USB – Flash drive * College Student Install *

Questions about Grub, UEFI,the liveCD and the installer
Forum rules
Before you post please read this

USB – Flash drive * College Student Install *

Postby smash102 on Sun Jan 20, 2008 1:11 am

Hi there,
Let me introduce my self. I am a noob to Linux. I know you all feel my pain and can understand why I am looking to try out and even make a leap to Linux from my current windows system.

I have read a lot of the threads on forms at both Mint and Ubuntu about installing Linux on a USB/Flash drive. I have read the “How To” material located at pendrivelinux.com and am still running into a roadblock.

Expectations:
Let me explain my expectations I would like to get from this. As a college student, I have the need to store my documents for classes and share them between my home PC’s and the schools PC’s. The school runs windows and I currently run windows at home, so after the install/partition of my USB/flash drive it needs to be readable by both Linux and windows.
There are also some thin clients located at my school that do not possess all of the programs I might need to properly prepare my documents and presentations for class. By having a desktop (Linux OS) that I can boot to from any PC (like a Live CD) would allow me to take my programs that I need with me where ever I go. I know it might just be easier to go buy a laptop like an Asus Eee, but I can’t afford that. I am a college student after all.

History:
Based on what I have read, I have completed the following.
Partitioned (using fdisk) the 4 gig drive into 2 partitions.

Partition 1 = 3gig fat 32 label=MINT
Partition 2 = 1gig fat 32 * active label=casper-rw

I took the files and process obtained from:
http://www.pendrivelinux.com/2007/10/31/usb-linux-mint-install-from-windows/
The only thing I couldn’t do was run the makeboot.bat, as I needed the files on the second partition, which I did move to the second partition. Why? From what I read, a limitation of windows is it can only read the first partition. A limitation with Linux I noticed, when booting from the USB (with only 1 partition as described in the above process from pendrivelinux.com) it will not allow me to save files to the USB drive and the OS is not persistent.

This is where I am stuck. What do I need to do next to make this boot?
Remember I am a noob, so exact code would really be helpful.
Thank you in advance for any help!


It would be really cool if some one could make something that would automatically set my drive up like this. I found the suggestion previously made here: http://linuxmint.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=7259&p=48844

//Edit 1/26/2008//

Ok, I took everyone's suggestions and did countless hours of testing to make sure I could get a reliable and successful load. I had to use LinuxMint-4.0-KDE-BETA-044.iso version of Mint in order to get this to work. I could not get the Linux Mint-Main version to work with this process. If you can't get this to work or have revision suggestions, please post and I will do my best to trouble shoot it with you and everyone else as I am still testing it too. My load times on this on a 400 MHz pc is about 3 min, 1.4 GHz was about the same so that means it's the USB drive I have determined by the read time of 10MB per second.

Please note: most of the following is not originally my making, but I have tried to include source references for it. I have compiled and edited it as a guide for someone whishing to reproduce my results.


Also Note: I have yet to get this boot to save login settings. It's still going to auto login as Guest and such, but sound levels, updates, documents, backgrounds and so forth are saving. If you know how to force the live part to request a login and to manually add yourself as a user on top of root and guest then please post.




1. Grab the LinuxMint-4.0-KDE-BETA-044.iso and burn it to a CD
2. Insert the CD and your USB flash drive
3. Reboot your computer into Mint from the Live CD
4. Open a terminal window and type sudo su
5. Type fdisk -l to list available drives/partitions. Note which device is your flash drive (example: /dev/sda) Throughout this tutorial, replace x with your flash drive letter. For example, if your flash drive is sdb, replace x with b.
6. Type umount /dev/sdx1
I had to unmount my USB drive acouple of times though this as Mint kept auto detecting it. Keep any screens that pop up for the drives closed when they auto mount and it should work easy for you.

7. Type fdisk /dev/sdx
    type p to show the existing partition and d to delete it
    type p again to show any remaining partitions (if partitions exist, repeat the previous step)
    type n to make a new partition
    type p for primary partition
    type 1 to make this the first partition
    hit enter to use the default 1st cylinder
    type +750M to set the partition size
This is where I changed up the process a little bit.
Since I have a 4 gig stick it has lots of room.
I made the first partition +3000M (3gig) which allows me to save my class files to this location so that I can move it to both the Linux OS when booting from the USB and Windows when I need to work with files from a Windows program.
The remaining 1gig of space should be plenty of space for anything I want to do in Linux Mint and want it to be persistent, such as updates and additional programs.

