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How do I install Ubuntu to a USB key?

I am stuck and need some help. I have a broken hard drive and I am running Ubuntu from a USB booting it in "try" mode. That works most of the time until I need to install something like Flash and I cannot do it because it will not write to the flash drive. So I need to install Ubuntu to a flash drive. I attempted to bootup and install and keeps getting stuck or I am doing something wrong.

Here are my steps:

I downloaded the alternate 11.10 version and use Unetboot to write the ISO to the USB Stick.

Then I bootup and tell it to install (the USB drive I will be writing to is in the computer also) I go through the steps and it ask me setup my internet.

I use wireless and do not have a wired connection and I manually setup the connection. It works as far as I can tell, after that it ask for a hostname and ubuntu is there so I use that.

Then it ask for a domain name and I enter one (I run a website and use that name, does that mater?)

Then it goes to a blank screen and I realize it is a command line and I can enter info there.

This is where I get stuck, I attempted to follow the info provided here but I am confused and need some advice on how I go about getting this installed. HELP!

NOTE I am using the alternate installer as my flash drive I am installing to has less than 4.5 GB (It is a 4GB Flash Drive)

  • Format USB 1 to FAT, creat live usb with unetbootin, Format USB 2 to EXT4 (or w/e FS you want), boot USB 1, plug USB 2, Start the Installer, select USB 2 (make sure you're not installing to a Hard Drive), Install, Done. – Uri Herrera Oct 8 '11 at 2:44
  • Remember, USB 2.0 is not as fast as Sata 1, or 2 and much less 3. If Available use USB 3.0. – Uri Herrera Oct 8 '11 at 2:46
  • As i described here. I used an SD card but the method is the Same (i used a USB adapter for the SD card). askubuntu.com/questions/55984/… – Uri Herrera Oct 8 '11 at 2:47
  • @Uri Herrera - I will look into those questions, also this is not a duplicate questions, I tried the information in that question. – L84 Oct 8 '11 at 16:33

I think if you create the liveusb stick with the 'use extra space as writable storage' (I forget the exact label) you will be able to install new packages into that instance. That's probably the simplest solution until you get your hard drive replaced.

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