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  • My Linux Live Stick Experiment

    Home Forums AskWoody support Non-Windows operating systems Linux – all distros My Linux Live Stick Experiment

    This topic contains 16 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  johnf 1 year, 10 months ago.

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    • #143650 Reply

      Purg2
      AskWoody Lounger

      HiFlyer posted a topic about UNetbootin & it inspired me to give it a try as a way to learn & maybe someday get off windows.

      The creation of the live stick took longer than expected, but the results were great.  It was super easy & having the option to choose distros was handy.  I didn’t want to have to scrounge around the web looking for a Linux Mint .iso to load or tweak.  This tool had it on a list that would do it for me, niiice.

      Here is a picture gallery of my encounters.
      https://imgur.com/a/TYn6j

      Image 01 is where I just selected the first choice on the list.  Should I have selected the other one?  What is the difference?

      Image 05 is where I got nervous & ducked out.  I probably would’ve been OK, just wanted to be safe by asking for help before I tried it again.  I was under the impression that this would be confined to the stick & not effect my C: or D: drives.  Maybe the word installation threw me off.  Or it could have been the warning message that said “erase disk and install Linux Mint, this will delete any files on the disk.”  Disk might’ve gooped me up too for that matter.  This is why “something else” was done instead.

      Interestingly enough, the images after 05 show how I got what would appear to be a “partial” load of sorts.  I could get online using the Firefox shortcut at the bottom.  Also was able to peruse various settings & tools etc.

      The last image 08-directory view was verrrry interesting.  It showed that I had access to view my hard drive.  This seems odd as I thought that this live stick was merely an image of sorts.  The fact that I could see my OS & Data partitions was a surprise & makes me wonder further about proceeding.

      Man, it sure would be great to get some advice about this so I can finish the install/setup.  Any feedback would be appreciated.

      Other than that, it was fun poking around in Linux land.  I can’t wait to get into it more.

      Win 8.1 Group B, Linux Dabbler

      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #145083 Reply

      Rick Corbett
      AskWoody_MVP

      It was super easy & having the option to choose distros was handy. I didn’t want to have to scrounge around the web looking for a Linux Mint .iso to load or tweak.

      Unfortunately UNetbootin doesn’t keep up with distros that have a fairly rapid release cycle nor does it give you a choice of different editions of your chosen distro. Even the latest UNetbootin download (unetbootin-windows-657.exe) only offers Linux Mint 17.2… even though Linux Mint is now at version 18.2. It’s not clear which edition of Linux Mint is involved either.

      For this reason I believe it’s always better to download the .ISO you want instead… and, please, always download from a distro’s ‘home’ website instead of ‘scrounging around’. (It’s absolutely fine to download from a close/faster ‘mirror’ site if the ‘home’ website offers a link to it.)

      There’s always a performance hit running a distro ‘live’ as opposed to ‘installed’. As a result I suggest you use an edition optimised for lower spec. machines until you get used to the distro and are ready to try it installed (dual boot or full replacement).

      I personally think that you made a good choice with Linux Mint. It’s one of the easiest distros to get used to if you are primarily a Windows user looking to change.

      So, with the above in mind, I would suggest downloading either the Linux Mint Xcfe edition (needs least ‘oomph’) or the Linux Mint Mate edition (needs slightly more ‘oomph’) .ISO files to start off with (from https://linuxmint.com/download.php).

      If your device has 2GB RAM or less then go for the 32-bit version. If you have more RAM then, if available, I suggest you choose the 64-bit version.

      When you’ve had a look around at everything and a decent play (remembering that using Linux ‘live’ also means any changes you make won’t persist between reboots), then I suggest you download the Linux Mint Cinnamon edition. Using it ‘live’ will be slower than the Xcfe or Mate editions but will show you the slightly different ‘look and feel’. This will give you a better idea of which edition you prefer and want to actually install when the time comes to take that next step.

      Hope this helps…

      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #145141 Reply

      Purg2
      AskWoody Lounger

      @ Rick Corbett – thanks for the information, I’ll certainly keep that in mind.

      Still unsure about completing setup based on the warning message that scared me off.  Perplexing how I was still able to run it despite canceling.

      Win 8.1 Group B, Linux Dabbler

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #145177 Reply

        Rick Corbett
        AskWoody_MVP

        Sorry but… big difference between booting into a Linux ‘live’ session vs a Linux ‘install’.

        Sounds/looks like you may have inadvertently used the latter (and good that you cancelled) but without step-by-step details it’s impossible to say.

        Were you following any guidance? If so, can you point to a url/source?

    • #145186 Reply

      Purg2
      AskWoody Lounger

      Wasn’t following any guidance.  Just loaded the stick & booted to it.  The image gallery was what I did.

