I have created an installation USB (Sandisk Cruzer, USB 2.0) and its performance is fairly good - firefox and all other applications run pretty smoothly. I wanted a portable setup, so I installed Ubuntu 16.04 on a PNY 64 GB USB 3.0 drive. I have an 500mb Fat32 partition for EFI, an 11 GB swap partition, and the rest as an ext4 partition.

I had some initial booting problems (graphics) which seems to be miraculously resolved by some restarts. However, performance is extremely slow. By that I mean that the Live Ubuntu of the Sandisk USB 2.0 drive loads is ~10 seconds, while the full installation from the PNY USB 3.0 pendrive loads at ~10 minutes. And it is extremely laggy.

Any idea what should I do?

  • This seems to be a problem with the graphics driver. You can try with the boot option nomodeset. If you install a proprietary driver, it might work well in this particular computer, but it will be less portable to computers with other graphics hardware. An alternative for good portability is a persistent live drive, which you can make with mkusb. Please tell us about your graphics chip/card (brand name and model), and we can give you better advice.
    – sudodus
    Nov 20 '16 at 20:41
  • I do not know much about Radeon cards, but I think that the new ones should work rather well with new versions of Ubuntu. It might be worthwhile to try with the boot option nomodeset, but you might not find a suitable proprietary driver. Let us wait for someone who has own experience of this card or a similar Radeon card.
    – sudodus
    Nov 21 '16 at 7:07
  • Thanks once again, how do boot with nomodeset options? I'm new to ubuntu. As for my needs, I needed the ubuntu setup for programming IDE (python, deep neural networks etc.), but I was concerned that as persistent setup has only 4gb, it will not be sufficient.
    – Eli
    Nov 21 '16 at 8:07
  • I will make an 'answer' with links.
    – sudodus
    Nov 21 '16 at 8:14
  1. You can use this link and links from it to use boot options and in this case try nomodeset,

    Boot options

  2. A persistent live setup is limited to 4 GB if you use a 'casper-rw' file, but you can use a partition with the label 'casper-rw', and then you are only limited by the size of the USB drive. You can even use an SSD or hard disk drive for it, but there are USB 3 pendrives, that are fast and big enough. You can use mkusb to create persistent live systems automatically with a 'casper-rw' partition. See the following links and and links from them.


    Speed and size of USB drives

  3. But the best solution would be to make the installed system work well. Let us hope someone will chip in and help you with the AMD Radeon R270 card.

  • Thanks! The problem was that the PNY performance was really poor. This really helped me with installation on a different drive.
    – Eli
    Nov 24 '16 at 7:39
  • I'm glad that you solved the problem :-)
    – sudodus
    Nov 24 '16 at 9:46

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