Prepare Lnux Mint 19.3 Pen Drive

I have installed Linux Mint 19.3 in my Samsung N-148 Netbook successfully. Everything is working. I have also installed a few software and the the installation seems quite stable and as per my requirement.
Now can I create a bootable pen drive which has an image of the same configuration as my installed Linux distro, so that I can boot from the pen drive into any PC or laptop as a live OS and then install the OS onto the Hard Drive of the PC/Laptop? To make a long story short, I want to be able to install my favorite Linux setup with my custom configuration from this pen drive.
I would appreciate an answer with a simple procedure, too much of jargon or terminal stuff can shake me up a bit…Thanks in advance.
PS. This is my very first post in this forum, so please bear with me if I am asking too much :slight_smile:
Thanks once again

I have no idea if this is easy or even possible but it’s something I’m interested in.

Yes @chinmoy1955, two different questions. Let’s look at each one separately. From what I read, Yes, you can clone / backup & restore one Linux system onto another HDD for another PC. The 2 issues I read you might encounter are graphic drivers and PC boot mode (EFI or MBR). You might want to read this;

My recommendation. Re-install Linux, re-load selective software. Linux installs fast and there would be no compatibility problems. In 30 minutes or less you’re done!

Create your own bootable pen (USB) drive. Sorry, no experience with that. I did find this on the internet:

Glad to know that I have a like minded netizen… :slight_smile:

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I’m sorry you have misunderstood my question. I know about cloning and backing up of Linux systems.
Let me explain once again. The best way to install linux is to make a bootable pen drive and boot from it. After booting we can play around with the distro in order to get familiar with it, and if satisfied with the performance, we have a choice to install the system in the hard drive from the live system itself.
Once the system is installed in the hard drive, I tweak it to my requirements, and also install a lot of extra software, which were not originally provided in the live DVD or ISO. This process definitely takes up a lot of time and efforts.
Now my question is that can I create a modified live pen drive/DVD from this installed Linux system so that I can boot from the same DVD/Pendrive in any computer to try out the Linux distro as a live system with all the installed extra software and tweaks that I had undertaken?
To put it in another way, I wish to create a live USB/DVD from the running Linux system.

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Hello chinmoy1955.
If I am understanding your question, what you want/need is not a live USB.
A live USB can be made with a persistent file that stores all your changed configurations so that you can boot again from the USB just like you left it from the last use. But a Linux in a PC will never use that persistent file. So, this solution is not what you need.
If you install onto the PC and configure everything, your configuration will be in the HDD and it will not pass onto the USB. So, this solution is not what you need either.
If I understood correctly the only solution will be a bit tricky:
You’ll need 2 USB drives. 1 with a live distro and the other blank.
You will have to make a full installation into the second USB with a /home partition separate from the root.
Then you will have to install into the PC with the second USB attached to it and you’ll have to tell the installer that you will use that /home partition in the second USB to be the /home partition of the PC installation.
That way the /home partition will always be in the second USB and you can boot from it in any PC. BUT, you will always need it to be attached to your PC every time you want to boot from it. And it will be slower also.
I never tried this, so, it’s theoretical. :grinning:

Hi dreis,
It is surprising that I am still unable to explain clearly what I intend to do!

Sorry to differ, a live USB need not have any persistence, If one wants to just try out the distro. Live USB means just that, a live device which boots through USB. It is capable of booting normally, allowing one to do all the tasks depending upon the built-in software bundled with the distro. Yes, if you intend to keep the system wise changes you make to the USB pen drive, those will not be saved, and the next boot will revert back to the original setup.

Now to come back to my requirement. Let me put it in a different way. I have a working Linux system installed in a laptop. Now I need to create a pen drive which shall have the exact image of the system, together with all the tweaks and software etc., so that I can use this pen drive to boot up in any other computer and then install the Linux diatro onto that computer, just like we do with any Linux bootable pen drive. This pen drive is going to be a master installer which I can repeatedly use to install Linux with my favourite apps. Remember Fedora Spins?

I hope this time I have been able to explain my question sufficiently for any expert to provide me with a solution.

Thanks to all.

I understand exactly what you wish to do, however, it all depends on the distro you wish to make an exact iso of. I use several different Linux Puppies, and they all let you make a “remaster” of the version in use with all the added apps,docs, etc., that you have.

Thanks tosim91 for actually understanding my problem. I actually got this Idea from puppy Linux years back. Hats off to puppy Linux for including such a nice feature, absolutely brilliant.
So what I can gather is that it all depends on the distro. Bad luck.

as @tosim91 has mentioned, some distros (bodhi and antiX that i have used) come with tools to make an iso snapshot of your system which you can then use to create a usb like you are after. i am not aware of one for general ubuntu/mint use.

a quick web search for how to make an iso of a working system yields a few results mentioning systemback or remastersys, but both of those seem to be out of date and/or the software is no longer maintained so its use is very at your own risk. the same search brought up this mint forum thread (about the an older debian edition) which mentions using using squashfs and isofs to create that iso and eventually (i would presume) a usb of said iso. i have watched bodhibuilder create an iso of my system and know that it uses squashfs to do so, but have no idea if the methodologies are similar beyond that.

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Not quite what you are asking for, but if you are looking for a way to configure a distribution on or before installation easily, take a look at DietPi.

It lets you use a configuration file, that is read upon installation. Depending on your configuration, your OS will be set up according to it. This way you can set up Wi-Fi, install different programs, insert files, etc. into a fresh installation, completely automatically.

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i decided to try one last search for “programs like remastersys or systemback” and mentioned one project that is still alive and claims to work with ubuntu 18.04/mint 19 called PinguyBuilder. here’s a blurb about it working with 18.04. finally, an excerpt from the readme file on the downloads page:

Version 5.* works with *buntu systems 18.04 & Mint 19


Haven’t had time to check this one out, but you might watch it, as it might work for you.
The person making it, is pretty sharp:

Thanks, that sounds interesting. Will give it a try. :slight_smile:

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