Persistent SolydXK USB pen drive

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Arjen Balfoort
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Persistent SolydXK USB pen drive

Postby Arjen Balfoort » 01 Jan 2016 13:55

Prerequisites
  • Pen drive of at least 8GB.
  • Live SolydX or SolydK ISO.
    You need live-installer-3 version 2016.03.05 or higher.
    The latest nightly builds include this version but you can also install it later in this tutorial.
  • VirtualBox installed.
Prepare the pen drive
Insert the pen drive, start Gparted and create three partitions:
  1. EFI: 100MB, fat32.
  2. Root: at least 6GB, ext4.
  3. Home: rest, ext4.
Create a virtual machine
  1. Start VirtualBox and create a new virtual machine:
    persistent-usb-1.png
    persistent-usb-1.png (50.41 KiB) Viewed 7418 times
  2. Do NOT add a virtual harddrive:
    persistent-usb-2.png
    persistent-usb-2.png (53.2 KiB) Viewed 7418 times
    Continue after the warning:
    persistent-usb-3.png
    persistent-usb-3.png (15.35 KiB) Viewed 7418 times
Configure the virtual machine
Select the new virtual machine and hit "Settings".
  1. Select "System", tab "Motherboard" and check "Enable EFI (special OSes only)":
    persistent-usb-4.png
    persistent-usb-4.png (43.15 KiB) Viewed 7418 times
  2. Select "Storage" and add the ISO:
    persistent-usb-5.png
    persistent-usb-5.png (39.42 KiB) Viewed 7418 times
  3. Select "USB" and add the inserted USB pen drive:
    persistent-usb-6.png
    persistent-usb-6.png (30.57 KiB) Viewed 7418 times
Install SolydXK to the pen drive
  1. Start the virtual machine.
  2. You need live-installer-3 version 2016.03.05 or higher.
    If your live ISO doesn't have that, run these commands:

    Code: Select all

    sudo apt update; sudo apt install live-installer-3
  3. Start the Live Installer and configure the system as you normally would.
  4. Mount the fat32 partition for EFI (automatically done by the live installer).
  5. Mount the first ext4 partition as root (/).
  6. Mount the second ext4 partition as home (/home).
    persistent-usb-7.png
  7. Check the overview page and hit "Install".
Depending on your pen drive the installation can take quite some time. It took about an hour for me. So, go read an Isaak Asimov book or watch an episode or two of Star Trek ;)

For reference I've attached the SSD/Pen drive specific configuration files created or adapted by the Live Installer, including the terminal output of a persistent SolydX64 installation.
persistent-usb-files.tar.gz
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jsalpha2
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Re: Persistent SolydXK USB pen drive

Postby jsalpha2 » 03 Jan 2016 02:34

Thanks, will give this a try soon. If using a 16GB pen drive would the partition sizes change? Also my old computer does not have EFI, just the old style bios. Does this matter? Finally, will this survive updating? On some other persistent linux installs running the update causes problems. Thanks again.

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Re: Persistent SolydXK USB pen drive

Postby Arjen Balfoort » 03 Jan 2016 06:40

jsalpha2 wrote:Thanks, will give this a try soon. If using a 16GB pen drive would the partition sizes change?
Depends on what software you want to install. I've used a 6GB root partition and installed Gimp, Inkscape, and several development tools and still have room to spare.
jsalpha2 wrote:Also my old computer does not have EFI, just the old style bios. Does this matter?
No, after the install you'll be able to boot from both legacy and UEFI systems.
jsalpha2 wrote:Finally, will this survive updating? On some other persistent linux installs running the update causes problems. Thanks again.
I've updated several times without a problem. As far as the system knows, your pen drive is just a detachable SSD.


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Re: Persistent SolydXK USB pen drive

Postby Fargo » 06 Jan 2016 03:12

I want to try out your SSD setup on my new system. Can I just update the installer with the code above and do the install as normal?

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Re: Persistent SolydXK USB pen drive

Postby Fargo » 06 Jan 2016 04:47

I updated my live cd installer using the code you gave above

Code: Select all

sudo apt update; sudo apt install live-installer
and everything installed just fine on my ssd. How do I check all the ssd commands to ensure they are working properly.

Let me know if there is anything else you want me to check for you.

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Re: Persistent SolydXK USB pen drive

Postby Fargo » 07 Jan 2016 04:18

Everything seems to be looking good here for the new live-installer. I think the one I used was dated 1/1/16. I check trim with

Code: Select all

sudo fstrim -v /
which I picked up in the past. Hopefully its the right code. Anyway, using that code it looks like my trim is setup.

If I open /etc/sysctl.d/sysctl.conf I see 'vm.swappiness=1' So I think that looks correct as well.

So as far as I can tell the new live-installer is setting up SSD drives as intended. This is great. Every Linux distro should do this. I hate having to mess with setting up the ssd. Thank you Schoelje for doing this. This needs to be advertised when its finalized. I think a lot of people will be excited to use a Linux distro that automaticlly sets up the SSD.

Let me know if there is anything else you want me to check.

