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I need to install Debian to an usb stick, provided I have exactly one USB port

I want normal OS there, i.e. not a live version

Preferably I'd like to use a tool like Rufus to write one of publicly available ISOs to USB stick and install from here like I usually do. Problem is when I try it complains "cannot mount cdrom" which is beyond my understanding(laptop doesn't have one)... I tried writing both in ISO and DD mode in Rufus - always the same error.

I also heard there is a possibility to write live Debian on USB stick instead, start it in 'toram' mode and install from there. But I can't find exact details how to do this...

Any guidance is welcomed

Thanks!

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Some featherweight distros that are designed to run entirely ram-resident will load everything to memory. In that case, you could probably overwrite the source flash drive (although I've never tested this). Non-RAM-resident distros refer back to the source (if you run a live session from a DVD, you'll see it continually refer back to the DVD).

You could jump through some hoops to do it if you have a lot of RAM or borrow some working space on the hard drive. You could also approach the problem via multiple partitions on a large flash drive (install onto a different partition, then reuse the one you installed from). Either one of these approaches would require some fluency with Linux.

If the only problem is that you have only one USB port, the easiest solution is just to get a USB hub. They're cheap, and you will probably have other needs for additional ports. Then you can use one flash drive for the installer and install onto another flash drive.

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