USB SUSE Installation to a USB Hard Drive

The following tutorial covers the process of installing SUSE Linux to an external USB Hard Drive using the OpenSUSE Live CD. The process is made possible due to a custom Portable SUSE script created by James Rhodes. The user basically boots from the Live OpenSUSE CD and performs the installation via the included YaST2 Install script to install SUSE to a USB Hard drive. Then the user reboots from the Portable SUSE installation and launches the custom script to convert some files in the running SUSE system for portable compatibility.

Thanks James for directing us to your script and asking us to do a writeup of the Portable SUSE USB conversion process.

OpenSUSE running Portably from USB:

OpenSuse on USB

USB SUSE install Requirements:

  • External USB Hard Drive (Rotating Platter “Not a Flash Drive”)
  • 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 USB Hard Drive. In addition, physically disconnect any internally attached hard drives to avoid the possibility of installing to the wrong device.

  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 Hard Drive
  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. media prompt

  5. Next, click the My Computer icon from your SUSE desktop
  6. Locate your USB device from the Disk Information section on the page
  7. Right click on the device and select to Safely Remove
  8. safely remove

  9. Right click on the device again, this time select Properties
  10. device properties

  11. From the Properties window that appear, click the Mounting tab
  12. Uncheck the Mount automatically box and click OK
  13. mount automatically

  14. Next, start the installer via the install icon on your desktop and follow the onscreen instructions. You can click Cancel to any pop ups notifying you of newly detected media
  15. Once the installer has finished, reboot your computer. Remove the CD from the drive and proceed to boot from the USB device.
  16. Continue the onscreen setup process… users and passwords etc
  17. Once your up and running again, press alt+f2 and type konsolesu then press Enter
  18. Type wget
  19. Type tar -zxvf *.tar.gz
  20. Type ./installation and follow the onscreen instructions answering y to all of the questions
  21. Type reboot to reboot and ensure that everything is still working

That concludes this Portable SUSE how to tutorial. You should now be able to run your Portable SUSE from any PC that can boot from a USB device. It should be safe to re-attach any internal drives to your PC.