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Thread: Make USB Startup Disk - in Ubuntu 8.10

  1. #11
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    Re: Make USB Startup Disk - in Ubuntu 8.10

    Quote Originally Posted by boondocks View Post
    psyke83,

    Thanks for all this info.

    With respect to this:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=927878
    People seem to be having issues with it.

    Anyway ...

    *system-wide* = This is exactly what I need.

    So I just put in the USB Flash drive.
    Power up the computer.
    Use it just like my current Ubuntu desktop.
    (I understand that the different video hardware will impact xorg.conf every time.)
    Then shutdown the computer.

    Down the road, I would like to:
    • Add some packages that are normally not included in the Desktop version.
    • Configure those packages.
    • Carry the USB Flash drive with me so that I have everything good-to-go.


    Questions:
    1. All the changes that I make, are they automatically taken care of via persistence?
    2. Do I have to do anything extra/specific to ensure the persistence of the changes?
    You just need to specify that you want to save changes, and specify the size to allocate in the usb-creator interface - it's pretty intuitive.

    I suggest you use the intrepid RC ISO image as the source to create the persistent image (people are complaining about the daily builds, unsurprisingly).

    I've installed libdvdcss2 and some of the gstreamer0.10-plugins-* in order to play DVDs, so I can attest that installing extra packages works fine.

  2. #12
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    Re: Make USB Startup Disk - in Ubuntu 8.10

    I agree that usb-creator is a simple method to make a persistent flash drive. you will be able save downloaded programs and settings.
    I maintain that you will not be be able to make an account named john on it, nor will you be able to upgrade the kernel. There is no way to use a password at login.
    Only the folders casper-rw and home-rw are persistent. When you upgrade, the new files are saved to casper-rw and this seems to fill up quickly.
    Currently I understand that U-C is not working with 4G flash drives.
    On a computer with lots of ram swap does not seem to ever be used.
    I have never heard of a flash drive dying from overuse of the tmp folder, I have been using my oldest flash drive with full install for well over a year and it still has 4 years left on the guaranty.

    Oops, I am wrong, I have used System, Administration, Users and Groups to add my name and password as a user, I now get a screen asking for user name and password at login. I then leave blank and hit enter if I want to login as default Live Session User.
    Last edited by C.S.Cameron; October 29th, 2008 at 03:11 AM. Reason: Oops

  3. #13
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    Re: Make USB Startup Disk - in Ubuntu 8.10

    Nice thing gents.

  4. #14
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    Re: Make USB Startup Disk - in Ubuntu 8.10

    Quote Originally Posted by C.S.Cameron View Post
    I agree that usb-creator is a simple method to make a persistent flash drive. you will be able save downloaded programs and settings.
    I maintain that you will not be be able to make an account named john on it, nor will you be able to upgrade the kernel. There is no way to use a password at login.
    Only the folders casper-rw and home-rw are persistent. When you upgrade, the new files are saved to casper-rw and this seems to fill up quickly.
    Currently I understand that U-C is not working with 4G flash drives.
    On a computer with lots of ram swap does not seem to ever be used.
    I have never heard of a flash drive dying from overuse of the tmp folder, I have been using my oldest flash drive with full install for well over a year and it still has 4 years left on the guaranty.
    It's necessary to change the GDM preferences to either disable automatic login of the "ubuntu" user, or change it to the username you created - perhaps this is the source of your confusion. It *is* possible to create a new account, and it is possible to install new software.

    Installing a new kernel? I doubt it'll work correctly. Remember, usb-creator uses syslinux to boot, not grub, and I would imagine most of the startup scripts expect a static kernel.

    To simplify: there will be two images on your USB drive - the read-only casper image (from the livecd), and the read-write casper-rw. The read-only image will not be modified (obviously), but the casper-rw will. They are both mounted as a sort of "hybrid" filesystem; when a file is modified from the read-only image, the file is saved into the casper-rw image. Changes are tracked between the two images, and any "modified" files are read from the read-write image instead of the read-only image.

    You have to be realistic when using a persistent live image - there are limits (don't install new kernels, it's not a good idea to upgrade software due to space constraints). Creating a new user is not one of those limits, however.

  5. #15
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    Re: Make USB Startup Disk - in Ubuntu 8.10

    Quote Originally Posted by psyke83 View Post

    Installing a new kernel? I doubt it'll work correctly. Remember, usb-creator uses syslinux to boot, not grub, and I would imagine most of the startup scripts expect a static kernel.
    Must be tested....

    I have been using Parted Magic for a while and I must use SysLinux and Syslinux-common from Debian Exerimental for newest kernels (older version within Ubuntus repo), then it works.... PM starts with around 50MB RAM.

  6. #16
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    Re: Make USB Startup Disk - in Ubuntu 8.10

    The only thing that keeps me using a FULL install to flash drive and not a U-C install is restricted drivers.

    A lot of my stuff don't work without Nvidia drivers, Compiz, Desktop Cube, Dual monitors, SketchUp under wine, probably WOW.

    Also I am not sure how to clean Casper-RW, Mine seems to fill up after running update manager a few times, then I can't install anything else.

    I think U-C is great, But there are a few things that work with a full install that do not (yet) in U-C

  7. #17
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    Re: Make USB Startup Disk - in Ubuntu 8.10

    I picked up a 16gb flash drive off ebay, can I simply install ubuntu on it?
    Is an install different from usb-creator?

    I thought it would be fun to try out.

  8. #18
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    Re: Make USB Startup Disk - in Ubuntu 8.10

    I insalled it in my flash and it works! I only noticed one problem: it's really really slow! it seems I have a 486 processor... Is it so slow in your case?

  9. #19
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    Re: Make USB Startup Disk - in Ubuntu 8.10

    Quote Originally Posted by sdowney717 View Post
    I picked up a 16gb flash drive off ebay, can I simply install ubuntu on it?
    Is an install different from usb-creator?

    I thought it would be fun to try out.
    Persistent mode is not identical to a proper installation and there are certainly drawbacks. In your case, I'd say a full install (via the normal ubiquity) would suit you better.

  10. #20
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    Re: Make USB Startup Disk - in Ubuntu 8.10

    Something that might be worth a try?
    Setup your system as you like on your PC; user accounts, settings, packages, updates, kernel, etc. Then, use ReMasterSys to create a live cd backup and use that iso as your image for the USB Startup Disk.
    Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery - Winston Churchill

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