Linux Mint Live USB with Persistent Partition: how?

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spaceman5
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Linux Mint Live USB with Persistent Partition: how?

Post by spaceman5 » Wed Aug 01, 2018 10:04 am

pbear wrote:
Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:40 am
persistence is great for testing, but not so good imho as a permanent system.
JerryF wrote:
Wed Nov 01, 2017 12:39 pm
Having a 32 GB USB drive, I would do a full install onto it. I did that with my 16 GB USB drive.
Aleron Ives wrote:
Thu Nov 02, 2017 4:50 am
I tried multiple programs to get Mint to persist, and I don't think I ever got the partition method to work. I did get the persistence file option to work once, but it was a pain, because I had to modify the boot parameter to add --persistent every time I booted the USB, or Mint would boot into a virgin state again and ignore the persistence file. As JerryF suggested, it seems doing a full install to the USB is the most reliable solution at present.

All recommend a Full Install to the USB Flash Drive..

OK..

Can you please tell me what is the simplest way to do a Full Install of linux Mint to a USB Flash Drive?

(assume that the user has 2 USB Flash Drives, or a DVD Drive and a USB Flash Drive - both options are available)

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Re: Linux Mint Live USB with Persistent Partition: how?

Post by Moem » Wed Aug 01, 2018 10:23 am

  • Boot the machine into Mint from the bootable USB drive that has Mint on it (or from the DVD).
  • Insert the second USB drive.
  • Open GParted, and partition that drive the way you want it.
  • Start the installer.
  • Use the 'Something Else' option and point the installer to the empty USB drive and to the partitions that you just created.
Image

If your issue is solved, kindly indicate that by editing the first post in the topic, and adding [SOLVED] to the title. Thanks!

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Re: Linux Mint Live USB with Persistent Partition: how?

Post by spaceman5 » Wed Aug 01, 2018 10:55 am

Terrific!
Full Install to a USB Flash Drive looks much simpler than the tutorials for Flash Drive with Persistence..
Thank you.

BTW
When using GParted,
can I create 2 partitions on the target USB Flash Drive?
The first for the OS, and the second for all my files, data..

(and can I also somehow tell Mint that this second partition will be used to save its settings, applications that I install, and more?)

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Re: Linux Mint Live USB with Persistent Partition: how?

Post by rui no onna » Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:58 pm

spaceman5 wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 10:55 am
Terrific!
Full Install to a USB Flash Drive looks much simpler than the tutorials for Flash Drive with Persistence..
Thank you.

BTW
When using GParted,
can I create 2 partitions on the target USB Flash Drive?
The first for the OS, and the second for all my files, data..

(and can I also somehow tell Mint that this second partition will be used to save its settings, applications that I install, and more?)
Note, there are automated GUI Live USB creators that will create the Live USB with persistence file for you: e.g. YUMI (Windows), multibootusb (Linux), Unetbootin (Linux, Mac, Windows). Converting the USB to use a persistent partition instead of the persistence file is very easy afterwards.

That said, there are things that don't work on a persistent USB (e.g. system or driver related installs and updates) so you're likely better off with a USB full install. I remember trying to install Broadcom wifi drivers on Kubuntu live with persistence and it just won't take.

GParted, yes you can definitely make multiple partitions. You can assign the second partition as /home during installation (Something Else option). Applications seem to be all over the place though in terms of where they're installed, though.

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Re: Linux Mint Live USB with Persistent Partition: how?

Post by spaceman5 » Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:12 pm

rui no onna wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:58 pm
GParted, yes you can definitely make multiple partitions. You can assign the second partition as /home during installation (Something Else option). Applications seem to be all over the place though in terms of where they're installed, though.
Thank you very much

Regarding GParted,
are there certain parameters that I should choose for the 2 partitions that I create, to make it optimized for Mint?

From what I read in some tutorials, the OS (boot) partition is better as FAT32 than NTFS..
On the other hand, the second partition (for my data) can be, and better be NTFS.. (that way no 4GB limitation for a file's size)

Anything else?
cluster size and all that?

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Re: Linux Mint Live USB with Persistent Partition: how?

