Increasing the persistent file for USB linux

Ever since the power regression bug, I found myself increasingly moving away from Linux. I still want to be able to use it, but I see no reason why I should allocate a partition in a dual boot setup, especially since these days I'm using SSD on my tablet convertible and space is precious.

20120305-000-screencapBefore going any further, let’s just clarify that I am definitely, positively NOT considering virtualization / VMware stuff because at least older versions had issues with wireless and this is a far less portable solution than the others.

With that in mind, I formatted a 4GB USB drive as FAT32, downloaded the ISO and used Unetbootin (though Ubuntu’s endorsement, Universal USB Installer is just as good) to install the ISO to the USB drive. Additionally, I specified a very small 300 MB casper_rw file; this is where changes are stored and it turned out to be wholly inadequate, which is why I decided to increase it to 1 GB.

I now had 3 choices, after deleting the existing casper_rw:

  1. Create an arbitrary file and name it casper_rw – it won’t work
  2. Boot in another Linux then run
      • dd if=/dev/zero of=casper-rw bs=1M count=1024
      • mkfs.ext3 -F casper-rw
    • copy the file to the USB drive or, to resize, run:
      • dd if=/dev/zero bs=1M count=1024 >> casper-rw
      • resize2fs casper-rw
  3. Under Windows, use TopoResize to resize it or PDL Casper-rw Creator to create a fresh new one.

If you have a portable apps suite, you might want to install there the above apps.

The current install keeps your data unencrypted. If you prefer to have the benefit of encryption, you might want to follow these instructions.

Sources / More info: uninstall-restore-bt, unetbootin, univusb, pendrive-usb, TopoResize, PDLCC, bt5-enc, bt-pers-usb, cw-safe, casper>4GB,


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