Fighting a USB Install

I wanted to make a USB install of ubuntu, one I could carry around and show off in people’s computers.

But a whole set of problems with grub2 and ubiquity installer in ubuntu make the process very painful.

Firstly, because your installing on /dev/sdb (second hard drive) you’d think that the system would automatically try and detect if it was a usb hard drive and decide to put the grub boot on the drive it’s self. But no, it decided that sda was a much better drive for the grub boot loader and decided to kill my installed grub entry.

Mind you, this is changeable if you use the advanced button… a button I didn’t even see when setting it up. So I ended up toasting my laptop’s grub installation and I had a lovely (nasty) time trying to figure out how to use grub2’s tools. They are horrid, everything about their UI design stinks, the help files are useless and in some cases simply wrong (grub-install points to some other grub tool’s man page) and the descriptions contain no examples or in depth explanations. The errors are cryptic, the use is obtuse and the manifestation non-obvious. What’s the difference between grub-setup and grub-install? who knows.

These tools are most certainly not polished up to the standard of release that I would expect and this is exactly why UI designers should be just as concerned with command line tools as they are with GUI design.

After eventually getting my computer back from grub failure and fixing the grub boot of the usb hard drive, I decided to try it out on another computer… failed, wouldn’t load an OS from after 100GB or there abouts. poot. So I’m resizing my partitions, shuffling them about, trying to get it to work.

Have you had a better time of it? have you broke your computer because of ubiquity? comment.

Update: My computer crashed half way through the resize operation, my backup drive and videos are all toast. Thanks system76 your unstable computer has once again inconvenienced my life.