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Old 01-11-2011, 10:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Booting Linux from exFAT drive

I have an extra 320GB laptop hard drive that I'm not using and I ordered an external SATA/USB case to use with the drive to use it like an external hard drive. I already have a WD external hard drive that I put all my backups onto. I was thinking about turning my extra hard drive into a giant flash drive with linux installed to boot from (most likely Ubuntu 10.10). Is it possible to install linux onto the drive with unetbootin or Lili USB creator if its formated as an exFAT instead of FAT32?

I would like to use Lili USB creator because it allows you to create persistence files, which allow you to save files/programs/preferences onto your Linux operating system on the drive, so it will be like bringing my computer with me with all my files on it.
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Old 01-11-2011, 12:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Booting Linux from exFAT drive

At least one partition will have to be formatted in order to install Ubuntu. When you do so, I suggest you use ext3. The rest of the drive can be whatever file system you prefer though NTFS makes sense for Windows compatibility.
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Old 01-12-2011, 03:24 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Booting Linux from exFAT drive

I did this using G parted to format an ext4 partition then used a Live CD to install. I had separate partitions for /home, /boot, /, /var and swap. Seems though that you want a something live to use on different hardware. Nevertheless it's pretty straight forward install.
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:32 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Booting Linux from exFAT drive

I believe that exfat is only bootable from very specific BIOSs. In any case it is more geared towards Windows so its not so much suitable for putting a Linux distro on.

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Old 01-12-2011, 10:53 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Booting Linux from exFAT drive

Thanks everyone for the information! It makes sense that exFAT probably will not work with linux because its Microsofts newest format type now that you mention it.

One other thing. I've read somewhere that FAT32 only supports a max of 32GB, is that true? Or can a full 320GB drive be formated as FAT32?
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Old 01-12-2011, 11:13 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Booting Linux from exFAT drive

That is true. NTFS is the best option for Windows sharing. ext3 or ext4 for linux
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Old 01-12-2011, 06:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Booting Linux from exFAT drive

Alright, going back to earlier comments; if I format, say...half the drive to ext3 and install Ubuntu on the external hard drive, will I be able to boot into Ubuntu from the drive via USB connection?
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Old 01-12-2011, 07:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Booting Linux from exFAT drive

I'm not sure how strict Linux is about that, but Windows does not like that at all. It can be done, yes, but is very tricky. Mak would know more about that.
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Old 01-13-2011, 06:55 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Booting Linux from exFAT drive

Windows doesnt allow installs to external devices. Linux doesnt care.
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Old 01-13-2011, 07:53 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Booting Linux from exFAT drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteFlare View Post
Alright, going back to earlier comments; if I format, say...half the drive to ext3 and install Ubuntu on the external hard drive, will I be able to boot into Ubuntu from the drive via USB connection?
Depends on whether the motherboard will allow it. Almost all modern motherboards do.
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