Space problems with Ubuntu on usb drive

Asked by MarkB on 2010-06-19

Hi All

Bit of a linux noob here so be kind :)

I made an Ubuntu 10.04 install using UNetbootin on a 4Gb USB drive. I'm loving it! Tried Ubuntu a few times in the past but always felt very second rate, but 10.04 is really really nice! I also like running off the USB drive, nice and fast.

I keep running out of disk space on the primary drive, which I assume is a partition on the USB drive? When I look at the USB key in Windows there's just one great big file there.

How do I make this partition bigger? There's 2Gb space left over which I am happy to give to Ubuntu, but don't know how to make this happen. Any hints?


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UNetbootin Edit question
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Solved by:
Geza Kovacs
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Launchpad Janitor (janitor) said : #1

This question was expired because it remained in the 'Open' state without activity for the last 15 days.

MarkB (markb-useyourweb) said : #2

PIng. No one has any idea on this one?

Geza Kovacs (gezakovacs) said : #3

Are you running Ubuntu off your USB drive in "live" mode, which is the type of install UNetbootin creates, in which your changes are not preserved, or did you actually run the Ubuntu installer (for which there is an icon on the Ubuntu desktop if you're in live mode) and have a standard install? Based on your description ("just one great big file", which I assume is casper/filesystem.squashfs), I would assume it's running in live mode.

== live mode ==

If it's live mode, then the "partition" that's running out of space is actually the ramdisk ; since the size of the ramdisk is bound by the amount of RAM you have, rather than the space on the USB drive, then there isn't a straightforward fix for this, other than making a standard install using the Ubuntu installer to the USB drive.

If you happen to have a second, 1GB or larger USB drive handy, you can make that bootable using UNetbootin, boot Ubuntu in live mode off of it, and run the Ubuntu installer (which can launched from the desktop) targetting your 4GB USB drive.

If you don't have a second USB drive, then the procedure will be much complicated; you could try the instructions at "Making a full, standard hard disk install if you can't use a Live USB", only this time you're installing from the same USB drive to the same USB drive, but I don't think 4GB is large enough to have both a standard and live installation of Ubuntu on the same USB drive.

== standard install ==

If it's a standard install, then as Ubuntu installs itself onto a separate ext3-formatted partition, not your FAT32 one, then Windows won't actually see your Ubuntu install. You can boot a separate live USB, and run gparted from it (you can't resize the partition of the currently booted Ubuntu install, hence you will need a separate live USB for this), and use it to shrink the FAT32 partition and expand out the Ubuntu partition (which will be either ext3 or ext4 formatted).

Best Geza Kovacs (gezakovacs) said : #4

Sorry for the overly-technical answer, I somehow missed the "Linux noob" part. Anyhow, as you can see from my previous response, the isn't a very straightforward way to just give that extra space to your existing the live Ubuntu install, so if possible I would suggest just running the Ubuntu installer, which you can find on the Ubuntu desktop, and making a standard hard drive installation.

MarkB (markb-useyourweb) said : #5

Thanks Geva. First one was techie, but while I'm a linux noob, I'm not a computer noob, so it more or less made sense. Yep, using live.

Ok, sounds tricky, but thanks anyway. Might need to bite the bullet and install on my HD.