Post by rui no onna » Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:44 pm

spaceman5 wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:12 pm
Regarding GParted,
are there certain parameters that I should choose for the 2 partitions that I create, to make it optimized for Mint?

From what I read in some tutorials, the OS (boot) partition is better as FAT32 than NTFS..
On the other hand, the second partition (for my data) can be, and better be NTFS.. (that way no 4GB limitation for a file's size)

Anything else?
cluster size and all that?
NTFS is not a native Linux file system so I personally wouldn't use it for / or /home. General recommendation for casper-rw persistent storage is ext2 to reduce writes to the flash drive versus ext4. Perhaps ext2 might be prudent in this case, too? I've never actually tried a full USB install so can't rightly say.

I'm pretty cavalier when it comes to SSD writes. However, flash drives tend to use cheaper NAND flash and wear leveling (spreading out writes so individual pages don't get hammered) isn't as good as on SSDs with powerful controllers and RAM cache. While I've only used Live Linux USB with persistence for a month or so, I have managed to damage a couple of flash drives running portable Firefox and LibreOffice after 6-9 months of use (and that's with Firefox disk caching already disabled) so I'd be more careful with writes on a USB stick than I would on a regular SSD.

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Re: Linux Mint Live USB with Persistent Partition: how?

Post by spaceman5 » Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:02 am

Hi All


I am about to do the full installation now,
it will be from 1 USB Flash Drive (Live Mint) to a second USB Flash Drive, which is prepared with 2 partitions.

I would like to verify regarding this part:
spaceman5 wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 10:55 am
When using GParted,
can I create 2 partitions on the target USB Flash Drive?
The first for the OS, and the second for all my files, data..

(and can I also somehow tell Mint that this second partition will be used to save its settings, applications that I install, and more?)
rui no onna wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:58 pm
GParted, yes you can definitely make multiple partitions. You can assign the second partition as /home during installation (Something Else option). Applications seem to be all over the place though in terms of where they're installed, though.


So after I choose "Something Else",
I will see the 2 partitions I created earlier,
and then the first one I should set as Mounting Point /
and the second one I should set as Mounting Point /home

That's it?
Or anything else I should do there before finishing with that screen?

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Re: Linux Mint Live USB with Persistent Partition: how?

Post by Mute Ant » Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:07 am

  • FULL INSTALL: Pretty much 'that's it' yes. It's just another drive as far as the Linux is concerned.
    o Along the Something Else route you need to specify that the boot-loader GRUB should go to the same store that's going to hold the OS.
    o If you stick with MBR booting an XFCE or MATE 32-bit there's a better chance of it working on any machine you plug it into.
  • WRITE ENDURANCE: My best guesses without a published SanDisk data-sheet...
    o The 16GB SanDisk Ultra stores contain the 'first' chip of what could have been an SSD array.
    o They have 1GB of write-at-20MB/s single-level-cell (SLC) storage that you never see, like a journal, to record incoming data without immediately allocating a final position in the store.
    o They have 15GB of write-at-10MB/s multi-level-cell (MLC) storage where your data is kept. This is the part that wears out.
    o The difference between 'User' capacity (15GB) and the label capacity (16GB) represents spare MLC to replace failed-in-service erase blocks.
    o MLC can be expected to last for 500 writes.
    o Typical mean write rate is 1MB/s (internet download or CD ripping)
    o You will get months of continuous use... (15GB x 500 / 1MB/s) ---> 7.5Ms ---> 86 days
In practice I never wear my sticks out. Full of data? Put it in the sock drawer and make a new one.
Last edited by Mute Ant on Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Linux Mint Live USB with Persistent Partition: how?

Post by spaceman5 » Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:16 am

Thank you Mute Ant

Mute Ant wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:07 am
Along the Something Else route you need to specify that the boot-loader GRUB should go to the same store that's going to hold the OS.
Hmm
I haven't seen this in installation videos that I watched..
Is there maybe some place showing the details of what to do in this part?

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Re: Linux Mint Live USB with Persistent Partition: how?

