[arch-general] creating an archlinux usb key with persistence

Mark Lee mark at markelee.com
Thu Mar 13 03:59:34 EDT 2014


While I don't know of any specific instructions on the Arch wiki, you can
install Arch Linux onto a usb stick like a regular {H,S}DD. In my case, I
made three partitions. The first was an NTFS partition for using the usb
stick as a data transferring device; the second was a FAT32 boot partition
(for EFI and Syslinux booting); the third was a BTRFS root partition (with
transparent LZO compression enabled to reduce read/write). In addition, I
use a script to place certain directories (mostly $HOME directories in my
case) in a tmpfs partition (I just link them to /tmp) to decrease the
effect of USB writes on the system. My script syncs the tmpfs directores to
disk every 5 minutes. Since it's a full Arch Linux system, it upgrades and
evolves like any other Arch system.


On Thu, Mar 13, 2014 at 3:40 AM, Rashif Ray Rahman <schiv at archlinux.org>wrote:

> On 13 March 2014 11:09, Don Raikes <DON.RAIKES at oracle.com> wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> >
> >
> > Are there instructions for creating an archlinux usb key with
> persistence somewhere?
> >
> >
> >
> > I want to use my archlinux usb key as a diagnostic tool, and sometimes
> it is helpful to save files to it for later review.
> >
> >
> >
> > Any info would be appreciated.
> >
> > BTW: I am planning on using a 64gb usb key for this endeavor.
> As far as I am aware, there is no official documentation, support or
> tool for this. I've also had a frugal install on my personal TODO for
> several years now but never got around to it. [1]
> Support for persistence needs to be built into the image, but I may be
> wrong; persistence in most cases is simply a virtual disk image
> overlay (it is overlaid on top of the primary booting system) that
> only saves changes and nothing else.
> I had an ext2-formatted second-partition Arch install for a while, but
> I realized I didn't like that. Now I simply have a SysResCD that I
> managed to shove into a single directory ".ufdboot", hidden in Linux,
> Mac, and Windows (by setting attrib +h from cmd or wine).
> Try a boot helper such as Universal USB Installer; they say it gives
> persistence to "any" distribution (I'm unsure how). You may also be
> able to find a ready-made third-party image. Simply do a Google search
> for "arch linux live with persistence" or similar.
> In any case, I wouldn't suggest having one of our official ISOs redone
> with persistence without more customization. They're bare minimal
> system images, and the changes you apply are surely to increase by
> several gigabytes (and the overlay may take even more space).
> [1] https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/User:Schivmeister/ArchLinuxUFD
> --
> GPG/PGP ID: C0711BF1

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