I use Ubuntu Linux from a live USB. But Ubuntu uses the computers internal hard drive as it's own. I don't want it to do that. I want it to save all its data into the USB drive from which it boots. How do I do this?


Edit: I am extremely new to Linux and even newer to Ubuntu.

  • You might get some good information from a related question. And even more detailed information in this wiki article. Let me know if this is on the right track for what you want to accomplish. – travisw Jun 18 '15 at 3:16
  • @travisw these instructions in the wiki use NetBootIn. But I want to use YUMI (also available on pendrivelinux.com) because I have more than one OS's on my drive. (it has 512 GB of space...) – nom Jun 18 '15 at 3:41

You have to install Ubuntu in your external USB disk. You might need two usb stick or one live CD and a disk will do the job. Please remove any other media connected to USB (Not necessary but it will make the job lot easier).

Now boot from the livd CD or USB and install Ubuntu in the USB disk. Recommended size for the USB is 8GB for fully functional operation. You have to choose something else from the choice menu while installing.

Your primary hard drive is sda and anything connected will be in the same format as 'sdx'(where 'x' stands for b,c,d, depending on your number of disks connected) .Format the system using 'Ext4 File System' and give mount point as '/' this is your root partition. Then you can see a tick near your selected drive 'sdx'. Most importantly there is a option which will ask where the bootloader to be installed you must change it to '\dev\sdb'. Now you are ready just click install. You have to answer few questions like name, location, password etc and you get your working Ubuntu on Usb stick.

You have to tell the boot loader to boot from USB drive each time you want to go to Ubuntu on your external drive.

  • Thanks Rajan, your idea works, I just want to confirm, this way, Ubuntu will not fiddle with the internal storage right? I want it to use the USB drive as its secondary storage like Windows-To-Go does. Also, if I change something on the internal storage, will windows (the machine's primary OS is windows) have a problem with the file written by Ubuntu? I'll update my question too... – nom Jun 18 '15 at 7:37
  • If you change anything in internal storage it will be there when you next boot up your machine from your primary storage it will not have any issue as long as you don't fiddle with any operating system or application related stuff. – Rajan Kumar Mishra Jun 18 '15 at 14:45

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