Hello! The TL;DR is:

I have an m.2 drive that is in a sturdy enclosure that has 1 TB. I have Ventoy with Medicat on there, with some backups of important data.

I still have a lot of room left on there, so I was thinking what else I could do, and the idea of basically installing a Linux Distro to a chunk of free space on there. Maybe Debian/Fedora or Arch.

Is there anything I should be aware of to help not break that system or rapidly kill the drive? It’s not a USB flash drive, it’s a M.2 drive that’s put on a small board that then allows it to talk via USB C/Thunderbolt.

EDIT: Just to be sure, if I use Ventoy’s EFI, do I need to be worried about a conflict with the bootloader of the Linux install?

  • Max-P
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    74 months ago

    Not really different than any other M.2 SSDs, that it’s over USB doesn’t matter.

    The only consideration for USB sticks is that they’re usually quite crap, so running a system off it tends to use up the flash pretty quickly.

    • @christophski@feddit.uk
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      124 months ago

      But it’s not a usb stick, it’s an m.2 drive in an enclosure… So your second point doesn’t apply

      • Max-P
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        64 months ago

        It indeed doesn’t, its purpose is to show the differences and clarify why/where OP might have heard you need special care for portable installs on USB sticks.

        All the guides and tutorials out there are overwhelmingly written with regular USB sticks in mind and not M.2 enclosures over USB. So they’ll tell you to put as much stuff on tmpfs as possible and avoid all unnecessary reads and writes.

    • gregorum
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      4 months ago

      The only consideration for USB sticks is that they’re usually quite crap, so running a system off it tends to use up the flash pretty quickly.

      not to mention that, due to the crap flash, they also tend to be quite slow and unreliable.

      • @GenderNeutralBro@lemmy.sdf.org
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        14 months ago

        Definitely look for portable SSDs rather than flash drives. Different technology, usually significantly larger (physically). Easily saturates a USB 2.0 connection, so look for USB 3.0.

        Back when Microsoft supported Windows To Go, they had a short list of verified drives to use. Surely outdated now but might be a good starting point.

        FWIW I used to run Windows 10 off a Samsung T5. It worked fine, except that it would always shut down when I tried to suspend. Still works as far as I know, I just haven’t used it in a long time.

        • @d3Xt3r@lemmy.nzM
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          34 months ago

          look for USB 3.0

          USB 3.0 (5 Gbps) is quite ancient by today’s standards. I’d recommend a USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 (20 Gbps) or even a USB 4.0 drive (20/40 Gbps) drive.

    • QueueOP
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      24 months ago

      Seems right, but I wanted to double check my research before I fully committed.

  • Dandroid
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    4 months ago

    I did this. I installed it just like usual. I did remove my existing SSD during the install so it wouldn’t install grub on my Windows SSD.

    My only complaint was that USB was too slow for everyday use. I can’t keep track of the USB versions anymore, but it was one of the 3.1s or 3.2s. Not sure what Gen or whatever. The connector was USB type C.

  • lemmyvore
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    14 months ago

    What chipset does the adapter use? Check lsusb or dmesg.

    Try adding a Manjaro install ISO with Ventoy, it works very well in live CD mode.

    • QueueOP
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      14 months ago

      Bus 004 Device 002: ID 0bda:9210 Realtek Semiconductor Corp. RTL9210 M.2 NVME Adapter

      And I don’t know if a live CD is the best method for this, due to the how I intend this to be something I can just keep files on for a while. While I do have small persistence .dat files for Debian, Fedora, and Ubuntu, it seems like a bandaid for what would be easiest, an installed distro where I can run the package update commands for, without juggling iso files.

      • lemmyvore
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        54 months ago

        That’s a good chip. As a rule of thumb, Realtek = best, Asmedia = good, JMicron = garbage. JMicron adapters run super hot and draw a lot of power, leading to low speeds and dropped connections.

        The reason I suggested a Live CD with persistence is that they are better at autodetecting stuff on the host machine. You can definitely install an actual system on the SSD but it will make assumptions about things like the GPU for example – won’t expect to have to swap it at boot, you’ll have to do it manually. Or you can run your desktop environment with a pure software driver but that may get a bit annoying at times, depending on what you want to do with it.