Can I install software on a bootable flash drive as if it were a hard drive?

by on April 26, 2013

Q: Hello there, i’m running an Ubuntu version of Linux on my rig. There is no HDD, i am booting from a flash drive. I was just wondering if i can use the flash drive (USB3.0 32Gb) as if it were a HDD and if i can install applications and software such as Java and graphic card drivers to the memory stick?

7 Responses to “Can I install software on a bootable flash drive as if it were a hard drive?”

    The answer is yes! Woo but it takes a while to work out linux’s installation prroceedure


    Ben – This sounds kind of sweet and could be useful. Can you provide more information where we could find links to running a computer off of a bootable Linux distro?


    Haha cheers Fletcha, i’d thought so 😉
    I found a lot of useful information here:

    I initially just used google to find a boot disc burner to start up ubuntu 12.10.
    I installed it on a 32gb USB3.0 stick and it works surprisingly well. The only problem is the FAT32 format restricts my memory to 8GB, however there is a way around this, (something to do with partitions and removing the casper file).
    I will try to add some more information as i learn 🙂


    Turns out i was running the wrong Linux, xubuntu is much faster and user friendly. Same process to boot it up but installation is easier for most applications and there isn’t a limited memory dump, which is helpful.


    You can download xubuntu free here, it’s about 700mb

    And get unetbootin here:

    This is needed to turn your USB into a bootdrive. Download the application for the OS you are currently using. Each version can handle Windows Linux or Mac boot files but will require the appropriate .iso file.


    Thanks again Ben, I plan on trying it soon!