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.
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.
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:
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
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.
The following was taken from: http://www.pendrivelinux.com/2007/09/28/usb-ubuntu-710-gutsy-gibbon-install/
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
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
APPEND file=/preseed/ubuntu.seed boot=casper persistent initrd=initrd.gz quiet splash --
menu label ^Start Linux Mint in USB persistent mode (saves changes)
append file=/preseed/ubuntu.seed boot=casper persistent initrd=initrd.gz quiet splash -
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.