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Thread: Howto make USB boot drives

  1. #761
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    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    New tool to make persistent live drives with casper-rw and home-rw partitions

    mk-persistent-live_with_home-rw is a text mode shellscript, that builds a persistent live boot drive with a 'casper-rw' partition for system persistence and a 'home-rw' partition for home persistence. There are two modes, to

    - create a persistent live system
    - upgrade a persistent live system,
    . replace the iso file
    . wipe: create new file system in the 'casper-rw' partition
    . preserve: keep the content in the 'home-rw' partition

    The purpose of this tool is to make it easy to keep the persistent live drive up to date. Usually it does not work to simply transfer the whole content of the 'casper-rw' partition because the previous overlay of the system files does not match. But it is usually possible to keep the home directory including personal files and the settings (usually in hidden configuration files in the user's home directory).



    There are more details and links to a download page at

    'Post #144' in the Ubuntu Forum Tutorial thread

    One pendrive for all PC (Intel/AMD) computers - single-boot dual-boot multi-boot,

    Make persistent live drives with casper-rw and home-rw partitions New 2018-04-30


    You are welcome to test the shellscript and give feedback to help me make it better
    Last edited by sudodus; 13 Hours Ago at 06:24 AM. Reason: repaired (after I overwrote it by mistake)

  2. #762
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    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    mkusb can create a persistent live USB drive with Elementary OS

    I tested with the iso file elementaryos-0.4.1-stable.20180214.iso, and mkusb version 12.3.1 works without any tweaks.

    See the following link,

    elementary-persistent-live-by-mkusb.jpg

  3. #763
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    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    Windows can use usbdata of persistent live drive by mkusb

    When mkusb creates a persistent live drive, partition #1 gets an NTFS file system and the label usbdata and it can be used, when connected to a computer running Windows.

    There has been some doubts, that it does not work with Windows 10, so I have tested in a Windows 10 system, that is completely up to date (as well as previous tests with earlier versions (Windows XP, 7, 8, 10). It works for me, Windows can read and write files in the usbdata partition.

    The following link shows what it looks like for me. You can expect to find something similar, but probably in another language, when you connect your persistent live drive to a computer running Windows 10,

    windows-can-see-usbdata-of-persistent-live-drive-by-mkusb.jpg



    In older versions of Windows, including the original Windows 10, only the first partition in USB pendrives could be read by Windows. This is the reason why I designed the partition table like this. The current up to date Windows 10 can read also other partitions, if there are Microsoft file systems, FAT32, exFAT, NTFS and also the file systems of CDs and DVDs, iso9660 and udf.

    Although not located at the drive's head end, usbdata with NTFS is partition #1 in the partition table, and that is what counts. There are tools that can re-make the partition table so that the number in the partition table will match the position "on the drive's surfuce". If you use such a tool, there may be problems except with an up to date Windows 10. It manages several partitions also in USB drives. There will also be problems to use the drive as a persistent live drive. So do not tamper with the partition table unless you know what you are doing.

    GPT is the modern partition table. Use it whenever you can. This is the default setting in mkusb.

    But some middle-aged HP computers won't boot grub from GPT via USB. In that case you must create the persistent live drive with an MSDOS partition table (alias MBR).

  4. #764
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    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    New tool to backup & restore the /home directory of persistent live drives in mkusb's casper-rw partition

    mkusb-backup-n-restore-home is a bash shellscript with a zenity graphical user interface, that 'only' manipulates the /home directory in casper-rw partitions of mkusb persistent drives.

    There are two modes, to

    - backup the /home directory to a tarball
    - restore the /home directory from a tarball

    The purpose of this tool is to make it easy to keep the persistent live drive up to date. Usually it does not work to simply transfer the whole content of the 'casper-rw' partition because the previous overlay of the system files does not match. But it is usually possible to keep the home directory including personal files and the settings (usually in hidden configuration files in the user's home directory).

    Upgrade (or repair) a persistent live system like this:

    1. Backup the /home directory to a tarball using mkusb-backup-n-restore-home

    2. Create a fresh persistent live system of standard Ubuntu or the same flavour (Kubuntu, Lubuntu ... Xubuntu) as before using mkusb. Use the daily iso files of the LTS versions to get a system that is up to date.

    3. Restore the /home directory from the tarball to the fresh persistent live system.



    There are more details and links to a download page at

    'Post #149' in the Ubuntu Forum Tutorial thread

    One pendrive for all PC (Intel/AMD) computers - single-boot dual-boot multi-boot,
    Backup and restore the /home directory in casper-rw partitions of mkusb persistent drives New 2018-05-20


    You are welcome to test the shellscript and give feedback to help me make it better

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