Creating a persistent USB from Mint 6 XFCE live CD.

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Creating a persistent USB from Mint 6 XFCE live CD.

Postby ianjb on Fri Mar 20, 2009 3:04 pm

There have been several threads about persistence but after reading them I still had problems getting my Linux Mint 6 XFCE to be persistent on a USB. When I created a USB from Ubuntu 8.10 persistence just worked. When I created a USB from Mint 6 XFCE using the same procedure persistence didn't work.

What was the difference? I still don't really know WHY it's different but I did figure out WHAT makes Mint 6 XFCE USB persistent. The key is in the syslinux.cfg file. The default syslinux.cfg section that tell it how to boot looks like this:

Code: Select all
    label live
      menu label Start Linux Mint XFCE Community Edition
      kernel /casper/vmlinuz
      append  file=/cdrom/preseed/mint.seed boot=casper initrd=/casper/initrd.gz quiet splash --
    menu default

In order to be persistent the line that starts with "append" must have the word "persistent" in it but it doesn't.

So here are the steps to make a persistent, bootable, Linux Mint 6 XFCE USB. This assumes: a PC capable of booting from USB, a USB stick (at least 1 GB) formatted FAT32, knowledge of how to burn a cd, boot from the live cd, connect to the internet and use Synaptic package manager to load applications.

1. Download and burn to CD the Mint 6 XFCE iso.
2. Boot the Mint 6 XFCE cd and connect to the internet.
3. Install USB-Creator using Synaptic.
4. Plug in the USB stick, it will show up on the desktop.
5. Run the "Create a USB startup stick" command now available in the system Menu Set the file size to use up to 4GB of the USB (4GB is the FAT32 single file limit).
6. When the USB is created it says you can reboot to use the USB. Click "OK" but do NOT reboot yet.
7. Open the folder on the desktop for the USB. You will see a file named syslinux.cfg in the root of this folder. This is NOT the one to modify. Open the "syslinux" folder and open the syslinux.cfg file that you find there with your favorite text editor.
8. Edit the lines starting with "menu" and "append" in the code listed above to look like:

Code: Select all
    label live
      menu label Start Linux Mint XFCE Community Edition - persistent
      kernel /casper/vmlinuz
      append  file=/cdrom/preseed/mint.seed boot=casper persistent initrd=/casper/initrd.gz quiet splash --
    menu default

9. Save the edited syslinux.cfg file, quit from the live cd and remove the cd when prompted.
10. Restart, booting from the USB. When the boot option screen comes up the top boot option should look like the line that starts "menu label" in the code above - you now have a persistent Linux Mint 6 XFCE bootable USB stick.

Some notes:
1. This tutorial is specific to and has been tested on Linux Mint 6 XFCE. I expect that it probably works on other editions but I have not tested it. Anybody wishing to use it on other editions are welcome to update this thread with their experience.
2. When you boot from the USB and the boot options display you can hit tab and an editable boot option line will be displayed. The word "persistent" should appear after "boot=casper" for persistence. Remove the word "persistent" if you do not want this session to be persistent. It will not show any changes saved during previous persistent sessions. Any changes saved in previous persistent sessions will reappear when you boot persistent again.
3. Any changes that you make during a persistent session are saved in the casper-rw file which was sized in step 5 above. If you install updates you will be filling up the casper-rw file. When casper-rw is full things go south very quickly. If your USB is less than 4GB it is probably not a good idea to install updates.
4. When you have the system configured the way you want it, backing up the casper-rw file is a good idea. If casper-rw gets corrupted for any reason then boot using the live cd, delete the casper-rw file from the USB and restore the backed up casper-rw. Booting with the newly refreshed USB will get you back to the place where you backed up casper-rw.
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Re: Creating a persistent USB from Mint 6 XFCE live CD.

Postby ecosseman on Tue Oct 13, 2009 7:36 am

With the info given on Mint 6/USB flash , I have successfully installed persistent Mint 7 on 8GB Rundisk.
With bios configured USB-HDD it boots. A little slow, but it gets there.
I downloaded 7 Level1 updates, all OK. Began Level2's. I got a warning "Syslogd ...No space on disk".
There is still 7GB on the flash still available. How do I increase file/files to hold full Mint7?
Regards
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Re: Creating a persistent USB from Mint 6 XFCE live CD.

Postby Mu-Sensei on Sat Nov 07, 2009 12:55 pm

the trick is to use a casper-rw file with 4gb, the limit in a fat32 filesystem, cause only the space inside the casper file is system useable... eve if you have a 7.47 pendrive (8gb in theory)

im testing the Linux Mint 7 - Gloria + Sandisk 8 Gb, i will put the results after
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Re: Creating a persistent USB from Mint 6 XFCE live CD.

Postby ecosseman on Sat Nov 07, 2009 10:43 pm

Thanks. I have done a little homework and understand a bit better. Never too old to learn. Cheers
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Re: Creating a persistent USB from Mint 6 XFCE live CD.

Postby 2briancox on Tue Feb 04, 2014 3:36 pm

Now that 64GB USB thumb drives are cheap (just bought one for $35), it's time to see if this kind of system can become my only system for personal use. Has anyone tried this on Linux Mint 13?

I am planning on trying this later this week. Any up to date info would be helpful.
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Re: Creating a persistent USB from Mint 6 XFCE live CD.

Postby usbtux on Tue Feb 11, 2014 2:57 pm

2briancox wrote:Now that 64GB USB thumb drives are cheap (just bought one for $35), it's time to see if this kind of system can become my only system for personal use. Has anyone tried this on Linux Mint 13?

I am planning on trying this later this week. Any up to date info would be helpful.



Live usb with persistence

http://youtu.be/pq2bsTh_dDs How to use unetbootin to make a liveusb from windows
Install Unetbootin via synaptic then - Use Unetbootin in Linux Mint http://youtu.be/HRMzroqA1Wc

Full install to usb
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKL1tmn-xC0 External install
Full install encrypted usb or flash drive http://youtu.be/Nw99gRGWGuw
http://goo.gl/DXKgM LinuxMint tutorials.
Running LinuxMint 17 Cinnamon/KDE/XFCE
http://goo.gl/WFu0u Installing Mint - the screen cast videos.
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Re: Creating a persistent USB from Mint 6 XFCE live CD.

Postby fixit on Thu Feb 13, 2014 6:31 pm

Those videos assume you are installating from the hard drive.

I am not.

I am trying to successfully install to a pen drive using an .iso and THEN installing from the flash drive to my hard drive.

Do you understand what I would like ?

Take care.
Thanks.

Linux Mint 16 Petra
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