      I keep thinking that whatever process it wanted to go through didn’t get to finish.  Yet there I was at the desktop all linux like & such.  I’ve repeated the exact same actions, choosing “something else” then cancel & am still able to run what appears to be a live session of sorts.  Perhaps I shouldn’t call it that if that is not what it truly is.

      Maybe I should consult with the UNetbootin people to see what they have to say on the matter.  Murkiness was where it seems to have been left at.

      Win 8.1 Group B, Linux Dabbler

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #154743 Reply

        anonymous

        Hi, if you were trying out a live usb and want to install over the c:drive you don’t need to pick ‘something else’, just let it overwrite the drive. You can get to the internet from a live distro, nothing will be saved.

        Check the Bleeping Computer Linux forum for advice, they should be able to help you. You are on your way!

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #154772 Reply

      Purg2
      AskWoody Lounger

      Hi, if you were trying out a live usb and want to install over the c:drive you don’t need to pick ‘something else’, just let it overwrite the drive.

      Thanks for the feedback.  I was under the impression that a live stick was a way of trying it out w/o an install.  Which is why I selected “something else” because I don’t want to install it.

      Afterall, I was able to get to the internet & poke around other OS type stuff too.  No big deal I suppose.  Not in a hurry.

      Between UNetbootin, Bleeping Computer & other linux places, I’m sure I’ll find someone to tell me what the matter is.  After which I’ll post the information to save someone else the time should they experience anything similar.

      Win 8.1 Group B, Linux Dabbler

      • #154776 Reply

        DrBonzo
        AskWoody Plus

        @purg2 – I’m sort of jumping into the middle of this but,…

        It’s been a while since I’ve used a live usb Linux stick and it was with Ubuntu, not Mint. But something doesn’t seem quite right. When I used a live stick I was given a very clear choice whether I wanted to install to my hard drive or just use the stick as the operating system. When I chose the stick I didn’t get any of the questions about clean installs, partitioning the hard drive, etc. I just got a Ubuntu desktop, although on my old hardware, it took about 5 minutes to get the desktop.

        It sort of seems like maybe you’re not using a “live” stick, but only an install stick. Just an idea. If I remember I used something called LinuxLive (not sure that’s right) to make my stick, and during that process I was given a clear choice whether I wanted a “live” stick or just an install stick. I chose a”live” stick, although when I booted off it I was still given the choice of just running off the stick or doing an install to the hard drive.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #154778 Reply

        anonymous

        @ Purg2

        http://linuxmint-installation-guide.readthedocs.io/en/latest/install.html
        .
        Yes, the Live Linux USB/DVD is used to ‘test-drive’ the OS for hardware compatibility and user suitability (without installing on the internal hard-drive), … which you can’t do with a Windows Install USB/DVD from M$.

        After clicking the Desktop icon for “Install Linux Mint” and proceeding with the Install Wizard, “Something else” is one of the installation methods for Linux Mint, besides “Erase disk and install LM” and “Install LM alongside Windows”.

        I think the Raspberry Pi 3 uses the ARM processor which is not supported by LM. There should be non-mainstream Ubuntu for ARM, Debian for ARM, Archlinux for ARM, etc available. The installation steps for such ARM-based distros should be more complicated, compared to the normal Ubuntu for x-86.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #154777 Reply

      Purg2
      AskWoody Lounger

      It sort of seems like maybe you’re not using a “live” stick, but only an install stick. Just an idea. If I remember I used something called LinuxLive (not sure that’s right) to make my stick, and during that process I was given a clear choice whether I wanted a “live” stick or just an install stick. I chose a”live” stick, although when I booted off it I was still given the choice of just running off the stick or doing an install to the hard drive.

      Right, it sure does seem a bit gooped up, almost an odd combination of the two.  Thankfully I’m able to tinker around with it to get the gist of what linux is like.

      I’ve got a Raspberry Pi 3 on order & when that comes in I’m going to see if I can get mint 18.3 xfce 64 bit to run on it.  At which point, this stick business may become moot.

      Win 8.1 Group B, Linux Dabbler

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #154784 Reply

      Purg2
      AskWoody Lounger

      /snip

      Thanks for the great information, will keep it in mind for Pi time, heh heh.

      Win 8.1 Group B, Linux Dabbler

    • #154793 Reply

      anonymous

      ? says:

      I started using Ubuntu 14.04LTS when the Windows get winx onslaught started. I make both a fully installed as well as live USB systems to 32 GB SanDisk Cruisers. i currently have 14.04 and 16.04 full systems on sticks and 16.04LTS live on the third. i make them using GParted Partition Editor and StartUp Disk Creator which are included tools. 14.04 live sticks are straight forward to make, the 16.04 requires a couple of simple tweaks because 16.04 StartUp Disk Creator doesn’t have a switch to install a 4GB persistent partition. I found the tweaks to make the 16.04LTS live USB  on askubuntu (thanks primarily to C.S. Cameron). The standard installed sticks are straightforward to update, the live 16.04 is tricky because i haven’t figured out how to update the kernel without crashing the system… (yet)

      Also thanks to microsoft for pushing me to learn Linux because of their treatment of win7/win8 folks. If they do not get winx working properly I’m ready to trash 27 years of using windows mothball them and carry on with linux.

