I have a 16 GB USB flash drive that I would like to install CentOS 6 on so that I can boot into it on other computers. The reason for this is because I am going to be upgrading to VPS hosting and I would like to recreate the environment so that I can have a production website and simply sync it to live site. However, for various reasons, I don't want to be tied to one computer.

I have tried using LinuxLive USB Creator, which worked absolutely perfectly, apart from even though I set the persistent file to the maximum when I installed packages they weren't there after a reboot.

I did install CentOS on an old laptop, if that will allow me to install CentOS on the flash drive somehow? Alternatively, would it install on an external hard drive? Do computers boot from external harddrives?

  • from USB I don't remember if it is possible or not. But for sure from a external drive is possible as long as you computer allows you to boot from such disk. – BitsOfNix Jul 5 '13 at 12:15
  • @AlexandreAlves Do you know if you can assume a computer will boot from an external hard drive if it will boot from USB? – Andy Jul 5 '13 at 13:09
  • sorry, but I can't assume that. I did some experiences a few years back but that was it. Nowadays, I believe it should be a lot simpler. can't you just installing into a usb pen, just like the minimal version to be faster and then try to boot it? – BitsOfNix Jul 5 '13 at 13:13
  • @AlexandreAlves I did try installing to the USB flash drive but it wouldn't work. Now I know it's because I didn't use expert. Thank you for your comments anyway – Andy Jul 6 '13 at 16:08

Passing expert on the installer command line will tell it to enable installing to devices other than internal drives.

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    Thank you for that tip. Expert mode allowed me to install on to my USB flash drive, just as I wanted! – Andy Jul 6 '13 at 16:00

You can use unetbootin to install whatever distro you want to any device. It's a standalone executable so there isn't anything to install, simply download it and run.

Unetbootin offers CentOS 5 & 6 as both the Live and regular versions.

          ss of unetbootin

            ss of unetbootin

  • +1 Thank you for your answer - it did help. Using unetbootin I was able to install the CentOS installer on a smaller flash drive so that I could then install on to the correct USB drive. I accepted Ignacio's answer though because it led to me achieving what I wanted to do ultimately. – Andy Jul 6 '13 at 16:05
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    @Andy - thanks for the follow-up. That's fine, which ever answer helps you the most is the appropriate one to accept. – slm Jul 6 '13 at 22:20
  • I tried multiple options on web but only this one worked perfectly. Thanks! – prashantsunkari Jul 30 '15 at 16:15

Just sharing my own experience... an alternative to UNetbootin:

  1. Download the Universal-USB-Installer- from http://www.pendrivelinux.com and CentOS-6.4-x86_64-LiveCD.iso from a mirror in the downloads section of http://centos.org.

  2. Follow USB Installer instructions, basically: Select CentOS, the .iso and the USB drive. I got my CentOS bootable Live USB.

  3. When CentOS boots from the LiveUSB, you can use it and/or install the system in the target machine with the shortcut in the Desktop, restart, remove the USB and there you have it, CentOS installed from USB.

  • Except the asker wanted to install to USB. – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Nov 12 '13 at 17:17
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    Oh, ok. Got it... will read the question a bit more next time. :) – Oscar S. Nov 12 '13 at 17:34

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