Post by Mute Ant » Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:37 am

Euw I only remember a pull-down selector at the bottom of one of the screens.
While you're waiting, read the free novel we sent you. It's a Spanish story about a guy named "manual".

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Re: Linux Mint Live USB with Persistent Partition: how?

Post by rui no onna » Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:51 am

Mute Ant wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:07 am
  • WRITE ENDURANCE: My best guesses without a published SanDisk data-sheet...
    o The 16GB SanDisk Ultra stores contain the 'first' chip of what could have been an SSD array.
    o They have 1GB of write-at-20MB/s single-level-cell (SLC) storage that you never see, like a journal, to record incoming data without immediately allocating a final position in the store.
    o They have 15GB of write-at-10MB/s multi-level-cell (MLC) storage where your data is kept. This is the part that wears out.
    o The difference between 'User' capacity (15GB) and the label capacity (16GB) represents spare MLC to replace failed-in-service erase blocks.
    o MLC can be expected to last for 500 writes.
    o Typical mean write rate is 1MB/s (internet download or CD ripping)
    o You will get months of continuous use... (15GB x 500 / 1MB/s) ---> 7.5Ms ---> 86 days
In practice I never wear my sticks out. Full of data? Put it in the sock drawer and make a new one.
3-bit MLC/TLC, yes, 500 P/E cycles is what I expect endurance to be at. The above looks about right.

Writes are unlikely to be spread out perfectly across the cells though. It was always the sqlite databases that got corrupted on my drives and it happened on three separate Kingston DataTraveler drives after 6-9 months daily use (bought a bunch on sale) suggesting wear leveling wasn't perfect. Granted, SanDisk probably uses a better controller (and mayhaps better NAND) than the one on the Kingston. After the third corruption, I switched to portable USB HDDs, then later 2.5" SSDs in USB enclosure for my PortableApps.

I do wonder how well supported booting from external HDD is in BIOS/UEFI. Not as portable as a flash drive but probably nicer for running Linux.

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Re: Linux Mint Live USB with Persistent Partition: how?

Post by spaceman5 » Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:07 am

Mute Ant wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:37 am
Euw I only remember a pull-down selector at the bottom of one of the screens.
Oh..
I know what you mean.

It's this combobox:

Image


Does this mean that someone can have the boot-loader on 1 physical drive,
and the partitions themselves (inc. the root partition) on another physical drive?



rui no onna wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:51 am
It was always the sqlite databases that got corrupted on my drives and it happened on three separate Kingston DataTraveler drives after 6-9 months daily use (bought a bunch on sale) suggesting wear leveling wasn't perfect. Granted, SanDisk probably uses a better controller (and mayhaps better NAND) than the one on the Kingston. After the third corruption, I switched to portable USB HDDs, then later 2.5" SSDs in USB enclosure for my PortableApps.
Wow..
I have 1 Kingston DataTraveler too,
and it's extremely slow, compared to all my other USB Flash Drives.
I will never buy Kingston again, especially after what you wrote about your 3 ones..


rui no onna wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:51 am
I do wonder how well supported booting from external HDD is in BIOS/UEFI. Not as portable as a flash drive but probably nicer for running Linux.
It should be the same,
why would there be any difference?

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Re: Linux Mint Live USB with Persistent Partition: how?

Post by rui no onna » Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:14 am

spaceman5 wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:07 am
rui no onna wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:51 am
I do wonder how well supported booting from external HDD is in BIOS/UEFI. Not as portable as a flash drive but probably nicer for running Linux.
It should be the same,
why would there be any difference?
I had some SanDisk flash drives that are marked as HDD and some motherboards didn't like booting from those whereas they booted ok from drives marked as removable. Of course, that was circa 2012-2014, I think. Why the distinction? I have absolutely no idea.

P.S. The Kingston drives worked fine for file storage. I expect Firefox sqlite db just isn't a normal load for these things. If you use a consumer SSD for write-heavy OLTP server duties, it'll probably die in 3 months, too.
Last edited by rui no onna on Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Linux Mint Live USB with Persistent Partition: how?

Post by spaceman5 » Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:21 am

I see.


