Ubuntu 9.04 Live DVD to USB using USB-Creator persistent changes under Live-Session for custom installations

Asked by James Fisher on 2009-06-25

I am using a DVD edition of i386 jaunty 9.04 from the cover of ubuntu user magazine.

I booted using the live test as normal, selected System>Administration>Create USB Startup Disk, and proceeded as normal. Once the installation was finished I rebooted the live DVD session to test the USB Stick. All works as expected and I arrive at the Gnome desktop under the standard live-session.

What I expected, That I should be able to apply changes to the configuration under the live-session user such as "sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras" and these would be persistent and available to install onto any other system as I roam, "leaving a trail of Ubuntu behind me".

What happened, I applied a number of changes rebooted to test the changes but the software installed was not available and the desktop changes including browser setting had not remained.

Have I miss understood the procedure or are my expectation to high?

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Ubuntu usb-creator Edit question
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Solved by:
Shane Fagan
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Last reply:

The problem is you didnt install ubuntu you just made a live image on the usb stick. So all your changes were just in ram and when you rebooted it was cleared. So if you install ubuntu it should keep all your changes.

Hope that helps

James Fisher (jf1976) said : #2

So i miss understand the procedure required for creating customizations.

Is there a standard method for creating the changes I require, but still maintain the underlying principle behind the "USB Statup disk". auto boot into "Live-Session" user etc.

This will allow a better solution for portability and replication of a custom environment for me personal and I'm sure others, or maybe it's just me?...

Thanks for your speedy response, Shane..

I think what you want isnt really practical. If you install ubuntu it would solve your problem because you can customise it all you want after that. I dont see why you dont just do that. You can even install ubuntu inside windows and remove it like any other program in windows afterwards.

James Fisher (jf1976) said : #4

I understand that I could create an installation onto the USB-Stick then customize this installation, but would this allow me to install the Custom installation onto other systems with the customisations and without my personal account etc. just like the "USB Startup disk"

The main goal is to be able to go to remote locations, without internet access with the custom system on USB ready for live use and or installation using just a "USB Startup disk"

James Fisher (jf1976) said : #6

Funny you should say such a things as i was then reading


But that does seem rather a extreme, none the less if this is the way forward the least i could do is have a go.


if I do the customization using a live environment, then collect the package information using the following

`dpkg-query -W --showformat='${Installed-Size} ${Package}\n' | sort -nr | less`

could I then customize the casper file system during or after installation to the "USB Startup disk" while in the live environment. to include the modifications?

or shall i just stop asking now and go play for a day or two?

James Fisher (jf1976) said : #8

Thanks, I have lots to read now, but I shall just leave with something I have just found.

The crew over at offensive-security use Ubuntu in the latest version of backtrack and provide this for customization :


I think might just have to take a peak inside.

Thanks for the help, I'm grateful for your response

James Fisher (jf1976) said : #11

Thanks shane fagan, that solved my question.

James Fisher (jf1976) said : #12

i also found this if anyone else is looking for answers!


charles (c452683) said : #13

I also want to have a usb startup drive that can save my setting and google toolbar , then lock it against virus and use it in any computer in the world ( church, coffee shop , library , hotel,etc ). It is mini size, no value ( very cheap) and very stable , hi-speed in usb2.0 computer (just like H.D.)( H.D. should be faded out ). Also, it can use open office while it is locked (save changes to an unlock usb data drive)