Can you install an operating system on a thumb drive?

United States
May 15, 2008 10:19am CST
Assuming it was large enough, could you install a full version of linux (not just the boot partition) or Windows on a thumb drive? I have seen that there are laptops on the market that are using flash hard drives of about 4GB, with a linux based operating system on them. Anybody tried installing an OS on a thumb drive, or know somebody who has, or has tried?
3 responses
@Asylum (48027)
• Manchester, England
15 May 08
I have tried to install a few different linux distributions on a flash drive, but with very little success. I am aware that it can be done and even found a few websites offering instructions, but no matter how much I tried it was in vain. I do not know for certain whether the problem was the drive itself, which can make a difference, or whether it was the setup or the problem of booting from USB.
• United States
21 Aug 09
You can, but you need to partition the thumb drive to think its a hard drive. winsetupfromusb will do the trick then install have fun. and try unetbootin to make the install thumb drive and install thumb drive to thumb drive.
• India
15 May 08
Of course. visit the ubuntu website you will definitely get the answer.
• United States
16 May 08
I did an ubuntu search and came up with this interesting website. Apparently there is a version of Linux especially designed to be run from a thumb drive! If anyone is interested, check it out. www.pendrivelinux.com
• Philippines
15 May 08
I guess it would be worthwhile to install an OS on a thumb drive if your could change the boot sequence to include USB ports.
• United States
16 May 08
Most newer computers allow you to do that. My laptop is capable of booting from a flash drive, and I thought I might like to run a version of Linux in this manner.