    type a to make this partition active
    type 1 to select partition 1
    type t to change the partition filesystem
    type 6 to select the fat16 file system
    type n to make another new partition
    type p for primary partition
    type 2 to make this the second partition
    hit enter to use the default cylinder
    hit enter again to use the default last cylinder
    type w to write the new partition table
8. Type umount /dev/sdx1 to ensure the 1st partition is unmounted
9. Type mkfs.vfat -F 16 -n mintkde044 /dev/sdx1 to format the first partition
10. Type umount /dev/sdx2 just to ensure the 2nd partition is unmounted
11. Type mkfs.ext2 -b 4096 -L casper-rw /dev/sdx2 to format the second partition
I found step 11 to be profoundly important to enable the persistent feature.

12. Remove and Re-insert your flash drive
13. Back at the terminal, type apt-get update
14. Type apt-get install syslinux mtools
15. Type syslinux -sf /dev/sdx1
16. Type cd /cdrom
17. Type cp -rf casper disctree dists install pics pool preseed .disk isolinux/* d5sum.txt README.diskdefines ubuntu.ico casper/vmlinuz casper/initrd.gz /media/mintkde044/

    Ignore any "cannot create symbolic link" errors

I got some errors such as ubuntu.ico. There isn't any on the Mint disk. Other things that could be left out are dists, pics, pool, pressed, readme.diskdefines.
The second test I did, I used the following line instead:
cp -rf casper disctree .disk isolinux/* md5sum.txt casper/vmlinuz casper/initrd.gz /media/mintkde044/

18. Type cd /home/LinuxMint-4.0 (or what ever you named your burn)
19. Type wget pendrivelinux.com/downloads/U710fix.zip
20. Type unzip -o -d /media/mintkde044/ U710fix.zip
21. Restart your computer, set your BIOS or Boot menu to boot from the USB device and reboot again.
But you're not done yet!
I also had to make the following change.
Your really only changing/adding the first line in the config file.
The following was modified from the suggestion posted at: http://forum.eeeuser.com/viewtopic.php?pid=106148

22. Edit your syslinux.cfg to read/include the following:
    DEFAULT vmlinuz
    GFXBOOT bootlogo
    GFXBOOT-BACKGROUND 0xB6875A
    APPEND file=/preseed/ubuntu.seed boot=casper persistent initrd=initrd.gz quiet splash --
    LABEL persistent
    menu label ^Start Linux Mint in USB persistent mode (saves changes)
    kernel vmlinuz
    append file=/preseed/ubuntu.seed boot=casper persistent initrd=initrd.gz quiet splash -
23. Done. Shutdown, eject the CD. Unplug the USB stick then plug it back in and reboot.
If you forget to unplug the USB stick and put it back in your MBR might get corrupted. This happened to me 2x when I was testing this. Not sure why, but this works for me.
Last edited by smash102 on Sat Jan 26, 2008 5:19 am, edited 5 times in total.
smash102
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 12:13 am

Linux Mint is funded by ads and donations.
 

Re: USB – Flash drive * College Student Install *

Postby Husse on Sun Jan 20, 2008 6:10 pm

There is a good howto for Mint on a USB stick instead of a live CD here
viewtopic.php?f=42&t=3250
If I remember correctly the persistance problem is solved
Image
Don't fix it if it ain't broken, don't break it if you can't fix it
Husse
Level 21
Level 21
 
Posts: 19710
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2007 7:22 am
Location: Near Borås Sweden

Re: USB – Flash drive * College Student Install *

Postby 'Walker on Sun Jan 20, 2008 10:19 pm

Husse wrote:There is a good howto for Mint on a USB stick instead of a live CD here
viewtopic.php?f=42&t=3250
If I remember correctly the persistance problem is solved


Hi. 'nother Mint n00b from winXP here. I've been trying to fix this same issue and was about to do the dance of joy, except that the post in your link states it's only for installing FROM usb. Did I read it wrong?
User avatar
'Walker
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 8:43 pm

Re: USB – Flash drive * College Student Install *

Postby smash102 on Sun Jan 20, 2008 11:41 pm

I looked that over and it appears to be loading a full live CD onto the jump drive, but I am not sure if that will work. I will try it out and see if it keeps the settings and allows me to save files to the same USB drive. I have to admit that I am not optimistic that it will work.
smash102
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 12:13 am

