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Old 05-24-2010, 06:12 PM   #1
nanoprobe II
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[SOLVED]Running Linux on a USB drive


I run computers that do distributed computing for cancer cures. I'm experimenting with running a version of Ubuntu that is specifically written for DC and can be run on bootable USB drives. The one I'm running now on USB works fine but there is one issue I need to solve. When I reboot the system or it restarts from a power failure I have to reattach the cruncher client(BOINC)to the each project and I lose whatever work units that have started. I don't have this problem if I use a HDD. I'm using an 8GB USB drive with 6GB of DDR3 12800 memory. Can someone explain to a linux novice how to overcome this issue? Thanks in advance.

Last edited by nanoprobe II; 05-31-2010 at 08:56 PM.
 
Old 05-24-2010, 07:28 PM   #2
grail
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I recently found Lili USB Creator which, along with creating the boot usb, provides active storage assigned to the drive as well to save any changes you have made between boots. Hope that helps.
 
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Old 05-24-2010, 09:31 PM   #3
nanoprobe II
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That looks promising. I'll give it a try. Thanks
 
Old 05-24-2010, 11:20 PM   #4
jefro
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I think it does need persistence. See pendrivelinux.com for how to add in persistence.
 
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Old 05-28-2010, 04:41 PM   #5
nanoprobe II
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jefro View Post
I think it does need persistence. See pendrivelinux.com for how to add in persistence.
Here is what I found at Pendrivelinux site.
Quote:
The Universal USB Installer is easy to use. Simply choose a Live Linux Distribution, the ISO file, your Flash Drive and, Click Install. Other features include; Persistence (if available), and the ability to format the flash drive (recommended) to ensure a clean install. Upon completion, you should have a ready to run bootable USB Flash Drive with your select Linux version installed.
I saw no availability of persistence during the install so I guess I'm stuck if no one else has an idea. I left a question at the developer's site but no response so far. I would really like to get this to work because the results are much faster on the USB drive.
 
Old 05-28-2010, 05:30 PM   #6
tredegar
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The recent 'buntus (9.10.and 10.04) can be run from a live CD alone (no install required) just choose "Try Ubuntu without affecting my HDD".

Once that is running, they also offer a "clicky solution" to take a linux distro .iso file and make it bootable from a USB stick. And the opportunity to use part of that USB stick to save that distro's settings to. The distro can be anything, not just one of the 'buntus.

It is neat.

Boot to the 'buntu, in "try it" mode. Then System - Admin - Make Startup Disk.

Point it at the .iso you wish to boot (it's OK to have the .iso on another removable medium, or your HDD).

"When starting up from this disk."... "Documents and settings will be stored in reserved extra space". Give it some space (on your USB stick).

The resulting USB stick will be bootable, will run the distro of your choice, and remember things between boots, as long as it has sufficient storage space.

Notes:

- This does not affect your current installation (Win / linux). It does not touch your MBR. If you get a prompt about where to install the boot manager, you did it wrong, so back out.

- You will have to set your BIOS to be able to boot from the generated USB stick.

HTH
 
Old 05-28-2010, 07:15 PM   #7
nanoprobe II
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I tried but it won't let me select any other image except the Ubuntu 10.04. I even copied it to the desktop. I select desktop, select the image, click open but it doesn't show in the choices to add to the USB stick. I'm using the Ubuntu 10.04 LTS. Could that be the problem?
 
Old 05-28-2010, 11:17 PM   #8
grail
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Was the Lili option not any good? I know with Ubuntu you can have up to 4GB storage
 
Old 05-29-2010, 11:59 AM   #9
nanoprobe II
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grail View Post
Was the Lili option not any good? I know with Ubuntu you can have up to 4GB storage
I tried the LiLi option. The USB drive wouldn't boot. Maybe I'll give it another shot.

Here is the error message I get with the Lili option,

SYSLINUX 3.36 2010-4-10
NO DEFAULT or UI CONFIGURATION DIRECTIVE FOUND

It boots fine if I use unetbootin but I'm left with the staying attached problem.

Last edited by nanoprobe II; 05-29-2010 at 12:20 PM.
 
Old 05-30-2010, 09:14 PM   #10
nanoprobe II
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I heard from coder of the program. The ISO has to be burned to CD/DVD. I then needed to boot from the CD/DVD, plug in the USB after booting up and install it on the USB stick. It's a 2 part process but it did work. No more lost work. Thanks here to all who helped. When I finish school this summer I'm going to learn more about Linux. For the projects I'm running it will produce more results.
 
Old 07-25-2010, 10:38 PM   #11
SubCool
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Where do we go if there are problems following the pendrivelinux.com guides?

for instances, i have never once been able to follow ANY of their guides, and have it just WoRK.
Now i am sure i have to work on it longer than the general instructions lead, that is how Howto's work and all.

So, working on it for a day, and simply trying to make a workable 10.04 usb install- im giving up and going old school with a stupid CDROM.

Would 9.x be better not being the newest and "most stable" platform out?
 
Old 07-25-2010, 11:02 PM   #12
Kenny_Strawn
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The following string of commands will create a persistence file using the command line:

Code:
sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=./casper-rw bs=1M count=4096 && sudo mkfs.ext3 -F ./casper-rw
You can then copy the casper-rw file to the root of the USB flash drive and you will then be able to save files to the USB drive.
 
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