BTW
earlier, Moem wrote:
Moem wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 10:23 am
[*]Open GParted, and partition that drive the way you want it.

Several people recommended creating the 2 partitions on the USB Flash Drive using GParted,
yet, as can be seen in the screenshot above, Mint's installation includes a Partition Creator/Editor..

So is there a reason to use GParted over that built-in one?
(any advantage that GParted will give, over it?)
Last edited by spaceman5 on Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Linux Mint Live USB with Persistent Partition: how?

Post by rui no onna » Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:40 am

spaceman5 wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:21 am
Several people recommended creating the 2 partitions on the USB Flash Drive using GParted,
yet, as can be seen in the screenshot above, Mint's installation includes a Partition Creator/Editor..

So is there a reason to use GParted over that built-in one?
(any avantage that GParted will give, over it?)
GParted is more flexible and easier to manage if you have a complicated setup. If the built-in partition management in Ubiquity installer does everything you need, by all means go ahead and use it. :)

e.g.
Image

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Re: Linux Mint Live USB with Persistent Partition: how?

Post by spaceman5 » Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:21 pm

Nice screenshots.. :)


rui no onna wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:40 am
If the built-in partition management in Ubiquity installer does everything you need, by all means go ahead and use it. :)
Yes, it seems that is sufficient for what I need


rui no onna wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:40 am
GParted is more flexible and easier to manage if you have a complicated setup.
Just out of curiosity,
In what will it be more flexible or capable for?

(specifically in that screenshot, there are many partitions, but the built-in one is not limited by partition count, so that's not the difference I assume)

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Re: Linux Mint Live USB with Persistent Partition: how?

Post by rui no onna » Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:48 pm

spaceman5 wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:21 pm
Nice screenshots.. :)
Lol, not mine. Just got it off the internet but I did have something similar at one point before I discovered the wonders of btrfs. :P

rui no onna wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:40 am
Just out of curiosity,
In what will it be more flexible or capable for?
Naming/labeling (I don't think the built-in one supported PARTLABEL for GPT). I often have GParted open when I install so I know I'm selecting the correct mount points.

I also haven't managed to figure out how to set flags within Ubiquity. Not having the boot and esp flags pre-set prior to installation has caused bootloader install to fail for me when using the Something Else option.

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Re: Linux Mint Live USB with Persistent Partition: how?

Post by spaceman5 » Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:57 pm

rui no onna wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:48 pm
Lol, not mine.
Too many eggs in 1 basket :)
A bit risky..

rui no onna wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:40 am
I also haven't managed to figure out how to set flags within Ubiquity.
Oh..
That's a good enough reason..

BTW
In that screenshot above,
there is 1 Swap partition, and many Linux distributions, in different partitions.

So after installing each Linux distribution, does the user need to go to some setting in the OS and tell Linux to use that Swap partition?
Or do all of them automatically find it and use it, no need from the user to do anything?

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Re: Linux Mint Live USB with Persistent Partition: how?

Post by rui no onna » Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:24 pm

spaceman5 wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:57 pm
Too many eggs in 1 basket :)
A bit risky..
Lol, I think my current setup might be even riskier: one btrfs partition for all test distros (just use subvolumes). My primary OS is still Windows 7. I've got a separate laptop for testing and acclimating to Linux (I refuse to use Windows 10) so this is all on my "play" system.

spaceman5 wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:57 pm
BTW
In that screenshot above,
there is 1 Swap partition, and many Linux distributions, in different partitions.

So after installing each Linux distribution, does the user need to go to some setting in the OS and tell Linux to use that Swap partition?
Or do all of them automatically find it and use it, no need from the user to do anything?
Automatically set during installation (even if you don't explicitly select it).

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Re: Linux Mint Live USB with Persistent Partition: how?

Post by spaceman5 » Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:29 pm

rui no onna wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:24 pm
My primary OS is still Windows 7.
(I refuse to use Windows 10)
My primary OS is Windows XP SP3 :)
I refused to use anything that came after it.

Tho lately I am becoming a bit "open", and in the next days I will be installing Windows 7 on a VM, to play with.
(tho no plans to leave XP, even in 10 years from now)

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