Save changes on Ubuntu live usb

Hi, If I use an Ubuntu live on USB, can I save changes on it for next time use?
or for instance If I Install a photo editor and edit photos, can I save edited files on that USB?
thank you

2 Likes

a regular live usb will not save files or installed programs. to save those things, you need to create a usb with what is called persistence. since i have not done so, i can’t point you towards a guide or tutorial. a web search for “create ubuntu usb with persistence” or something similar should point you in a helpful direction.

3 Likes

thank you, right. as I found out by installing UNetbootin, it allows you to to allocate a drive for save settings and files on Ubuntu Live USB for next live reboot.

2 Likes

sounds like you are headed in the right direction :slight_smile: feel free to stop back by and report how that goes for you so others can know it works if they have the same question.

2 Likes

yes, fortunately!!! :star_struck: I’ll do it tonight and report the result here.

2 Likes

Hello,

ventoy is also a great tool for creating even multiboot-sticks.
Plus: it´s really easy to handle.


It also features persistence:

https://www.ventoy.net/en/plugin_persistence.html

Many distros (like Ubuntu/MX/LinuxMint …) provide feature for persistence. This allows saving any changes you make to the live system, so that they are still present the next time you boot to it. In normal case, we create a separate partition to do this which is not so flexible.

Now Ventoy brings a new feature here. You have no need to create any partition, no need to add persistent boot parameter. Just put a persistence data file in the 1st partition and tell Ventoy by the json configuration, and that’s all.

You can put many different data files for different iso files at a time. You can also share a data file between different iso files as long as it can be supported by the distros. Even you can specify more than one data files to an iso file, Ventoy will provide a menu to choose before boot.

I haven´t tried persistence myself yet but it should be easy to manage.

Greetings.
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

5 Likes

Interesting. I’ll check it out! thank you very much.

3 Likes

Hi Hanna,

you´re welcome.

In my personal opinion the biggest advantage of using ventoy is the fact that it´s really easy to handle.

If you want to change/update your ISO-file (e.g. if there´s a new major version like ubuntu 18.04 LTS -------> 20.04 LTS) the only thing you have to do is delete the old ISO and copy the new ISO into the 1st partition of the stick).
That´s it.
No need to expand the ISO. No need to set up the stick anew.
Seems most practicable.

Currently 450+ ISO files are tested (list)

Greetings.
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

2 Likes

Hi,

just want to let you know:
a very good and easy-to-follow instruction of how to create persistence in ventoy can be found here:

Greetings.
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

2 Likes

Brilliant thread! Thanks to Hanna for asking a really great question. And thanks to Rosika for providing a clear method. So clear I just successfully created one.

Thanks to you two I can scratch something off my bucket list. I now have a perfect diagnostic tool: it will boot on anything and run anything in the Mint repositories!

Brilliant!

3 Likes

Hi Dave,

You´re welcome.
Glad I could be of any assistance.

Greetings.
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

2 Likes

Dear Hanna,
There is a fairly simple way which I have tried with various Linux distributions, e.g., Linux Mint, Linux CentOs (various versions) and Fedora Linux. It should work with Linux Ubuntu too.
The method is to install Linux onto a USB stick instead of a hard drive, by telling Linux to do a full install, but selecting a USB stick instead of a hard drive. Most recently I installed Fedora Linux Linux ver 32 to a 32 GB USB-drive then updated the installation and installed Cinnamon Desktop Environment to it. It works beautifully.
You need two USB sticks. Let us call the USB stick with the Live Linux on it, USB-A. And let’s call the stick onto which we want to install Linux “USB-B”. These are not “real” names, they are just what we will call each stick so that we know which is which.
USB-B needs to be a decent size, say 32 GB or 64 GB. You might be able to get away with 16 GB, but it is kind of small for a full Linux installation.
USB-B needs to have all partitions removed from it. This is simple to do with GParted, which you will find on the “Live” Linux stick (USB-A).
Steps are as follows:
Insert only USB-A.
Boot your computer from the “live linux” on USB-A.
Go to Menu / Adminstrative tools and run GParted.
Note what name GParted calls USB-A. Probably something like /dev/sda or something similar.
Insert USB-B.
Tell GParted to Refresh so that it “sees” USB-B.
Note what GParted calls USB-B - probably something like /dev/sdb.
Select USB-B, and delete any/all partitions so that USB-B has no partitions and all space on USB-B is “unallocated”. Note that you might have to “unmount” the partitions(s) before you can delete them.
Make sure you delete the partitions from USB-B, not USB-A.
It is not a major disaster if you delete the partitions from USB-A, instead of USB-B, but it will waste your time because you will have to start over again with a new “Live linux” version on USB-A.
Shut down GParted, turn off your computer.
Remove USB-B.
Reboot your computer from USB-A, and when it asks you if you want to run Linux or install Linux (to a hard drive), select “Install” (to a hard drive), or whatever wording it uses.
Then insert USB-B.
Then when Linux asks you which hard-drive to install iLinux on, select USB-B, instead of a hard-drive, and install Linux there.
The install process will treat USB-B as a hard drive and install a fully working version of Linux onto it. It will set up GRUB2 on the USB-B and treat your computer as a multi-boot computer.
You will be able to save things to USB-B. You will be able to install new software onto it too as if it was installed on a hard-drive, bt it will be slower than a hard drive.
When you boot your computer without USB-B inserted into it, it will boot up as a plain single-boot system.
But when you you boot your computer with USB-B inserted it will boot to GRUB-2 on the USB-B and allow you to choose which Operating System you want to boot to. You then choose the OpSys on USB-B and boot to that.
Be patient. It takes about 60-90 seconds to boot properly because it has to read a lot off USB-B.
I have tried this method on many Linux distributions and it has worked every time for me. I use Thinkpad laptop computers most of the time, but it should work on any intel based computer.
Please let me know the results if you use this method.
Regards

1 Like

the ubiquity installer (used by ubuntu and mint) has a known bug that can cause it to overwrite grub on the system running the usb instead of installing it to the target usb. there is some discussion about it here.

1 Like

Thank you for that information. I have not encountered this bug before, but it is worth knowing about.

1 Like