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Thread: Howto make USB boot drives

  1. #741
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    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    Thanks for the feedback

    Quote Originally Posted by WinEunuchs2Unix View Post
    I installed latest version from PPA in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS with Kernel 4.14.14 today.

    Dash didn't display single icon for MKUSB as it should but rather 5 or 6 generic gear icons with various "mk..." program names above them.
    I am developing mkusb in my main computer, which is running 16.04 LTS based on 16.04.1 and still with the xenial kernel (linux 4.4 series). So that is one difference to your system with kernel 4.14. But I have tested mkusb in 16.04.3, 17.04, 17.10 and Bionic and I have never seen anything like what you describe.
    I should have rebooted then but selected the first one (mkusb-12 I think). After a minute my syslog filled to 1.3 GB and CPU usage jumped to 80% or so the whole time. I made a 30 second .gif if you're interested.

    Disadvantage of 2 GB/s NVMe Gen 3 x 4 SSD is syslog can fill fast in a 1 minute loop. To empty the syslog I used `echo > /var/log/syslog`.
    Maybe mkusb has a problem with your 2 GB/s NVMe Gen 3 x 4 SSD. How is it shown by lsblk?

    Code:
    sudo lsblk -f
    sudo lsblk -m
    After rebooting the mk-usb icon showed up normally in Dash and I successfully created today's build of Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver to USB thumb drive in Persistanced mode. Works Great
    I'm glad the problem was solved by rebooting. But mkusb should work directly after installing (without rebooting).
    I had an older `dd` wrapper script I had to disable with `chmod a-x` because it stops `/bin/dd` which mkusb calls.
    This might have caused problems, but not the problem in Dash.
    BTW Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Bionic Beaver per-releese worked flawlessly on Skylake i7-6700HQ laptop using internal 1080p screen and external 1080p tv hooked to Thunderbolt3, USB Type-C with DP to HDMI converter. I was impressed.
    Bionic works well for me too. I have installed it in an external SSD and run it in various computers
    Last edited by sudodus; January 24th, 2018 at 03:53 PM. Reason: fixed minor typing error

  2. #742
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    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    mkusb version 12.3.0 and 12.3.1

    mkusb 12.3.0

    - dus dus-persistent mkusb-start mkusb-11:

    zenity window sizes fixed for Ubuntu Bionic
    because of a new zenity version

    mkusb 12.3.1

    - dus:

    zenity window sizes fixed for Ubuntu Bionic
    because of a new zenity version (more)



    Unstable 1: You get/update this new version of mkusb from the unstable PPA via the following commands

    Code:
    sudo add-apt-repository universe  # this line only for standard Ubuntu
    
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mkusb/unstable
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install mkusb mkusb-nox                # to install
    # sudo apt-get dist-upgrade                         # upgrade to current version (with all other upgrades), only for installed systems
    
    sudo apt-get install mkusb guidus dus mkusb-common  # to upgrade all mkusb basic components including dus
    
    sudo apt-get install usb-pack-efi  # for persistent live drives that work in UEFI and BIOS mode with 32-bit iso files
    and you get only the version dus (alone or with guidus) via one of the following commands (if you don't care about mkusb-11, mkusb-nox, mkusb-bas)

    Code:
    sudo apt-get install dus
    sudo apt-get install guidus
    Unstable 2: This new version of mkusb might also be available via this link: mkusb/gui#from_phillw.net.
    Unstable 3: There are tarballs with only dus and guidus (mkusb version 12) as a last alternative.



    Stable: mkusb version 12.3.1 is in the stable PPA. The policy is to test mkusb for a long time and in several environments before it is uploaded to the stable PPA.

    You get/update this version via the following commands

    Code:
    sudo add-apt-repository universe  # this line only for standard Ubuntu
    
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mkusb/ppa
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install mkusb mkusb-nox                # to install
    # sudo apt-get dist-upgrade                         # upgrade to current version (with all other upgrades), only for installed systems
    sudo apt-get install mkusb guidus dus mkusb-common  # to upgrade all mkusb basic components including dus
    
    sudo apt-get install usb-pack-efi  # for persistent live drives that work in UEFI and BIOS mode with 32-bit iso files
    and you get only the version dus (alone or with guidus) via one of the following commands (if you don't care about mkusb-11, mkusb-nox, mkusb-bas)

    Code:
    sudo apt-get install dus
    sudo apt-get install guidus
    Upgrading mkusb is described in the following links,

    help.ubuntu.com/community/mkusb#Upgrade_mkusb

    Upgrading from mkusb 11 to 12
    Last edited by sudodus; May 18th, 2018 at 11:14 AM. Reason: mkusb 12.3.1 is the stable version now

  3. #743
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    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    VirtualBox in persistent live Ubuntu or Ubuntu family flavour

    There is a question at AskUbuntu about problems with VirtualBox is a persistent live system made with mkusb.

    I tested with host systems made with mkusb from Lubuntu 16.04.1 LTS 'Xenial dot one' and 17.10.1 'Artful dot one'. I use a Lubuntu host because of the ultra-light desktop environment, to save as much horsepower and RAM as possible for the virtual machine and the guest operating system.

