How To Create Persistent Live USB Using Mkusb On Ubuntu

12 Responses

  1. Ed B. says:

    Does it still detect the hardware when it boots? If so I am in, you can plug it in to any computer then…

  2. patrick says:

    Inseed a handy tool. The only downside is that it does not encrypt the drive ore the home partition, which is a must for carry on drives.

  3. David Kra says:

    How is this better than doing a “normal” installation onto a “disk” which happens to be a USB stick or an SD card?

    With that method, the result is not a “live”installation with separate “persistence” and “storage” areas. Instead it is a regular installation that happens to have grub on the stick and be bootable. I think it would allow for encryption, userid’s, passwords, etc.

    Yes it takes longer, because first you make a typical live try-and-install-from on stick#1, then you boot that, and do a normal install onto stick#2.

    I don’t intend to hijack your excellent article, but below is a slight editing of what I posted elsewhere a year ago. The following guide explains how to do a normal installation onto a USB stick or SDCard:

    Can you compare and contrast with the article’s “persistence” method?

    • sk says:

      Hi David,

      Your method may work and it is suitable for advanced users. However, Creating persistence usb with mkusb is much easier, simpler, and faster than your method. You don’t don’t need to manually create partitions. Mkusb wil do it for you. Also, you don’t need to use two USB sticks. Mkusb is GUI, so even an intermediate user can create a live usb in couple minutes.

  4. Suvhm says:

    Actually when I tried to boot the device using usb persistent it shows an error that –
    I need to load kernel first.
    Enter any key to continue…
    Any idea why I am getting this error.
    I appreciate your support here!

    • sk says:

      Please post the full error message. Mkusb can create Ubuntu or Debian live USB only. If you tried any other OS like Linux mint, it may not work. Double check you’ve followed all the steps as described in the guide. Also try from any other branded USB drives.

  5. pxrxtx says:

    I already have Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS on a USB and am booted in live mode but I want persistence to save changes. I tried this method and after entering “sudo apt install –install-recommends mkusb mkusb-nox usb-pack-efi” (without the quotes obviously), I get an error message that looks like this:

    Reading package lists… Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information… Done
    Some packages could not be installed. This may mean that you have
    requested an impossible situation or if you are using the unstable
    distribution that some required packages have not yet been created
    or been moved out of Incoming.
    The following information may help to resolve the situation:

    The following packages have unmet dependencies:
    mkusb : Depends: xterm but it is not installable
    Depends: wmctrl but it is not installable
    Depends: guidus but it is not going to be installed
    E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages.

    If anybody could help that would be great.

  6. borislav says:

    It looks like it is not possible to update the kernel once you are in because trying to fix update-initramfs do not help as long as /etc/fstab file do not point to a real hadrdrive id . So the only solution to have latest kernel is for a source it has to be the a cd image with updated kernel.. In this case, is it possible to save home folder somehow, and restore it into the new persistend live usb?

  7. ajs says:

    Hi, many thanks for this. Can encryption be enabled and if yes can you explain(/refer) how to..?

  8. Jan Altus says:

    Just like Suvhm I got the same response:-
    when I tried to boot the device using usb persistent it shows an error that
    I need to load kernel first.
    Enter any key to continue…

    Some Forums suggest I need to add “grub” or “rw” but with no explanation of how this is achieved.

    I’ve tried using six different methods of making a persistent USB drive (with three different thumb drives) and none of the methods have worked, to date.

    I have no difficulty making non-persistent drives. I’m beginning to understand another reason they may be called “persistent”! 😉

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