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I wasn't able to install Linux as a bootable operating system from my USB sticks (8 GB, PNY USB 2.0), so I put the live version on instead. I was wondering, if now after having installed some things if I can add persistence to the operating system and save changes as if it were installed correctly in the first place?

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Try this link, it explains how to make a persistent USB Linux install using a free tool:

http://lifehacker.com/5574276/universal-usb-installer-makes-a-persistent-thumb-drive-version-of-any-linux-os

EDIT

Here is a solution to make an existing USB install of Ubuntu have a persistient storage location

  1. Plug your USB into a computer running Linux or Windows.
  2. If you used UNetbootin to make the persistent drive open syslinux.cfg. If you used Startup Disk creator open txt.cfg, (or text.cfg, depending on version).
  3. You should see a line similar to:
  4. append file=/cdrom/preseed/ubuntu.seed boot=casper persistent initrd=/casper/initrd.lz quiet splash noprompt --
  5. If "persistent" is missing, add it.

please note I have not tested this method, so if you have anything on your USB drive you absolutley cannot loose please make a full, tested backup of your thumbdrive before attempting.

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FYI Unetbootin is another tool you should look at for creating a persistent linux install –  Richie086 Dec 5 '13 at 21:59
    
Ok, cool. I'll for sure use that next time...but, is there a way I can convert my already configured environment without doing it again (only 30-40 minutes of work so no big deal if not) –  blakev Dec 5 '13 at 22:01
    
I do not know if it is possible to make an existing install have a persistent storage location, but let me do some more tease arch and I'll let you know if I can find anything. –  Richie086 Dec 6 '13 at 17:57
    
thank you very much! Don't spend too much time though...my power went out last night so now I'll just start over haha :) –  blakev Dec 6 '13 at 17:58

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