Re: USB – Flash drive * College Student Install *

Postby smash102 on Mon Jan 21, 2008 12:37 am

Nope, doesn't work right.
That how to was hard to follow.
It took me a bit to figure out what I had to do with the zipped file they had me download.
It would have been less confusing if the Linux and windows process were split up into two different threads or at least separated from each other such as listing all the windows stuff first then the Linux stuff, not mixing it as they did.
But that guide provided will not allow me to install programs or save documents that will be accessible on the next boot on a different computer.
smash102
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 12:13 am

Re: USB – Flash drive * College Student Install *

Postby Husse on Mon Jan 21, 2008 6:50 am

Sorry - I thought the persistence problem was solved there.
I'm sure I've seen a how to to install on a USB stick
It's no problem to install on a USB hard disk though
Look in the how to section and the Installation and boot section a bit deeper
This week my time is very limited....
Image
Don't fix it if it ain't broken, don't break it if you can't fix it
Husse
Level 21
Level 21
 
Posts: 19710
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2007 7:22 am
Location: Near Borås Sweden

Re: USB – Flash drive * College Student Install *

Postby smash102 on Tue Jan 22, 2008 1:59 pm

I tried some additional stuff (ubuntu 7.10 persistent recomendations from ubuntu's site) to try to force either the install isted on Pendrivelinux.com or the one suggested above. I can't get any of them to be presistent. Anyone have some more ideas?
smash102
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 12:13 am

Re: USB – Flash drive * College Student Install *

Postby BakUp on Tue Jan 22, 2008 5:58 pm

smash102 wrote:Nope, doesn't work right.That how to was hard to follow.
It took me a bit to figure out what I had to do with the zipped file they had me download.

I agree !

Check this out:
http://linuxmint.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=7259&p=45527#p45527

Seems like there is no interest at all in my suggestion.

I have tried (5) different ways of installing Mint to a USB pen drive, flash drive, including three of them from the "Mint How-To's". And was not successful on any of them.
My Linux Distros:
sidux - Parsix - DreamLinux - Mint
User avatar
BakUp
Level 4
Level 4
 
Posts: 200
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 9:20 am
Location: Minnesota USA

Re: USB – Flash drive * College Student Install *

Postby smash102 on Tue Jan 22, 2008 6:24 pm

I can get a good boot using this:
http://www.pendrivelinux.com/2007/10/31/usb-linux-mint-install-from-windows/

Now the odd thing is that it’s simpler, and boots faster than the recommended "How To" on Mint's own forums.

Try that out and tell me if you don't also notice a faster boot.

It just sucks that even if you follow ubuntu's casper removal process and partition add of casper-rw you still can't get a persistent load on a USB drive. On top of that I can't imagine why someone hasn't made a live cd version of Linux that will take a jump drive and just make what were looking for. I mean the existence of PendriveLinux.com proves that there is an overwhelming interest in getting Linux to do exactly what we’re trying to do. It just doesn’t make sense why more development in this type of install hasn't been accomplished yet.
smash102
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 12:13 am

Re: USB – Flash drive * College Student Install *

Postby merlwiz79 on Tue Jan 22, 2008 8:09 pm

User avatar
merlwiz79
Level 11
Level 11
 
Posts: 3637
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 1:50 pm
Location: Here again :)

Re: USB – Flash drive * College Student Install *

Postby smash102 on Wed Jan 23, 2008 7:19 pm

If that works, that’s awesome!
But, I am still left with unanswered questions from your post. From what I can tell, it was designed for Ubuntu 7.10 and not Linux Mint.
I know Mint is built from Ubuntu, but I also know there is a tendency for file names and folders to change between different versions and developers.

For example:
What do I need to change on/in that “How To” that is supposed to make Mint work persistently?
Are the same files going to work for Mint and what names/files are different?
Will the apt-get command listed and the U710fix.zip still work with Mint 4.0?
smash102
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 12:13 am

Re: USB – Flash drive * College Student Install *

Postby lotech on Thu Jan 24, 2008 10:30 pm

Just installed on USB, it works almost perfect except persistent, please someone give a sure work solution, thanks !!
Do you Yahoo ? No I hiccup only ;p
lotech
Level 2
Level 2
 
Posts: 70
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 10:19 pm

Re: USB – Flash drive * College Student Install *

Postby merlwiz79 on Fri Jan 25, 2008 12:12 am

lotech wrote:Just installed on USB, it works almost perfect except persistent, please someone give a sure work solution, thanks !!

