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I created a Fedora 15 "live" USB stick using the live USB creator found at https://fedorahosted.org/liveusb-creator/ and the Fedora 15 i686 Desktop ISO image with the persistent storage space set to 4096MB. (The USB stick I have available has an 8GB capacity, so there should be plenty of space.)

Fedora appears to boot correctly, however it seems that the persistent storage is not working. To verify this, I opened a terminal prompt, then did su - followed by yum update yum. As expected, I was informed that a new version was available. (The live CD contains version 3.2.29-4, at the time of typing 3.2.29-6 is the current version). After installing, I verified that the new version was installed by typing yum --version. I then shutdown the system using shutdown now.

After the system had shut down, I rebooted and returned to the terminal prompt. On typing yum --version, I was informed that the version was 3.2.29-4 (i.e. the original version).

Why might the persistent storage not be working? Is there anything I can do to fix it?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Apparently this is a known issue with Fedora 15.

The bug report is available here: https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=706122

also here: https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Common_F15_bugs#live-overlay

Unfortunately, while there is a "work around" it seems that to fix the problem permanently you need to create your own "live CD" with the updated "dracut" package that fixes the bug. I eventually managed to do so using the following process:

  1. Install Fedora (I used VirtualBox and created a virtual machine with a fairly large virtual disk - maximum size of 60GB - as an earlier attempt with an 8GB virtual hard drive had failed due to lack of space).
  2. Boot the installed OS.
  3. Open a terminal window (from System Tools).
  4. In the terminal window, type su and provide the root password (if any).
  5. In the terminal window, type yum install livecd-tools spin-kickstarts liveusb-creator
  6. Answer "yes" to the question about downloading and installing the packages.
  7. In the terminal window, type yum update
  8. Answer "yes" to the question about downloading and installing the packages.
  9. In the terminal window, type setenforce 0
  10. In the terminal window, type setarch i686 livecd-creator --config=/usr/share/spin-kickstarts/fedora-livecd-desktop.ks --fslabel=Fedora15_PSFix --cache=/var/cache/live
  11. Go and have a cup of tea.
  12. Wait some more.
  13. Really... it's not done yet... and no, the process hasn't hung.
  14. After a long time (more than an hour in my case) you will start to see some activity as the CD image is created.
  15. When the CD image is ready, it will be left in your user folder with the name specified by the --fslabel switch (i.e. in my case the file was called Fedora15_PSFix.iso).
  16. To create the bootable USB stick, start the Fedora LiveUSB creator (found on the System Tools menu) and follow the normal process using the ISO image you just created. (You could also perform the same task using the Windows version of the LiveUSB creator tool.)

While the process was very time consuming, it was not very difficult (once I overcame my original disk space limitations). Having said that, until I learn that an official ISO has been released which fixes the problem I am willing to provide the ISO I created to others. Unfortunately my original attempt to do so (through Dropbox) resulted in the suspension of my Dropbox account, so I will have to find another way to share it. Please note that this CD image is not supported in any way. This is the first time I've created a live CD and I could have done something wrong!

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You can also install Fedora directly onto a USB drive using the installer on the live image. I usually do this because the way persistent overlays are designed it's impossible to delete files. While they appear to be erased the data actually remains on the drive. However, the operating system won't be compressed like it is on the live image so it will require more space. –  Patches Jun 27 '11 at 22:16
    
Good point. Thanks for mentioning that. –  Richard J Foster Jun 30 '11 at 12:45
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