Installation on a USB drive

Is it possible, and/or desirable to install the OS and applications on a USB drive? The data rate in a USB drive is considerably faster than most hard drives, so it would seem that installing on a USB drive would improve performance.

I assume that to do this, one would use the partitioning tool to format the USB drive with a Linux file system, and then mount it. Next, one would install the OS onto the USB drive. This OS would be accessed through the hard drive’s boot loader. The remaining housekeeping would be to use the partitioning tool in the USB OS mode to mount the hard drive for access to the data.

How big of a drive would one need? Is 4 gig enough?

The main HowTo: HOWTOs - openSUSE

USB: Installing SuSE on External USB Drive - openSUSE

Hmmm not quite true. Here are some quick test results on a Toshiba
Tecra M3 Notebook;

kermit-opensuse:~ # hdparm -Tt /dev/sda

100GB internal hitachi drive
Timing cached reads:   1688 MB in  2.00 seconds = 844.28 MB/sec
Timing buffered disk reads:  116 MB in  3.00 seconds =  38.63 MB/sec
kermit-opensuse:~ # hdparm -Tt /dev/mmcblk0

2GB sandisk SD card controller in notebook
Timing cached reads:   1616 MB in  2.00 seconds = 807.71 MB/sec
Timing buffered disk reads:   30 MB in  3.03 seconds =   9.91 MB/sec
kermit-opensuse:~ # hdparm -Tt /dev/sdb

4GB cruzer USB Drive
Timing cached reads:   1684 MB in  2.00 seconds = 842.38 MB/sec
Timing buffered disk reads:   48 MB in  3.00 seconds =  15.99 MB/sec
kermit-opensuse:~ # hdparm -Tt /dev/sdb

Timing cached reads:   1616 MB in  2.00 seconds = 807.91 MB/sec
Timing buffered disk reads:   90 MB in  3.03 seconds =  29.74 MB/sec
kermit-opensuse:~ # hdparm -Tt /dev/sdb

8GB Super Talent SSD via USB converter
Timing cached reads:   1558 MB in  2.00 seconds = 778.82 MB/sec
Timing buffered disk reads:   82 MB in  3.03 seconds =  27.10 MB/sec

The OCZ dual channel versions like the Rally2 are the ones recommended
for booting an OS from. But I think a 8GB would be a better option.

Have a read of the Howtos here for
installing on a usb drive.

Cheers Malcolm °¿° (Linux Counter #276890)
openSUSE 11.0 x86 Kernel
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