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I want to boot the 'Finnix' distro from a usb. I have unetbootin which can set it up on the usb, but it can't allow me to preserve files after rebooting. Is there anyway to do this, maybe do it manually or use another software to install it on the usb?

For ubuntu there is no problem getting files to be preserved after reboots... Thanks.

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You can try partitioning the USB stick, allowing you 1 partition for files and 1 for the bootable distribution. Simply mount the second partition once in Finnix and put your files on there.

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can't i just install it on the usb stick, as if it were a hdd. – skittles88 Jun 30 '11 at 16:40

John T's solution would work if you want to just keep files preserved, to make your life a bit easier you could write a lil script to "mount --bind" your entire home directory to that other partition as so anything you save in the documents or on your desktop will be persistent. But if you want things such as system updates to stick, your best bet would be to simply install that version of *nix onto the flash drive. I have no experience with "Finnix" but I as with ubuntu, any 4 or 8G stick is fairly cheap and will allow a complete distro to be installed on it no problem. Just make sure that when they ask where to stick the bootloader you specify your flash drive... either that or actually unplug your hard drives just for this installation from a CD.

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basically i just want to boot up a cli only distro and have it run some scrips at startup that would backup the computers hdd. So what i put in /etc/init.d would need to be preserved. I took a look at microcore linux but it appears to have same problem. – skittles88 Jun 30 '11 at 17:32
Might I suggest using clonezilla? – CenterOrbit Jul 5 '11 at 21:06
I would still suggest installing it directly on your flash drive. I have installed a CLI of Ubuntu on flash drive with no problems ever. And since linux looks for hardware every time it boots, you will have no problems with changing hardware. If you have the scripts all ready and prepared, I would say install it to flash drive, then add your scripts as you normally would – CenterOrbit Jul 5 '11 at 21:09
If this is still not an option for you, I also know there are a few linux software programs out there that will actually take an existing installation of linux and completely package it up into a bootable CD, you might be able to use one of these products to create your custom linux with scripts already in place, and thus not needing to be persistent storage. – CenterOrbit Jul 5 '11 at 21:11

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