Making Persistence Files (ext2\3\4)
Tip: Avoid using spaces in filenames.
Quick Instructions for ISOs+Persistence
- Look in the \_ISO\docs\Sample mnu Files folder for a .mnu file that has a name that matches your ISO - e.g. ubuntu-13.04-desktop-amd64_Persistent.mnu (choose the closest match possible)
- Use NotePad to view the instructions inside the .mnu file - it will tell you what to do
Making a persistence file using Windows
Use ext3 or ext4 for reliable persistence
When using an ext2 file for persistence, I have found that it can easily get corrupted if you don't shut down linux nicely. A corrupt persistence file can cause a linux ISO file to fail to boot, even though the ISO file itself is completely good!
ext4 adds journalling (every file access will cause extra disk writes), so for solid-state USB devices I would recommend using ext3 instead of ext4.
Make a persistence file using linux
Use cd to get to the directory where you have mounted the USB drive - e.g. /media/USBDrive, then create a file as follows (example uses 1GB mint-rw, volume name is normally casper-rw)
(use sudo if required)
dd if=/dev/zero of=mint-rw bs=1M count=1024
OR making a sparse file using dd may be faster, try this...
dd if=/dev/zero of=casper-rw bs=1M count=0 seek=1024
Now format it...
mkfs -t ext2 mint-rw -L casper-rw
or for ext3 (recommended)
mkfs.ext3 -F mint-rw -L casper-rw
to defrag all the files on the E2B drive (including the persistence file)...
sudo perl ~/Downloads/Easy2Boot/_ISO/docs/linux_utils/defragfs /media/Multiboot -f
or use udefrag if the E2B drive is an NTFS drive.
sudo ~/Downloads/Easy2Boot/_ISO/docs/linux_utils/udefrag -om /media/Multiboot
Re-sizing or transferring data to a new persistent file
sudo mkdir /mnt/source /mnt/target sudo mount -o loop /dev/sdb1/ubuntu-rw /mnt/source sudo mount /dev/sdb1/newubuntu-rw /mnt/target cp -var /mnt/source/. /mnt/target
When you boot from a CD or DVD, persistence is not normally enabled because a CD/DVD does not support 'random-writes'. However, when booting from a USB drive with some linux ISOs, Easy2Boot can boot directly from the ISO and enable persistence. To do this a special .mnu file is needed. This is just a grub4dos menu which will be read by Easy2Boot during startup and the contents will be added to it's own 'in-memory' menu.
The instructions on how to add a persistence file are included inside each of the .mnu files. There are .mnu files which support persistence for linuxmint, XiaOpan, ubuntu, YLMF, Puppy, Slax, Ubuntu, LUbuntu, Fedora, Backtrack 5, BitDefender Rescue (old versions only), geebox, kali linux, kaspersky, PCLinuxOS, Porteus, StartOS, Zorin, AntiX, android x86, debian-based distros and XBMCbuntu. More may be added later - check the E2B download for new additions!
Different sample .mnu files are included the \_ISO\docs\Sample mnu Files folder for each type of ISO file. Just open a .mnu file using a text editor and read the instructions. All of these can be run on one E2B USB drive, all with separate persistence files. If your ISO filename does not exactly match, simply change the name of the ISO file in the .mnu file (it may appear more than once). Most often linux will look for a file of a particular file name or volume name (e.g. casper-rw). However, on a multiboot USB drive, this can cause problems because you can only have one file called casper-rw. Also, some linux distros cannot access NTFS partitions, so this is a problem if you boot from an NTFS drive. However, Easy2Boot avoids both of these problems by using a .mnu file in conjunction with a ext2 file.
Note: Booting from a partition image file (.imgPTN) with persistence is not supported using .mnu files, however it is possible to modify some versions of linux (e.g. Ubuntu) to support UEFI-booting with persistence.
How it works
UEFI-Booting with persistence
Fully-installed linux OS
Recommended for Easy2Boot (fastest flash drive!)
SanDisk Extreme SDCZ880-128G-G46
Fastest USB 3!
See Blog post