Full persistence and home automounting (USB key only)

In this section, we will boot the newly created USB Key and add full persistence and home automounting. It will make your USB Key act as a real hard disc, allowing you to install additional software and remember your personal settings.

Please note that this does not apply to live DVD.

Free space on USB Key

After booting the USB key, launch Gparted in System -> Administration -> Gparted

In our example, we are using a minimal 2Gb USB Key. 1Gb free space is available:

We propose a simple rule, where 50% of free space should be for full persistence and 50% for home automounting.

You may experience problems to type on non-US keyboard. If this is the case, choose another keyboard in System->Preferences->Keyboard.

Full persistence

With "full persistence" it is meant that instead of using a tmpfs for storing modifications to the read-only media (with the copy-on-write, COW, system) a writable partition is used. In order to use this feature a partition with a clean writable supported filesystem on it labeled "live-rw" must be attached on the system at bootime.

This is very useful to be able to install additional software, keep your personal settings, such as keyboard, language, etc ...

In GParted, click on unallocated free space. In Partition menu, select New:

Steps:

  • Click and move the borders to size your partition.
  • Select ext3 file system as it is very common under GNU/Linux and well supported.
  • Label the partition "live-rw".
  • Click "Add" when finished.

Home automounting

If during the boot a partition (filesystem) image file or a partition labeled home-rw will be discovered, this filesystem will be directly mounted as /home, thus permitting persistence of files that belong to the e.g. default user. It can be combined with full persistence.

This partition can be used to store data on the USB Key and exchange data after rebooting under Windows.
if you plan to read and write data directly on your Windows hard disc, you don't really need this partition.

In GParted, click on unallocated free space. In Partition menu, select New:

Steps:

  • Click and move the borders to size your partition.
  • If you are using Windows XP, Vista or 7, select ntfs file system.
  • If you are using Windows 95 or any derived version from DOS, select fat-32 file system.
  • Label the partition "home-rw".
  • Click "Add" when finished.

Apply changes and reboot

To apply your changes, click on apply. Applying modifications will take a few seconds. Then you should see your three partitions:

Close GParted and reboot your system:

  • Select System -> Shutdown.
  • Click on the Reboot button.

After reboot, your system should be persistent.