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I tried to find a previous question on SU pertaining to this, but I'm surprised this has not been asked before.

I have seen some deals lately for really cheap SDHC Class 4 cards, and would like to know whether these are a feasible alternative to USB flash drives for running an OS.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

This will be mostly down to your BIOS and card reader. If your BIOS can boot from a card reader then it should be able to boot Linux, I don't know if BIOSes support this currently. If the card reader works as a USB hard disk then that will probably work too.

If you get that far then you might have to modify ubuntu's initrd so it can find it's root directory.

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Would that be done before or after Ubuntu installation? – NoCatharsis May 24 '10 at 17:49
I assume your referring to the last bit, If it needs doing at all then you would want to do it after installation. If your card reader works over usb then it is unlikely you need to do anything different from a USB stick. The instructions at and may help. – Martin Hilton May 26 '10 at 6:02
I could go that route and by a USB card reader, but my laptop also has the SDHC slot built in. I boot from USB installation of Linux all the time, so if the computer thinks that's just one more USB drive, then problem solved. Just curious if I could do it directly from the SDHC though. – NoCatharsis Jun 4 '10 at 16:47
@NoCatharsis: Most SDHC built-in slots are just headers for a USB port. Shouldn't be any problem at all. – hotei Aug 23 '10 at 1:57

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