Persistant USB?

Asked by djskunkdiesel

Are we trying to make this Live USB persistant? So far congrats on the progress, but doesnt help me much unless I can save changes and install packages....

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Best probono (probono) said :

liveusb currently does currently not set up the USB drive for persistence. Could be added as an option though if there is a real interest in it.

However, you don't need persistence just to add apps. You can install apps into the running Live system and then make a new squashfs file from it using the "mksquashfs" command.

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djskunkdiesel (jasonb-pccareguys) said :

Ok thanx, that answered my question. If you have time could you post an example "mksquashfs" command. Thanx again.

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pesage (willy-englebert) said :

Without persistence, you cannot change langage or keyboard permanently.
On the other hand, making a new squashfs file (?) is not for everybody ...

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probono (probono) said :

pesage, to change language and keyboard, do the following:
When you boot the live CD, select the correct language from the menu that appears as the first thing you see from the Ubuntu Live CD. The system will then boot in the correct language.

When you run liveusb from that system, it will automatically set the live USB system to the same language and keyboard settings, so that the live USB system will boot with the correct language and keyboard without further asking you each time.

(If you would like to change the language and keyboard setting manually, you can easily do so by modifying boot/syslinux/syslinux.cfg on the USB drive with a text editor. You do not need persistence for this.)

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pesage (willy-englebert) said :

This is not true as far as keyboard settings are concerned and it cannot be : my langage is french and my keyboard is belgium ...
Why aren'you able to do what fedora and mandriva are able to do ??

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pesage (willy-englebert) said :

I qpologiwe<
Excuse me : I have choosen French(Belgium) as my language and belgium is shown in the keyboard settings but I have a qwerty keyboard unless I choose Belgium a second time and delete the first ...
This is only annoying but can be corrected I suppose.
The problem of persistence or remanence is much more important and I cannot understand why you try to minimize it : ubuntu appears to be a second or third-class system here : you are going back to the live cd of a few years ago !!

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djskunkdiesel (jasonb-pccareguys) said :

Guess I will throw my two cents in. It looks like the guys over at think they have made an Ubuntu Hardy Live USB that is persistant. And it is, only problem is that it uses the GRUB bootloader. Grub doesnt work on most systems with one or more SATA drives unless it is the system you installed it on because it gets confuzed with the device naming. And so far I havent been able to successfully get syslinux or lilo to work with they're configuration. But this app here does get syslinux to boot flawlessly with Hardy. So I am working on a way to combine the two so as to use syslinux as the bootloader and still achieve persistance. If I figure it out soon I will post a howto and link to it here.


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pesage (willy-englebert) said :

I am ashamed of myself because I used the fedora key and there is a (little) bug in it ...
But it is WORSE with the ubuntu key because to change language and keyboard settings you have to reboot the system and that wipes out every change you made so that you are obliged to work in english (fine) and to use a kwerty keyboard which is hell for me !
Being only a stupid user I can not understand why, if you are not able to do the same thing as mandriva and fedora, you may not COPY them in an open source world ?
Having said that, I am perfectly happy with mandriva and to a lesser degree with fedora and I can live without the ubuntu key which is not usable up to now even if probono says persistance is a simple option !
I shut down my computer, unplug my ubuntu key and reboot on wubi on my hard disk ,,,

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probono (probono) said :

pesage, please see for how to set language and keyboard layout. It basically comes down that you should start the Live CD with the correct language and keyboard settings and then run liveusb from there. It will automatically set the Live USB system to your language and keyboard settings.

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probono (probono) said :

djskunkdiesel, persistence has nothing to do with grub specifically. It should work just as well with syslinux (which the Live USB creator uses). I just haven't implemented persistence yet because it didn't seem important to me (I save my data on the network). But as I said, if people want the persistence feature, we could add it as an option.

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pesage (willy-englebert) said :

This is my last message because this is a dialog between deaf people.
Persistence is important for mandriva , for fedora and even for puppy linux but not for ubuntu !
I can live without ubuntu live usb if you are NOT ABLE to make it persistent ...

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probono (probono) said :

This tool is not related to Mandriva, Fedora or Puppy Linux. Pesage, be sure to track the status of LP #235486. Maybe this will be implemented, if there is enough demand for it (=more than two or three people).

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probono (probono) said :

I tried the two modes of persistence on a Hardy system, using a USB thumbdrive: casper-rw (makes the entire system persistent) and home-rw (makes /home persistent).

I find both of them ununsable performance-wise. Normally, any write accesses go directly to the ramdisk, which is very fast. When you use persistence, any writes go to the USB thumbdrive, which (depending on your hardware) is very slow (much slower than reading from it).

For example, if you browse the web with Firefox and persistence on, there are constantly writes to the USB device (cache) and browsing becomes very slow.

In summary, I think the persistence feature is only usable if you are using a USB hard disk or a very fast thumbdrive.

There is, however, another way to save data to the USB device:

mount /dev/sda1 /cdrom -o remount,rw
sudo cp mydocument /cdrom

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djskunkdiesel (jasonb-pccareguys) said :

Well Probono, thanx for the effort. I also had difficultiy with the casper-rw method. But I found some virus removal apps that run on Mandriva flash so I guess I will use that for now. I guess the Live USB flash OS is one area where Ubuntu will have to settle for not being the best. I Found Puppy linux, SLAX, Fedora, and Mandriva all to have a far better flash installation version and install method.

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pesage (willy-englebert) said :

Mandriva is very slow to start and chiefly to stop but is the best.
Fedora keybord must be reconfigured every time it starts and there is a bug when you try to update : it immediately crashes.
Puppy Linux is a bit light .
I do not know SLAX but I will give it a try.
Of them all, Ubuntu is by far the worst ...

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probono (probono) said :

According to popular demand, I added persistence as an option to the version in SVN.

However, due to LP #219192 this does not work "out of the box" right now, you have to manually change the initrd. This is a bug in casper and as such not in the scope of this tool.