Install openSUSE to removable SSD stick

I have no DVD drive on my netbook. I have openSUSE 13.1 installed on my tiny 16GB SSD (on the motherboard) main drive. I did this by using a live KDE USB stick. I now want to install 12.3 on a removable SSD stick. But using the same method results in an un-bootable SSD because the installation assumes it’s going on a normal hard drive instead of a USB device and the BIOS will not boot from it afterwards. How do I work around my problem?

Thanks in advance.

With imagewriter on USB?

Well I have written the openSUSE Live 12.3 32bit KDE image to my SSD and I am able to boot from it, but as it has no swap file it is very slow, and if I try to install other software using YaST2 it tells me that there is no room available on the SSD. Hard to believe as the SSD holds 16GB and the written iso is only 928MB. It was my understanding that this image when written to a USB device is persistent and unchangeable. Am I reading the instructions incorrectly? Can I add a swap file and added software?


It’s not going to work that way. You will need the install media (could be that live KDE stick) on a separate stick from your removable SSD. Then install to the SSD. That should work. Getting the booting right is the main issue.

In my experience, when I install to an external drive, the installer wants to put grub on the MBR. But, the problem is that it wants to put it on the MBR of the first hard drive instead of the MBR of the external drive.

On the first screen of the bootloader install options, there should be a button (near the bottom of the screen) with “Boot Loader Installation Details”. Click that. It should list the disks. You can then use “Up” and “Down” to change the order of those disks. You need to make sure that your removable SSD is the first disk listed there.

Once you exit from boot loader settings, the install summary information should say that grub2 will be installed on “/dev/sdX” where the “X” is correct for your removable SSD.

If you have all of that right, it should be bootable once installed.

Well that was a relatively easy solution considering I had made at least five unsuccessful installs without noticing that particular choice. Thank you VERY much.