how to use "live usb" as a normal operating system ?

Asked by menton67

I have successfully installed ubuntu Linux on a usb key.
Now when I boot on this key, it works normally.
But actually, when I shut-down and then restart again, all configuration operations made, have not been registered. All behaves as if all the system installed on the usb key is never modified.
But I just want to use Linux installed on this key as I would use windows installed on my PC. I don't want to change my PC configuration : I don't want to try to install Linux on the hard drive where vista is already installed. I prefer to keep completely separate vista and Linux.
Is it possible ? (i did not choose a CD because i wanted to be able to write on the support)

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Marc Stewart (marc.stewart) said :

In order to retain changes made to a Live USB, you need a persistent overlay.

I don't think UNetbootin can create them. (Certainly there's no mention in the list of options here: ; though I'd be glad to be corrected by someone) Ubuntu, however, comes with its own way of creating a Live USB, and it includes an option for a persistent overlay. You can find it in:
System > Administration > USB Startup Disk Creator (just plain Startup Disk Creator in 10.04)

You won't be able to add it to a USB stick that's already running Ubuntu, so you'll have to burn a live CD to use to start Ubuntu, run the program, and create your live USB. It's a bit inconvenient, but isn't really too time-consuming, and the CD can always be passed on to someone else interested in trying Ubuntu.

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