persistent directory on usb drive

Tim Chase blinux.list at
Tue Aug 18 19:58:42 UTC 2015

On August 18, 2015, Hank Smith, and Seeing-eye dog Iona wrote:
> installing the linux live dvd version on to my usb thumb drive how
> ever I know that you have to make a persistent directory for it to
> save any changes. is there a way to do this in a gui interface?

If you've got the DVD installed to the USB drive, I'd guess that by
default, it should be smart enough to give you read/write space
because it's a read/write medium.  There might even be an option for
read/write ability in the install-to-USB-drive process. So I'd try
just that and ignore the rest of my blather below if that works.
Otherwise, press on.

I don't know how you'd do it in the GUI, but if you've actually
installed to the USB thumb-drive, then you have a couple options:

1) it sounds like it might be mounting the system partition(s) as
read-only.  If so, you could edit your /etc/fstab as root (or with
`sudoedit`) and change the mount-options to read-write.  Usually this
involves simply removing a "ro" entry from the list of options.

2) it's using a read-only file-system (maybe like squashfs), in which
case you'd want to have an extra partition or three on your USB drive
that can then be mounted read/write.  You might need a couple for the
various locations that get mounted and written to, such as /tmp
and /var, as well as the obvious /home where you keep your stuff.
Also, because it's read-only, you might have to unsquash the
file-system somewhere, modify the /etc/fstab mounts, then re-squash
and put it back on the USB drive.  An ugly proposition all around.

Otherwise, you'd need to include more detail regarding which
distro/flavor that you're trying.  It would help nail down a solution
for you.


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