It should work as someone else has it running perfectly fine.
http://forum.eeeuser.com/viewtopic.php?pid=106148
Edit the SYSLINUX.CFG to this:
Code: Select all
DEFAULT /casper/vmlinuz
GFXBOOT bootlogo
GFXBOOT-BACKGROUND 0xa0d461
APPEND  file=/cdrom/preseed/ubuntu.seed boot=casper persistent initrd=/casper/initrd.gz verbose splash --
LABEL persistent
  menu label ^Start Linux Mint Persistent
  kernel /casper/vmlinuz
  append  file=/cdrom/preseed/ubuntu.seed boot=casper persistent initrd=/casper/initrd.gz verbose splash --
LABEL live
  menu label ^Start Linux Mint
  kernel /casper/vmlinuz
  append  file=/cdrom/preseed/ubuntu.seed boot=casper initrd=/casper/initrd.gz ramdisk_size=1048576 root=/dev/ram rw quiet splash --
LABEL xforcevesa
  menu label Start Linux Mint in safe ^graphics mode
  kernel /casper/vmlinuz
  append  file=/cdrom/preseed/ubuntu.seed boot=casper xforcevesa initrd=/casper/initrd.gz ramdisk_size=1048576 root=/dev/ram rw quiet splash --
LABEL hd
  menu label ^Boot from first hard disk
  localboot 0x80
  append -
DISPLAY isolinux.txt
TIMEOUT 300
PROMPT 1
F1 f1.txt
F2 f2.txt
F3 f3.txt
F4 f4.txt
F5 f5.txt
F6 f6.txt
F7 f7.txt
F8 f8.txt
F9 f9.txt
F0 f10.txt
User avatar
merlwiz79
Level 11
Level 11
 
Posts: 3637
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 1:50 pm
Location: Here again :)

Re: USB – Flash drive * College Student Install *

Postby lotech on Fri Jan 25, 2008 12:24 am

Thanks, so insert persistent in the boot prompt will do too...
Do you Yahoo ? No I hiccup only ;p
lotech
Level 2
Level 2
 
Posts: 70
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 10:19 pm

Re: USB – Flash drive * College Student Install *

Postby lotech on Fri Jan 25, 2008 2:35 am

Didn't work, once the boot up logo comes out, there is activity on the CD drive and stuck there, nothing else happened.
lotech
Level 2
Level 2
 
Posts: 70
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 10:19 pm

Re: USB – Flash drive * College Student Install *

Postby smash102 on Fri Jan 25, 2008 11:49 pm

I tried this.
I got the install and it boots no issues as I have described previously.
However it is not persistent.
I then made the suggested modification to the syslinux.cfg file.
The result is CDROM activity when booted from the USB Drive, but none of the settings are getting saved.
I tried changing the APPEND line to
file=/sdb2/pressed/ubuntu.seed boot=casper persistent initrd=casper/initrd.gz verbose
Because I have a second partition on the drive and thought about trying to make that work.
No go with that either. Got errors saying it was missing some file in the location.


I followed the Ubuntu710 exactly as listed in the suggested link above and got a persistent boot of Ubuntu710. The partitions are not the way I wanted it to be though, but I can contest that it is persistent. Its also not Mint. So I will continue to test any suggestions made here as I really want mint loaded as described in the first post.
smash102
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 12:13 am

Re: USB – Flash drive * College Student Install *

Postby smash102 on Sat Jan 26, 2008 5:04 am

I was waiting to complete some further tests before I posted an update.
I can however report success!
I have updated my previous post.
Please test this and report back with your results. I am anxious to see how it works for you.
smash102
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 12:13 am

Re: USB – Flash drive * College Student Install *

Postby 'Walker on Sat Jan 26, 2008 1:47 pm

smash102 wrote:I was waiting to complete some further tests before I posted an update.
I can however report success!
I have updated my previous post.
Please test this and report back with your results. I am anxious to see how it works for you.


So if I read your post right, we have persistent mint, although only as user "mint". I can live with that. Thanks so much!
User avatar
'Walker
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 8:43 pm

Re: USB – Flash drive * College Student Install *

Postby smash102 on Sun Jan 27, 2008 1:02 am

'Walker wrote:So if I read your post right, we have persistent mint, although only as user "mint". I can live with that. Thanks so much!


That is correct.
Please let me know if it worked for you.

Today I ran into the following issue:
"can not mount /dev/sdb2"
The error said that the /cow is missing.
Any suggestions on how to repair that?
smash102
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 12:13 am

Re: USB – Flash drive * College Student Install *

Postby smash102 on Sun Feb 03, 2008 4:10 pm

Anyone have any success or failure?
smash102
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 12:13 am

Linux Mint is funded by ads and donations.
 
Next

Return to Installation & Boot

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: administrollaattori, Fering Dring, nascar64, PatH57 and 18 guests