View Full Version : Installing Ubuntu 11.10 to run via USB stick on XP

02-01-2012, 04:04 PM
Hi there, long time reader, first time poster here!

I regularly buy PC World, and was convinced by the Dec/Jan edition to have a look at Linux Ubuntu 11.10.

So i installed it on a 2gb USB drive, and fired it up. I liked the look and feel, so decided to play some music, only to find that an MP3 decoder was not installed. A quick Google search of MP3 decoders for Ubuntu 11.10 directed me to an article called "The first 10 things to do after installing Ubuntu 11.10", the first of which was to update the OS with the following terminal commands;
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

Part way through the install, it said "Not enough memory". So i tried it with a 4gb USB stick - same thing.

I really like the look of this OS, and would like to comprehensively try it out, but i'm not quite sure what i'm doing wrong.

What size USB/Flash Drive would i need for this?
Is there an easy way to install it along side XP, and then boot either OS at startup?
Are the 'update' and 'upgrade' terminal commands trying to install more than i actually need?

I would really appreciate any help/advice on this :)

02-01-2012, 04:21 PM
If you just install Ubuntu it will go through the steps and give you the opportunity to select where and how you want to install it.
It will install with the alternative XP OS as a boot option .Just follow the instructions as you go along.


02-01-2012, 04:41 PM
What specs are the computer you are installing Ubuntu to?


I am guessing you have >1GB RAM which is why you are getting that error message

02-01-2012, 08:47 PM
I'm surprised it even installed on a 2GB drive. 4GB can work but is pushing it, once you install a few things you'll see all the space just disappear.

To help you can to clear out old package installers with "apt-get autoclean"

Also note that upgrading the kernel leaves the old one in place, and each version uses about 200MB of space, so removing old kernels is a good idea.

03-01-2012, 01:09 PM
Thanks for the responses.

I figured it out - once updated, a full install of Ubuntu 11.10, with the required updates and upgrades, is about 4.4gb, so a 4gb drive was never going to cut it. So i installed it on the normal C drive next to Windows XP, and let the install partition the drive - a 120gb drive with a 35gb partition for Ubuntu.

Then once installed, it wouldn't give me the boot option for XP, and seemed to automatically boot to Ubuntu.

Turns out that the boot selection program, GRUB, was running in a resolution not supported by my monitor - it was running in the background but not displaying, and then with no input from the user was defaulting to boot Ubuntu. So i downloaded an app called Grub Customizer, changed the GRUB UI resolution to 1024x768, and the boot selection was visible - now i get the option of booting to either XP or Ubuntu.

So yeah, now it's all sorted out, but i have to say, the last 24 hours have been a full-on crash course in Linux! :)

Enjoyable, very satisfying to get working, and i have to admit, i'm loving Ubuntu, and can see it becoming my OS of choice very quickly.

Now i just need to find a program for it that will share media to an Xbox 360, and i'll be dancing!

Thanks again.

04-01-2012, 02:41 PM
So i just spent the last 24 hours trying to find an Ubuntu app that will share my media across the network - no joy. I've tried; ushare, Vuze, XBMC, Media Tomb and a couple of others whose names escape me now - no joy.

I can kinda get ushare to work, but it lists my media as one massive list of songs, and doesn't preserve any folder structure - so figure one issue out, only to hit another brick wall!!

I've decided that if i can't get something as basic as media sharing across a network enabled in Ubuntu, i'll stick with Windows.

I love the idea of open source, and whilst XP came bundled with my PC, i guess there's some truth to that old adage 'you get what you pay for'. So Ubuntu has been removed from my system.

04-01-2012, 05:18 PM
When I want to share anything I just share folders the same way as in Windows.

Then you just navigate to the share in the normal way by the UNC path (\\PCNAME\SHARENAME)

There should be a package for folder\file sharing in software center, and it will probably install Samba for you too.

05-01-2012, 12:23 PM
I really wanted to share to an Xbox 360 for streaming MP3's mainly, and i believe that because of the non-standard protocols that the 360 uses, normal sharing just doesn't work. As i say, i managed to get ushare working, just couldn't get it to maintain the file structure of my music directory.

I have to admit, it all got a bit beyond me really, and whilst Ubuntu has a GUI that is similar to Windows, i got a bit fed up with running lines of code - took me back to 1990 and DOS prompts with my old Pentium 133 (which had a whopping 16mb of RAM and huge 1gb HDD!!).

I gave up in the end, as i'd spent two days trying to get it figured out, and wanted my holiday and media streaming back! :)