    Problems with the graphics rendering with Lubuntu as guest made me confused, but I think those problems depend on the Lubuntu guest, and not on the host system (that it is a persistent live operating system). I had no problems with the guest system, when booted from standard Ubuntu, Kubuntu or Xubuntu.

    In both cases I installed VirtualBox from the repositories,

    Code:
    sudo apt update
    sudo apt install virtualbox
    The first successful test was with a Lubuntu 16.04.1 64-bit host and a Xubuntu 16.04.1 64-bit guest.

    To get a new, yet released and stable system, I focus on the host system made from Lubuntu17.10.1 'Artful dot one'. In this system I can run 'Try Ubuntu' with the following iso files as guest operating systems,

    - Kubuntu, Ubuntu, Xubuntu 16.04 LTS
    - Ubuntu 17.10
    - Ubuntu Bionic (to be released as 18.04 LTS)

    See the attached screenshots.

    Details

    I selected a suitable 'internal environment' in VirtualBox to match the guest operating system, that I wanted to run,

    - 'General -- Basic -- Version: Ubuntu (64-bit)

    - enough RAM (2 GB in a computer with 4 GB)

    - connected the virtual optical drive to an iso file

    - created a virtual disk

    - and in one case installed Xubuntu from xubuntu-16.04.1-desktop-amd64.iso

    See the last screenshot.

    Edit: Running VirtualBox in Lubuntu 16.04.1 LTS and 17.10.1, I found that the boot option nomodeset makes Virtualbox render the graphics correctly for Lubuntu 17.10.1 and Bionic guests, but the resolution will be limited to 1024x768 (and lower).
    Last edited by sudodus; March 20th, 2018 at 10:21 AM. Reason: nomodeset for Lubuntu

  4. #744
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    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    I used:
    Code:
    sudo apt install virtualbox-qt
    Not sure if there is a difference?

  5. #745
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    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    Quote Originally Posted by C.S.Cameron View Post
    I used:
    Code:
    sudo apt install virtualbox-qt
    Not sure if there is a difference?
    I have not tried virtualbox-qt. Is it better than the 'standard' virtualbox package?

    What differences do you notice?

    Edit: I tested (as before in a Lubuntu 17.10.1 host), and I noticed no difference between the VirtualBox engines installed by the packages virtualbox-qt and virtualbox.
    Last edited by sudodus; March 20th, 2018 at 02:01 PM.

  6. #746
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    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    I attempted to create a live, persistent flash drive using mkusb with a linux-mint 18 iso image. I used the PPA approach, so I assume I had the most updated version of mkusb. Although mkusb did all the steps, it did not label the persistence drive as "casper-rw". Without that label on the persistence drive, the live flash will not save (well, it didn't for me anyways). If I had not known about the need for the label, I would not have been able to get persistence to work. Possibly mkusb needs to be updated to apply the label?

    Thanks!
    Mark

  7. #747
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    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    @marks2,

    Please tell me the exact name of the Linux Mint 18 iso file, that you used, and I will test and debug mkusb.



    Edit 1: Also, please tell me in which operating system (distro and version) you installed mkusb (and tried to create a persistent live Linux Mint pendrive).



    Edit 2: Before knowing what you tried, I

    - downloaded linuxmint-18.3-cinnamon-64bit.iso
    - made a persistent live Mint drive (when booted in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS)
    - booted into the persistent live Mint drive
    - installed mkusb from the PPA
    - created another persistent live Mint drive (when booted in the persistent live Mint)

    See the attached screenshot, which shows that the partition for persistence is labeled 'casper-rw'.

    I rebooted into this new persistent live drive with Mint, and it works like it should for me.

    So I think that you either used another Linux Mint iso file or were running another operating system, where you installed mkusb and tried to create a persistent live Linux Mint drive. Or maybe there was some temporary error or hardware error(?)

    Please notice that mkusb can only create persistent live drives in a reliable way, in and with Ubuntu and Debian and some linux distros and re-spins, that are created from them and similar enough. So far the standard versions of Linux Mint have been similar enough to Ubuntu for mkusb to work, when I have tested it.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by sudodus; April 9th, 2018 at 07:35 AM.

  8. #748
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    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    How to keep /home from an old persistent live drive when creating a new one

    Instead of updating & upgrading a persistent live drive it is better to create a new drive from a newer iso file,

    - a newer released version
    - a daily iso file from the testing tracker.

    But this way you might lose everything, that you have installed and tweaked as well as your personal files.

    The following steps work to keep the home directory /home (I tested it today),

    - from an old Lubuntu 16.04.1 LTS persistent live system (created by mkusb)
    - to a new Lubuntu Bionic (18.04 LTS) persistent live system (created by mkusb).

    1. It is always a good idea to backup your persistent live drive regularly, at least your personal data. So this is the first step.

