Can i install fedora on usb drive with only 1 usb drive?

I want to actually install fedora on a usb drive, but i have only 1 usb drive right now.
I tried to install it via virtual machine but for some reason idk why i cant boot into the usb drive. Is there some way? P.S im using windows as a main OS.

Get a USB hub, they are not very costly and you can have multiple USB support on your computer.

I doubt Virtual machine was able to access all the sectors of the hard disk during the installation of OS with USB pass-through option, there are high chances of installation succeed but you will have problem booting it later.

I actually have a usb hub but rn i dont have 2nd usb drive i have only 1

You didn’t mention the hypervisor, but you could do it with qemu pretty easily. Assuming your USB drive is sdb and you can spare 4G of memory, the command would look something like this:

qemu-kvm -m 4096 -cdrom /path/to/Fedora.iso -hda /dev/sdb

If you’re doing this from Windows, please let us know what hypervisor you are using (vbox, hyper-v, VMware, etc).

Alternatively, you could also burn the ISO to a blank DVD and boot from it if you have an optical drive.

I am using VMware

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If VMware allows it, I would copy the installation ISO to disk and boot a VM from it. VMWare should allow to have bypass access to the USB drive before Windows catches it, or after “Safely Remove”, that’s something I do not know. Sharing the USB filesystem will not work. After that, you should be able to do a normal install onto the USB. Or do I oversee something? Take care to use the same boot procedure on host and USB, so BIOS or UEFI.

Well i did that but idk why it doesnt work. It doesnt show in bios as bootable device and when i want to manually add the path, my usb drive isnt there. With live install everything is ok. I already had several distros including fedora installed on the usb drive but i used 2 usb drives method.

Ok i figured it out. My vmware boots into bios and not uefi but i need uefi install. So it installed bios version and thats why it didnt boot


While in Windows use the Windows version of Fedora Media Writer and load the selected LiveMedia.iso to the USB drive.

Then reboot and press the appropriate function keys for your computer to show the GRUB or SYSLINUX boot menu.

Select the menu item for the live media image and press ‘e’ in GRUB or ‘TAB’ in SYSLINUX to edit the menu command line.

In the line containing, insert This will instruct the boot software to copy the live media image to RAM. (There must be at least a couple of GiB of free memory available for the Fedora 36 Workstation image.)

Press ‘F10’ or ‘Ctrl x’ in GRUB or ‘Enter’ in SYSLINUX to continue with the boot. Depending on the speed of the system and disk, it will take a minute or so to complete the copy to RAM and then boot from the image in memory.

Once the system is booted, unmount the USB drive from /run/initramfs/live.

Use GNOME disks or another utility to remove the LiveMedia.iso partitions from the USB drive and then add a partition with no filesystem, or reformat the USB drive.

Before running Anaconda or ‘Install to Hard Drive’, you may need to unplug and replug the USB drive from the system in order for the installer to see the USB drive as a potential installation target.

This solution does not require any additional software, and bootstraps from the LiveMedia.iso if that is the only Fedora Linux image available to the system.

If you already have another Fedora booting image, you can boot from a saved LiveMedia.iso file itself by adding a new menu item to the boot configuration file of the first device. Follow the instruction at iso-scan/filename in dracut, the Fedora boot software.

If you want to install to the same drive containing the LiveMedia.iso file, then add to the kernel command line bearing in the referenced iso-scan/filename menu configuration. Current versions of dracut should automatically unmount the source disk and allow you to select that disk for installation with ‘Install to Hard Drive’. In this case, you would need to format a new partition for the new installation, either before running the installer or during the target disk selection stage.

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