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I have a dell laptop and have virtual machines, but I do not want to use virtual machine due to the speed concerns.

I am thinking of buying a 8GB mini/micro usb stick (smaller than normal usb stick) and install ubuntu on it. I will be using Ubuntu 32/64 bit instances based on your recommendation.

Is 8GB space enough to install ubuntu + mysql(not more than 500 MB data) + emacs + other utilities which will not cross 500 MB?

I might want to have minimum of 2 GB space for my work area. My laptop has 4 GB and minimal swap partition or no swap would be fine.

The other way to ask is how much of disk storage used by the Ubuntu 10.10/10.4 on 32 bit and 64 bit on the default desktop installation?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

My install of Ubuntu + codecs + KDE + unity + git + MonoDevelop + PyQT + ruby + rails takes about 4gigs, so you should be fine.

Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda1              16G  4.0G   11G  28% /
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I have a Ubuntu desktop with many develop tools in pen-disk which take only 3.5G bytes.

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Yes, you can. In the past I have had a 4GB USB Flash Drive and Ubuntu fit quite comfortably on there.

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