[ubuntu-studio-devel] how can I alter the username in a live session

Len Ovens len at ovenwerks.net
Tue Feb 3 05:54:33 UTC 2015

On Mon, 2 Feb 2015, Mike Holstein wrote:
> what i did, in a similar case.. i made a close of the OS as i wanted it. when
> restoring the image, i changed the hostnames as i wanted.
> it really depends on what you want. if you want a bootable USB stick with
> ubuntustudio on it, that has a "custom" hostname, you can just do a normal
> installation onto that USB stick, and set the name at install..

Hey Mike, That does work (I have done it). I have also used a USB drive 
(with rotating disk) which is much faster. It is the same with a live USB 
ISO. It is faster. It is still a little slow, but despite having to un 
compress files as it reads them it is faster. What happens (near as I can 
tell) is that the cpu can uncompress faster than the USB stick can be 
read. The file size is smaller and so can be read faster too. Of course, 
once the Application is loaded and running, disk speed doesn't matter.

The other plus to using an iso is the image is smaller than an install.

The plus side for the install is it is maintainable... it can be upgraded, 
new apps can easily be installed etc. With a fast USB stick or SSD, the 
install would be the way to go. Do not add a swap part though... swap will 
burn up cycles in a SSD too fast.

Anyway, https://help.ubuntu.com/community/LiveCDCustomization tells you 
how to change the username. It seems it is hard coded into the initrd :P
Look for "Advanced Customizations". You can either remove the autologin 
and add a real user/password, or change the username for the auto login 
and or the system name. The user's home directory gets created at boot 
time each time un less persistance is selected when creating the usb 
stick... then it only gets created the first time. But the changes to the 
/etc/* files get done every time.

As you can see, the username stuff is not ubuntustudio specific, it just 
grabs the flavour name and uses that.

Len Ovens

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