What does USB startup disk creator really do?

Asked by walter e beck

My concern in running the utility is two fold. 1) Does the MBR on my main hard disk get modified? 2) Is Ubuntu really installed or does the image just become persistent? That is, does the 'install' icon on the user window disappear? Also, can the entire USB disk be used? I did an install will a script (Created by Lance of http://www.pendrivelinux.com), and about half the disk (36 G) was not available. Other than that, Ubuntu 9.04 works fine.

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Ubuntu usb-creator Edit question
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Matt Willsher
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Best Matt Willsher (mawi) said :

USB startup disk is for creating a bootable Ubuntu live image on a pen drive or similar device.

To answer your questions:

1) The MBR on your main drive is untouched. The boot loader is installed on the USB stick

2) From my brief usage, the image appears to be the same as the live CD image, including the ability to install. There is the ability to give a certain amount over to be writable for persistent data.

If you want to install to a USB harddrive, the normal installer may do that. Near the end there are additional/advanced options where you can set where you want the boot loader installing (e.g, on the USB disk, or on your main hard drive)

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walter e beck (walter-beck) said :

Thanks Matt Willsher, that solved my question.