!

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