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jsalpha2
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Re: Persistent SolydXK USB pen drive

Postby jsalpha2 » 07 Jan 2016 05:09

Problems so far.
From fully updated SolydX64, I installed VirtualBox. It worked, but in Step 1there were no options for 64-bit Linux.(What did I miss?) So I am trying from VirtualBox running under Win7. The 64 bit options are available.

Under selecting storage I used Ide secondary like in the picture and pointed to the ISO. (Did not burn a real optical disc)

Selecting the USB drive was confusing. I was not sure if I should have chosen the first icon or the one with the + mark on it.

Started the virtual machine using the nightly build solydx_8_64_201601.iso

Got as far as the User Info screen. After putting in name and password and clicking next, it froze.
Never made it to the selecting partitions screen. Was prepared for slow installation, but never got that far.
Will try again soon. Thanks

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Re: Persistent SolydXK USB pen drive

Postby Fargo » 07 Jan 2016 16:39

Seeing how jsalpha has so many issues, it got me wondering if I made the right choice using the updatied installer since I put this on a production machine. Am I going to have issues down the road, or are Jsalphas issues due to being on a USB instead of a SSD. Its not too late for me to do a fresh install with the stock 201512 iso if that will be more reliable. Thanks for the guidance.

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Re: Persistent SolydXK USB pen drive

Postby jsalpha2 » 07 Jan 2016 22:19

Fargo
I am trying to install on a 16GB flash drive using the nightly SolydX ISO.
I don't have a SSD, but I presume they are different.
I am a slow learner. My first post was just questions because I wanted to get it right the first time.
Never happens for me.
My virtualbox install might be screwed up. I'm not an expert at using VirtualBox.
If you have things working, you should be fine.

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Re: Persistent SolydXK USB pen drive

Postby Arjen Balfoort » 08 Jan 2016 14:24

SSD should be fine.
Persistent USB still works for me. Do you install from an UEFI host or not? If not, try to skip the UEFI part in the tutorial.


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Re: Persistent SolydXK USB pen drive

Postby Fargo » 20 Jan 2016 04:09

I've had some strange issues with my computer locking on boot. It often seems to lock just shortly after grub. I'm not sure if its because I used the new installer here or if its a Plymouth issue or something with my machine. Its a new build so hopefully my hardware is all good!

I'm actually thinking about doing a fresh install since with the installer on the latest official iso since the machine is not in a production environment yet, but needs to be soon.

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Re: Persistent SolydXK USB pen drive

Postby Arjen Balfoort » 20 Jan 2016 08:51

Are you sure you're talking about creating a persistent USB pen drive?
I've been installing on SSD (on metal) and on pen drive several times without issues.


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Re: Persistent SolydXK USB pen drive

Postby Fargo » 20 Jan 2016 15:11

Not a USB. I am installed on a strait up SSD. It might not be the installer. I have been less than happy with my new motherboard for other reasons as well. It could be UEFI issues or it could be Plymouth or something else as well.

I am just trying to eliminate any possible issues before it becomes my main production machine for my business. So I'm trying to decided now if I reinstall with the original installer and make the SSD tweaks manually or if I can continue with this new setup.

I really like the SSD provisions you made, it was sure nice not having to do that all myself. So I don't really feel like doing a fresh install for no reason. I guess I was just concerned the tweaks made for the USB were interfering with the SSD setup. I don't know code well enough to know what all the tweaks you made did. But I trust you enough to use it for my business! You've never let me down yet. Thanks for all you do.

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Re: Persistent SolydXK USB pen drive

Postby Arjen Balfoort » 20 Jan 2016 16:20

Really, this installer is quite experimental. I've got just three machines to test it on and VB is not the same as installing on metal as well. For me it works and I haven't heard much complaints about the new installer either. However, if you feel more comfortable installing with the old installer and do the configuration yourself, please do so. It's not that much work, really.

Disabling Plymouth is always a good idea to start with if you have startup issues.


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Re: Persistent SolydXK USB pen drive

Postby Fargo » 20 Jan 2016 16:58

Thanks for the advice. I will keep it in mind as I decide if I need to reinstall or not.

FYI - I really don't think it is your new installer that is causing my issues. I have had numerous issues with the UEFI system on my new motherboard. So take my issues with a grain of salt as you develop it. I love that you did this. I look forward to the day it will be further tested and part of the 'official' installer. Thanks again.

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Re: Persistent SolydXK USB pen drive

Postby Fargo » 22 Jan 2016 18:01

I wanted to let you know i did a fresh install with the stock installer on the iso. I still got the lockup on boot right after Grub. So this must be a Plymouth issue and not an issue with your installer. I'll likely just set trim manually know. I like the method I used before since it made a log file for each dev trimmed. Does your installer make a trim log file anywhere? I didn't see it?

Sorry taking the thread off track.

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Re: Persistent SolydXK USB pen drive

Postby Arjen Balfoort » 22 Jan 2016 18:27

No logging for trimming.


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Re: Persistent SolydXK USB pen drive

Postby Arjen Balfoort » 05 Mar 2016 13:53

I made a video tutorial for this and uploaded it here: https://solydxk.nl/get-support/tutorials/#persistent


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