Install SUSE to a USB Flash Drive using the CD

This tutorial covers the process of creating a SUSE Linux USB Flash Drive using the OpenSUSE Live CD. This tutorial works much like the install to an External USB Hard drive with the exception that the user is performing a full OpenSUSE install to a USB flash drive. The process does differ slightly! This tutorial was made possible due to a custom Portable SUSE script created and provided by James Rhodes. Please note that due to the limited number of write functions a flash drive can handle before going bad, you may reduce the life of your flash drive by performing this installation.

Screenshot of OpenSUSE running Portably from flash:

OpenSuse on USB

USB SUSE install Requirements:

  • 4GB+ USB flash drive (Highly recommend the OCZ Rally 2 Turbo)
  • OpenSUSE Live CD
  • Portable SUSE conversion script

How to make a Portable SUSE:

Warning: Before proceeding, backup all data you wish to save from your flashdrive. In addition, physically disconnect any internally attached hard drives to avoid the possibility of installing to the wrong device. If your flash drive contains a fat filesystem it will be shrunk and new partitions will be added for the SUSE OS (so you will still have a Windows accessible partition).

  1. Download the Live CD KDE (685MB) ISO, burn to a CD and start your system from the CD
  2. Once SUSE is up and running, insert your USB flashdrive
  3. When prompted that a new medium has been detected, select the option to Do Nothing and check the box to Always do this for this type of media then click OK
  4. Next, click the My Computer icon from your SUSE desktop
  5. Locate your USB device from the Disk Information section on the page
  6. Right click on the device and select Properties
  7. From the Properties window that appear, click the Mounting tab
  8. Uncheck the Mount automatically box and click OK
  9. From the Disk Information section, right click on the device again and select to Safely Remove
  10. * Now unplug and reinsert your flash drive.
  11. You may be prompted again that a new medium has been detected, select the option to Do Nothing and check the box to Always do this for this type of media then click OK
  12. Next, start the installer via the install icon on your desktop and proceed to follow the onscreen instructions. Once you get to the Live Installation Settings page, click Partitioning
  13. Next, from the Suggested Partitioning page, select the option to Base Partition Setup on This Proposal and click Next
  14. Now from the Expert Partitioner page, select your Fat Partition and click Resize
  15. From the resize pop up window that appears, reduce the size of your windows partition to around 200MB or less
  16. In the pop up that appears click Yes to allow the Linux partiton to use the new empty space
  17. Next, Accept and continue the install. Once the installer has finished, reboot your computer. Remove the CD from the drive and proceed to boot from the USB device
  18. Continue the onscreen setup process… users and passwords etc. * Skip the Online Update Configuration step. (Select Configure Later)
  19. Once your up and running again, press alt+f2 and type konsolesu then press Enter
  20. Type wget
  21. Type tar -zxvf *.tar.gz
  22. Type ./installation and follow the onscreen instructions answering y to all of the questions
  23. Type reboot to reboot and ensure that everything is still working

That’s all there is to it. You should now be able to run your Portable SUSE from any PC that can boot from a USB device. You can now re-attach any internal drives to your PC and run your Portable SUSE whenever and wherever you want.