How to install lubuntu to USB

Aere Greenway Aere at
Tue Feb 4 05:47:04 UTC 2014

Tong Sun:

Yes, bringing over the KDE version does bring over a lot of packages. 
But unless you're lacking disk space, it shouldn't be a problem.  Where 
I test on other Ubuntu variants, I have Kubuntu partitions anyway, so 
it's less of a problem for me.  But I have installed the KDE USB creator 
on Lubuntu, and it worked fine (maybe a year or two ago).

My bootable USB runs just like a live-CD, only I can install packages, 
and they stay installed.

I boot my system with the USB plugged-in, and select the boot menu (F12 
on Dell machines).  I then select USB flash drive as the boot-device. 
On machines that won't boot from USB, I use the 3rd-party 'plop' 
software, and select the USB drive to boot from.

It comes up asking which language (which I select), then with a menu 
(the same as a live-CD), asking if I want to try out the system without 
making changes, or to install it.

I choose the option to try it out without making changes.

Then it boots (slower than hard-disk, but not too slow).  It signs-on 
automatically (as with a Live-CD).

I can then use it pretty much like a normal system, and in particular, I 
can install all of the MIDI software I need (as well as Java).  The 
live-CD user has no password - you just hit the Enter key when it asks 
for the password.

One important difference with such systems, is that if you apply 
updates, you will soon use up all the space in your persistence file, 
and if it is a kernel update, it will go through the motions of the 
update, but the next boot (or any subsequent boot) will not boot the new 

So I just don't apply updates (other than non-kernel updates that I have 
a need for).  Also, I don't browse the Internet, or read e-mails with 
such systems.

I use it to demonstrate my software (with all the MIDI components 
installed) on Windows machines, without having to install anything.  It 
just boots and runs.

Such a system will fit with some space to spare on a 4-GB USB drive.

But usually, I use an 8-GB USB, and partition the USB (before creating 
the bootable USB) with two partitions: A 5.4-GB FAT-32 partition to put 
the bootable system (and its persistence file) in, and a 2.6-GB FAT-32 
extra partition for saving/loading files to/from.

The booted USB system can see this extra partition, and make use of it, 
and when you plug in the drive (at least, on Linux) you can access both 
partitions, reading/writing from/to that extra, 2.6-GB partition without 
permission problems.

Since such systems have only FAT-32 (and EXT-2) file-systems, they are 
vulnerable to problems if you turn off the power without properly 
shutting down.  So beware.  You need the FAT-32 file-systems so Windows 
systems can read or write from the drive, though it seems that Windows 
can't handle two partitions on a plugged-in USB drive it only gives you 
the first partition.

I think the first partition needs to be the bootable (5-GB) partition, 
but I'm not sure.

Anyway, that's what what I do, and works for me.

There is nothing in the "/mnt" folder when it is booted.

Under "/media/cdrom" appears to be the actual live-CD files (boot, 
casper, etc).  The extra partition is under "/media/lubuntu" (as I recall).

I sent an e-mail with a screenshot attachment having the information you 

I resent the e-mail without the attachment (this one) because the 
attachment made it too large to go through immediately.

- Aere

On 02/03/2014 07:43 PM, Tong Sun wrote:
> On Mon, Feb 3, 2014 at 4:45 PM, Aere Greenway wrote:
>> In the past few releases, the GTK version of USB Creator has failed for me
>> as well.  I would hope they would have fixed it by now, but apparently not.
> Glad to know that it is not only me.
>> I have been using the KDE (kubuntu) version of USB creator, and it seems I
>> had to do that with 13.10 as well.
> I tried to install usb-creator-kde, but gave it up because I need to
> pull in over 150 packages just for it.
>> I know I found something that worked (probably the KDE version), because I
>> have a working Lubuntu 13.10 bootable USB with a persistence file.
> Could you do me a favor and document how your USB boots please?
> Please after it is mounted, say under /mnt/usb/, do
>    find /mnt/usb/ -ls
> post back the output (less your personal files), and post its boot
> configuration file. Please.
> Thanks a bunch!


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