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I am looking to setup a laptop I use for work as follows. One partition with a Linux install (Backtrack) with tools, normal write, etc. I want to create a second partition with a one-time use setup; i.e., its regular unbuntu or something that I can use for email, youtube, etc that when I kill the power everything is lost. Ideally, I could also boot the onetime use partition in write mode to make changes or upgrades, but in general I want to keep everything isolated. I do not want to use a USB or live disc.

How should I go about this setup, and is there anything else I should consider? Maybe a third partition to save files off when absolutely necessary?

I also want to ensure that the Backtrack partition is encrypted to protect client data. I wouldn't imagine that would cause any issues here, but thought I should ask.

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I read through this:, but I don't quite think this is what I want, is it? – Eric G Aug 3 '12 at 4:24
Something similar to what you're asking for is done with Linux on embedded systems and LiveCDs: the root filesystem, initramfs, is mounted on ramfs, which is filled in with a compressed cpio image. Note that ramfs is not just a RAM disk; an ordinary RAM disk will require a fixed memory allocation, whereas a ramfs will grow or shrink as needed. Check out the Buildroot project for compiling a kernel and small-footprint rootfs. – sawdust Aug 3 '12 at 8:55

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