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

Thanassis Silis djnass_18 at hotmail.com
Tue Feb 3 12:42:30 UTC 2015

hi Len,
thank you for the info.
The analysis you state is correct and pretty much how I feel about liveUsb vs install on usb as well.

You mention that autologic can be disabled from the initrd - or at least that is what the guide states.
Well in that case I am confused about were does initrd "jurisdiction" end and where does squashfs jurisdiction begins.
Ie where are the limits between the 2, what does one setup and what does the other etc. Is there a guide you can point me to to understand all this?

The confusion outflows from the fact that I actually have managed to disable autologin (as explained in the link i provided), but from the extracted squashfs rather than the extracted initrd. 

Now as far as the username is concerned, the link you provided states in bold that I should remember to create a user and password, but it does not say how. should I create a new entry in <initrd_root>/etc/passwd ? what about a password? should I copy a string from my host's /etc/shadow and create the new file <initrd_root>/etc/shadow and paste the password string in there?
or what else??

thank you for your help!

> Date: Mon, 2 Feb 2015 21:54:33 -0800
> From: len at ovenwerks.net
> To: ubuntu-studio-devel at lists.ubuntu.com
> Subject: Re: [ubuntu-studio-devel] how can I alter the username in a live session
> 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
> www.ovenwerks.net
> -- 
> ubuntu-studio-devel mailing list
> ubuntu-studio-devel at lists.ubuntu.com
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