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Old 11-15-2011, 03:06 PM   #1
Abscissa256
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Live DVD, but save to USB?


Is there a way to use a Debian Live DVD, but have settings saved/loaded from a USB drive? (I'm guessing that would imply having /etc, /root, and /home either mounted on or mirrored to the USB drive...somehow...)

(If it's possible with some other distro, I that would be fine too, as long as it's GNU/Linux and x64. I'd just prefer Debian if at all possible.)
 
Old 11-15-2011, 09:20 PM   #2
k3lt01
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I'm a little lost as to what you actually want on the usb. Are you saying you want all of DebianLive on the usb but certain things from your PCs hard drive? OR do you want the entire thing to run from usb?

If you want it all to run from usb then yes it can be done using unetbootin. You could also take a look at PendriveLinux for information on how to create a usb with persistance which your /home settings will remain once put in place.
 
Old 11-15-2011, 10:00 PM   #3
Abscissa256
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A Live DVD obviously can't normally have persistence since the DVD isn't writable (ignoring DVD-RW's here). But a Live DVD can read/write a USB drive. So, if possible, I'd like to have /home persistence via USB drive, but the rest of the OS on bootable Live DVD (so as to not take up so much space on the USB drive).
 
Old 11-15-2011, 10:06 PM   #4
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I suppose in theory it is possible but you would have to link the two somehow, and unless you unpack the iso onto the DVD, as you would to a USB using unetbootin, I wouldn't even know where to start. I usb flash is cheap as chips nowadays, in Australia anyway, so I'm not sure it is even worth the effort trying to work through it unless your machine is unable to boot of a usb.
 
Old 11-16-2011, 05:20 AM   #5
widget
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I think all you really need is a partition with the correct name on the usb stick for persistence to work. I have only done it once and I put the little partition on the HDD.

I suggest checking out this page.

Yes I know it is Ubuntu. I know where Ubuntu comes from too.
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/LiveCD/Persistence

Ought to give you the info you need.
 
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Old 11-17-2011, 02:24 AM   #6
Babertje
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You can make a copy with the dd command

# dd if=/dev/dvd of=/dev/sdX bs=2048 conv=noerror,sync

dd command reads one block of input and process it and writes it into an output file. You can specify the block size for input and output file. In the above dd command example, the parameter “bs” specifies the block size for the both the input and output file. So dd uses 2048bytes as a block size in the above command, sync option allows you to copy everything using synchronized I/O.

Note: If DVD is auto mounted, unmount the device to avoid any unnecessary access,
set the /dev/[device] like /dev/dvd and /dev/sdX to your situation.

with most computers you can boot the thumb-drive like a cdrom with rw access
 
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Old 11-17-2011, 01:08 PM   #7
Abscissa256
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Quote:
Originally Posted by widget View Post
I think all you really need is a partition with the correct name on the usb stick for persistence to work. I have only done it once and I put the little partition on the HDD.

I suggest checking out this page.

Yes I know it is Ubuntu. I know where Ubuntu comes from too.
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/LiveCD/Persistence

Ought to give you the info you need.
Thanks. Those instructions seem rather involved at a glance, but after digging through them, it looks like they ultimately boil down to two basic steps:

1. Make sure the USB drive is formatted with ext2 or ext3 (or, apparently, just about anything except FAT or NTFS) and give it the label "casper-rw".

2. On the Live Disc's boot screen, press F6, add "persistent" to the params, and hit enter to boot.

I haven't tried it with Ubuntu, so I can't verify that it works there, but unfortunately it doesn't work with Debian 6. It did, however, give me enough information to find the Debian equivalent:

1. Label the USB drive "live-rw" instead of "casper-rw". Or "home-rw" if you want *just* /home to be persistent.

2. On the Live Disc's boot screen, press TAB instead of F6 (It took me an *enormous* amount of searching to discover Debian's equivalent to Ubuntu Live's F6. That info just doesn't seem to be stated anywhere as far as I could tell. Even the page I found that did clue me in was rather vague about it. FWIW.)

So that works for me now, thanks

Last edited by Abscissa256; 11-17-2011 at 01:20 PM.
 
Old 11-17-2011, 01:30 PM   #8
k3lt01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abscissa256 View Post
Thanks. Those instructions seem rather involved at a glance, but after digging through them, it looks like they ultimately boil down to two basic steps:

1. Make sure the USB drive is formatted with ext2 or ext3 (or, apparently, just about anything except FAT or NTFS) and give it the label "casper-rw".

2. On the Live Disc's boot screen, press F6, add "persistent" to the params, and hit enter to boot.

I haven't tried it with Ubuntu, so I can't verify that it works there, but unfortunately it doesn't work with Debian 6. It did, however, give me enough information to find the Debian equivalent:

1. Label the USB drive "live-rw" instead of "casper-rw". Or "home-rw" if you want *just* /home to be persistent.

2. On the Live Disc's boot screen, press TAB instead of F6 (It took me an *enormous* amount of searching to discover Debian's equivalent to Ubuntu Live's F6. That info just doesn't seem to be stated anywhere as far as I could tell. Even the page I found that did clue me in was rather vague about it. FWIW.)

So that works for me now, thanks
It wont work with Debian because Debian uses live not casper. The boys at Debian user forums have threads relevant to your needs.
 
Old 02-23-2012, 02:40 PM   #9
Abscissa256
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In the step where you format the USB drive, it can be a pain to figure out the device path to the USB drive (at least with those instructions on that Ubuntu page). So in case it helps anyone, this little shortcut should help:

1. Go into pretty much any Linux GUI.

2. Insert the USB drive, typically they'll automount.

3. Open the file manager to the desired usb drive (if it doesn't do so automatically - often it will).

4. Use the file manager's "command prompt here" feature. In LXDE, it's F4 or "Tools" -> "Open Current Folder In Terminal". In XFCE, it's right-click->"Open Terminal Here".

5. Enter the command "df -h | grep `pwd`" (note the backticks). It'll look similar to this:

Code:
user@debian:/media/748B-64B5$ df -h | grep `pwd`
/dev/sdb1             963M  4.0k  963M   1% /media/748B-64B5
The first part (Ex: /dev/sdb) is the device path. Bash-fu experts could probably turn that into a command that strips out the excess stuff so you could just do:

Code:
user@debian:/media/748B-64B5$ fdisk `some fancy command that returns the /dev/sdb part`
 
  


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