Persistence on a Live USB

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Persistence on a Live USB

Post by ricksavery » Thu Mar 22, 2018 8:53 am

Bear with me as I am still new at Linux.
I have a live USB stick with Mint 18.3 Cinnamon 64 bit on it. It works fine, in the sense that it boots properly.

It is on a 16Gb stick with the live boot files on a roughly 4Gb partition (FAT32). There is also a roughly 4GB partition, made with Gparted, formatted to ext4 and labelled casper-rw, which I want to use as the persistent storage.
The rest of the stick is a FAT32 partition to use files etc between computers.

My question is, how do I use the ext4 partition as persistent storage - do I need to point to it in isolinux.cfg for example.

I have set it up this way after reading what I could on the interweb. Clearly not enough, but I have reached my limit for knowing (roughly) what I am doing ! :) .

Just one other point that may be relevant, the ext4 partition is labelled casper-rw (which I di in Gparted) but its name seems to be the mount point (?), so I may have messed that up (label / name ?)

Any help or advice very gratefully received


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michael louwe
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Re: Persistence on a Live USB

Post by michael louwe » Thu Mar 22, 2018 10:08 am

@ ricksavery, .......
ricksavery wrote:.
AFAIK, you can create a Live LM USB flash-drive with variable persistent storage.

With Win 7, I used the Universal USB Installer program to create one with 4GB of persistent storage because fat32 limits files to a maximum size of 4GB.
....... To have more than 4GB of persistent storage, other methods/programs are needed, which I'm not well-versed in.

Persistent storage is to store/save your configuration/setting changes, installed apps/programs and updates in the casper-rw file, which will persist through reboots. To use the USB across all computers, do not install any proprietary driver, kernel update/upgrade or CPU microcode update.
....... A Live Linux USB with persistent storage can still be used to do a clean install of Linux.
Last edited by michael louwe on Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

Mute Ant
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Re: Persistence on a Live USB

Post by Mute Ant » Thu Mar 22, 2018 10:54 am

The Live Session system casper has a problem if the persistent file-system labelled casper-rw is a partition on the same drive as the squashed-os. My guess is it's the multi-path boot allowed by systemd breaking the old methods and no-one really cares enough to fix it. Casper fails to overlay your partition for persistence, so it appears later on as a mountable volume.

The no-frills solution is to simply install Mint into a removable store. I use a 16GB USB3 stick connected to a USB2 port, it's good enough.
You were in the left-hand lane and you were signalling left and I more or less assumed you were going to turn left.

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Re: Persistence on a Live USB

Post by phd21 » Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:53 pm

Hi ricksavery,

Welcome to the wonderful world of Linux Mint and its excellent forum!

There are many good posts in this forum on this topic.

If you have a 16gb or larger USB stick, you might be better off installing the full version of Linux Mint for security and other reasons, unless you are going to use this as an installer for Linux Mint in which case using "persistence" is the way to go.

[Tutorial] Live usb with persistence over 4GB - Linux Mint Forums

How to carry Mint on USB - Linux Mint Forums

Install Linux Mint on an 16gb USB - Linux Mint Forums

Hope this helps ...
Phd21: Mint KDE 17.3 & 18.3, 64-bit Awesome OS, Ancient Dell OptiPlex 780 Core2Duo E8400 3GHz,4gb Ram,256gb SDD, Video: Intel 4 Graphics, DVD Lightscribe. Why I use KDE?:

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