      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #172195 Reply

      Purg2
      AskWoody Lounger

      After the holidays came & went, so did most of February & then I saw this post by Rick Corbett.

      In that post he cites “Universal USB Installer from pendrivelinux.com to create Linux Live USB sticks with persistent storage.”

      My troubles could be solved, thought Purg, so off I went to give it a whirl.  Intially the interface was a bit wonky because it wouldn’t populate the persistence option w/o some fiddling.  Specifically trying to avoid the “Now Showing All Drives (BE CAREFUL)” was part of why that was tricky.  Eventually after starting over a couple times & experimenting with the sub-directories in step one for Linux Mint, the persistence option appeared & I maxed it out.

      Also, the FAT32 thing kinda messed with me too.  Not having much experience with that forced me to go back & forth a couple times to get that worked out.

      Another thing that had to be taken into consideration was obtaining the .iso file for Step 2.  This is where the interface was helpful by following the link to the Linux site to download Mint 18.3 xfce (also known as Sylvia).

      UNetbootin was easier in this regard as it had .iso files readily available to choose from.  So I was glad to see that link to follow on UUI.

      Mr.Phelps mentioned somewhere that xfce did well for him, so I went with that.  Maybe another time I’ll try cinnamon, mate or kde.

      The stick got made & loaded without a hitch.  No strange hoops to jump through, no “something else” fright to make me cancel a possible install.  It simply ran & showed me the desktop to display its readiness to proceed.

      Wow, this is great thought Purg.  After some other incidental tweaks, like time & date & power maintenance so the lock screen wouldn’t engage, all seems to be motoring on at a decent pace.

      Shutdown & restart a few times showed my changes were persistent & that importing my bookmarks on Firefox 57 held.  Now I can really focus on stressing it some to see what else it will handle.

      Rick Corbett, you sir have made a great thing happen.  A hearty thanks to you.

       

      P.S.  To anyone reading this that is at all curious about Linux experimentation, I would highly recommend trying this option.  If I can do it, so can you & it just might help in researching how Linux could be an alternative for those wondering about the future of windows.

      Win 8.1 Group B, Linux Dabbler

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #180605 Reply

      MrJimPhelps
      AskWoody_MVP

      If you aren’t able to do Linux Live on your computer, it could be that there is some issue with the computer which is preventing it from working.

      Here are the specs on my computer:

      EMachines W5243
      AMD Athlon 64 Processor 3800+
      2 GB of RAM
      238 GB hard drive
      Originally came with Windows Vista.

      No matter which Linux Live USB creator I use, I have only been able to boot once into Linux Live with a USB stick on the above computer. I have tried several USB creator programs, both Windows and Linux; and I have tried several different flash drives.

      However, I have absolutely no problem running Linux Live from a DVD on that same computer.

      I have concluded that there is not likely an issue with the flash drive, because a known good flash drive is recognized and mounted immediately when I plug it in, but it fails when I boot with it.

      Group "L" (Linux Mint)
      with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
      • #180636 Reply

        anonymous

        ? says:

        Hello Jim!

        i had to modify the isolinux.sys file to a custom made syslinux file (courtesy of C.S Cameron) on ubuntu stick:

        “default persistent
        label persistent
        say Booting a persistent Ubuntu session…
        kernel /casper/vmlinuz.efi
        append  file=/cdrom/preseed/ubuntu.seed boot=casper persistent initrd=/casper/initrd.lz quiet splash noprompt –” [ my quotes added]

        this is for non-EUFI bios boot type boot mechanisms.

        on first boot i go as sudo -i and update to syslinux from isolinux from the terminal.

        please remember that is “safer” to run your linux program either as a static cdrom or usb stick without persistence or as a full install on disk, because updating the squashfs kernel(s) is a trick i so far haven’t been able to decypher.

        now back for more indiscriminate clicking…

        ENJOY!

         

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #181544 Reply

      johnf
      AskWoody Lounger

      I’ve had issues with UNetbootin at times not creating proper Live Boot USB’s. In those cases, Rufus (https://rufus.akeo.ie/) has been great at making live ISO flash boot usb’s. It’s a windows only app at this point, though, but if you have a windows PC available, it’s worth a spin.

      1 user thanked author for this post.

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