    2. The easiest way is to use two USB drives. If necessary, get a new USB drive (and a fast one).

    3. Use mkusb to create a fresh persistent live system in the new USB drive.

    4. Boot into this new USB drive and select Try Lubuntu (not with persistence).

    5. Plug in the old persistent live drive and let the partitions be mounted (wait a few seconds).

    6. Open a terminal window and run the following commands to check that the casper-rw partitions are mounted and that the relevant directories are there,

    Code:
    sudo lsblk -fm
    sudo ls -l /media/lubuntu/casper-rw*
    sudo ls -l /media/lubuntu/casper-rw*/upper
    Check the rsync command line with a 'dry run',

    Code:
    sudo rsync -Havn /media/lubuntu/casper-rw1/upper/home /media/lubuntu/casper-rw/upper
    7. If necessary, mount the source partition or target partition and/or modify the command line. For example, if your old persistent live system was created with another tool or manually, you must probably mount the casper-rw file or partition manually.

    8. When the dry run looks good, remove the option n and run

    Code:
    sudo rsync -Hav /media/lubuntu/casper-rw1/upper/home /media/lubuntu/casper-rw/upper
    9. Shutdown

    10. Unplug the old persistent live drive. Important!

    11. Reboot into the new old persistent live drive and select a Persistent live option.

    Now the new persistent live system should use the home directory that you transferred from the old drive. Check for personal files, history in terminal window, tweaks etc. (But you must install program packages again, because they were not stored in you home directory.)

    Alternative: create a home-rw partition

    You may prefer to create a separate partition with the label home-rw.

    In this case you should copy from the old /home to the mountpoint of this partition (when it is not being used), so for example when booted live-only, Try Lubuntu.

    So, if the mount point is /media/lubuntu/home-rw,

    Test with dry run,

    Code:
    sudo rsync -Havn /media/lubuntu/casper-rw/upper/home/ /media/lubuntu/home-rw
    Here there is an important trailing slash (.../home/). Modify if necessary and when it looks good, run

    Code:
    sudo rsync -Hav /media/lubuntu/casper-rw/upper/home/ /media/lubuntu/home-rw
    This makes it easier in the future: You can simply keep your home-rw partition

    - copy the content with rsync from the old home-rw partition to a new home-rw partition in another drive or

    - copy from the backed up content of /home to a new home-rw partition).

    When you have confirmed, that your system is persistent, and that it uses both casper-rw and home-rw, you can remove /media/lubuntu/casper-rw/upper/home/.

    The following link describes a special case, but it can be useful because shows some more details,

    What you can do with your two 4GB USB pendrives
    Last edited by sudodus; April 16th, 2018 at 02:02 PM. Reason: made things clear: mount the source partition or target partition

  9. #749
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    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    It was linuxmint-18.3-xfce-64bit.iso. Installed from a non-persistent stick with the same designation. Thanks!

  10. #750
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    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    It works for me with linuxmint-18.3-xfce-64bit.iso too, just like with the Cinnamon version, described in post #747

    Code:
    mint@mint ~ $ sudo lsblk -fm /dev/sdb
    NAME   FSTYPE  LABEL                       UUID                                 MOUNTPOINT NAME    SIZE OWNER GROUP MODE
    sdb                                                                                        sdb    14.9G root  disk  brw-rw----
    ├─sdb4 iso9660 Linux Mint 18.3 Xfce 64-bit 2017-12-13-11-48-04-00               /cdrom     ├─sdb4  1.7G root  disk  brw-rw----
    ├─sdb2                                                                                     ├─sdb2    1M root  disk  brw-rw----
    ├─sdb5 ext4    casper-rw                   2e4566e7-0b1d-4e99-8161-acb337e4ab84            ├─sdb5  6.5G root  disk  brw-rw----
    ├─sdb3 vfat    usbboot                     31EB-42C8                                       ├─sdb3  244M root  disk  brw-rw----
    └─sdb1 ntfs    usbdata                     550EB28B7925C6A4                                └─sdb1  6.5G root  disk  brw-rw----
    
    mint@mint ~ $ df -h
    Filesystem      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
    udev            1.9G     0  1.9G   0% /dev
    tmpfs           384M  6.1M  378M   2% /run
    /dev/sdb4       1.8G  1.8G     0 100% /cdrom
    /dev/loop0      1.7G  1.7G     0 100% /rofs
    aufs            6.4G   33M  6.1G   1% /
    tmpfs           1.9G  220K  1.9G   1% /dev/shm
    tmpfs           5.0M  4.0K  5.0M   1% /run/lock
    tmpfs           1.9G     0  1.9G   0% /sys/fs/cgroup
    tmpfs           1.9G  8.0K  1.9G   1% /tmp
    cgmfs           100K     0  100K   0% /run/cgmanager/fs
    tmpfs           384M   40K  384M   1% /run/user/999
    mint@mint ~ $


    Please try again following the steps in that post. Good luck

    Edit: It might be easier for you to

    - first create a live-only USB drive with Linux Mint

    - boot into that drive and install mkusb from the ppa

    - make the Linux Mint iso file available to the system for example via an internal drive (or by copying it into the live-only system. which works if there is enough RAM).

    - use mkusb to create a persistent live system in another USB pendrive.

    Then you can shutdown and remove the live-only pendrive and boot into the persistent live pendrive.
    Last edited by sudodus; April 16th, 2018 at 05:16 PM.

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