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Thread: Dual-boot USB Flash drive

  1. #1

    Default Dual-boot USB Flash drive

    Demo of creating a dualbooting USB-stick with Linux and Android-x86 - proper installations - not just ISO-files http://youtu.be/V8LB9_-vCro and written companion http://goo.gl/3EuY8b

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Dual-boot USB Flash drive

    Quote Originally Posted by hallergard View Post
    Demo of creating a dualbooting USB-stick with Linux and Android-x86 - proper installations - not just ISO-files http://youtu.be/V8LB9_-vCro and written companion http://goo.gl/3EuY8b
    I have been using a quad-boot USB key for a year or so for repair work, etc.

    openSUSE 12.3 Live (persistent)
    Clonezilla
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Dual-boot USB Flash drive

    Thank you Fraser_Bell, interesting! I will learn about Clonezilla and Parted Magic. They seem to do roughly the same as Ranish and Partimage but probably in a better way and allow using ext4. I will buy a 32 bit USB Flash drive
    and put on it at least two partitions: Windows XP (with UBCD4Win) and some Linux distro probably SuSE or Kubuntu.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Dual-boot USB Flash drive

    +Fraser_bell How many partitions does you USB key hold? And what tool did you use for partitioning?

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    Default Re: Dual-boot USB Flash drive

    Doing multiple OSs on a USB is tricky there are tools that say they will do it but not sure they work with openSUSE. remember you are putting the ISO image on the USB and ISO was never designed to support multiboot so you have to trick it. USB's are cheap buy several 8-12 gigs one for each os you want to carry

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    Default Re: Dual-boot USB Flash drive

    Quote Originally Posted by hallergard View Post
    +Fraser_bell How many partitions does you USB key hold? And what tool did you use for partitioning?
    Basically, you deal with it the same as you deal with a hard-drive.

    I use GParted, usually through Parted Magic, which also has a few other tools.

    And, what you launch does not always have to be in a separate partition. Some self-contained specialized utilities just need to be called by the Grub line.
    -Gerry Makaro
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    Default Re: Dual-boot USB Flash drive

    Quote Originally Posted by gogalthorp View Post
    Doing multiple OSs on a USB is tricky there are tools that say they will do it but not sure they work with openSUSE. remember you are putting the ISO image on the USB and ISO was never designed to support multiboot so you have to trick it. USB's are cheap buy several 8-12 gigs one for each os you want to carry
    True.

    But, you do not need to put the ISO image on the USB, you can install directly to the key.

    There is a thread somewhere on these forums where I outlined one method of multi-booting a USB key a few months back, but I do not have the time to search for that thread at the moment. I will see if I can find the time to locate it, and if I do will post back here with the link.
    -Gerry Makaro
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    Default Re: Dual-boot USB Flash drive

    Yes but thought he wanted a live USB you can do that with the iso. The live USB can be persistent but you can't have multiple OS at least I have not seen a working solution including openSUSE. If you just want an instance of the OS you can of course just install to the USB but then you can't install from the USB, At least without a major effort. In that case you can have multiple OS's on the USB it is just another drive.

    Note that in any case USB's make a poor substitute for a real drive. They don't have the ware leveling or redundancy of a true SSD so ware out very quickly if you do lots of write operations which is topical of an OS's operation.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Dual-boot USB Flash drive

    you can install directly to the key
    Yes, that is what i want to do, install directly to the USB key - and I have done that with Linux and Android - which was the starting point of this thread. But I cannot do it with windows. If I format the USB key with FAT32 or NTFS I cannot shrink it with Windows Explorer or Gparted. Or if I format with ext3 using Gparted, I can shrink and make more partitions, but I cannot install the Windows bootsector on them. It seems as though the Windows bootsector somehow overlaps the MBR and one of them becomes corrupt!? And this problem does not exist for Linux (or Android-x86 partitions).

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    Default Re: Dual-boot USB Flash drive

    Quote Originally Posted by gogalthorp View Post
    Yes but thought he wanted a live USB you can do that with the iso. The live USB can be persistent but you can't have multiple OS at least I have not seen a working solution including openSUSE. If you just want an instance of the OS you can of course just install to the USB but then you can't install from the USB, At least without a major effort. In that case you can have multiple OS's on the USB it is just another drive.

    Note that in any case USB's make a poor substitute for a real drive. They don't have the ware leveling or redundancy of a true SSD so ware out very quickly if you do lots of write operations which is topical of an OS's operation.
    Absolutely right. But, the OP wanted a USB key to carry around for booting other computers with his own operating system(s) instead of the OS that is installed on that computer.

    In regards to that, I would not permit it on my own PCs, nor do I recommend others allow it, since somebody booting that way could gain access to all information on the computer, or could do some damage (either deliberate or by accident), or any of a number of nightmare scenarios. Of course, if you are repairing a system, then there is an acceptable reason for booting with an external OS.

    Further to that, I might add that the OP will find most publicly provided PCs, such as those in libraries, will have external booting disabled -- for the very reasons I mentioned above.

    And, I do not know whose "other computers" the OP plans on booting that way, but -- again -- I can assure you it would not be one of mine.
    -Gerry Makaro
    Fraser-Bell Info Tech
    Solving Tech Mysteries since the Olden Days!
    ~~~~~
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