With BOOTICE I created the following partitions on a flash drive (living on a 128 GB USB stick):

  1. FAT32 partition (30 GB) to install Linux Mint on
  2. NTFS partition (remaining space, roughly 98)

With YUMI I installed Linux Mint on the FAT32 partition and opted for persistence (file size 4 GB).

Works like a treat, but I would like to increase the persitent storage from 4 GB to 10 GB and found this tutorial where the caper-rw file is replaced by a own ext2 partition that is labeled casper-rw.

However, after performing the steps in the tutorial, my Linux won't boot anymore.

I also tried creating the casper-rw partition right from the beginning, but I don't know how to tell my Linux installation to use this partition instead of a casper-rw file it seems to be expecting for storing changes.

Total Linux n00b, so please be kind/explain in "baby steps" what I would need to do ;-)

  • why do you install Linux into FAT32? – phuclv Oct 7 '16 at 14:47
  • @LưuVĩnhPhúc good point ;-) by now I know a bit more about the filesystems and chose ext4 – rappster Oct 7 '16 at 15:00

To facilitate boot from an ext2 partition you'd need to change the bootloader on the USB to launch from the additional partition you created (I imagine Ubuntu scans for the partition during install where Mint might not), something that might not be the easiest solution to dig into.

as an easier alternative, if it is truly just the additional file storage you seek, why not just add an additional separate ext3/4 partition on your USB stick. You also could consider changing your NTFS disk into exFAT for a more universal windows/linux partition format.

If you are however looking for a "portable OS" rather than a linux mint "install stick" you could look here: http://www.muktware.io/install-linux-mint-usb-drive-walk-portable-linux-mint/, though considering the limited write cycles on flash memory I would advise against it.

  • Thanks for answering! Couple of questions: 1) why would I need to boot from the ext2 partition labeled casper-rw? In my head Linux lives on the FAT32 partition and that's the one that's booted. 2) When using a separate ext3/4 partition, how would I link my home directory to that partition? 3) I would like to play around with Linux on multiple machines, thus trying out "persistent live stick" (so yes, portable OS) vs. "virtual machine on a stick" solutions >> aren't the new flash drives just like "mini SSDs" (regarding your note on live cycles)? – rappster Oct 7 '16 at 13:13
  • Hiya 1) I presume the idea of creating the casper-rw was to replace the file was it not? in case it is purely secondary then I would suggest in favor of an ext4 partition. 2) after creating a secondary ext4 partition , you can follow this guide to find and mount it: goo.gl/jn6hZk (omit sudo if you are already root). you simply mount the partition of your usb stick to an empty directory. 3) The vast majority of today's usb flashdrives lack the advanced hardware controller to reallocate bad blocks and optimize access speeds, considering the I/O of an OS, they will wear out quicker. – Robin Gould Oct 7 '16 at 13:46
  • Cool, thanks. I went with the "full installation" link you provided me with and am using this flashdrive. What details/info would I look for in order to find flashdrives/SSDs that are "up to the task" regarding hardware controllers – rappster Oct 7 '16 at 14:09
  • Technically a good flash drive such as linked can last a relatively long time depending on the frequency of use. The popular raspberry pi mini computers as an example runs fully on SD cards, they can run well for a while with a good brand SD card but will suffer performance and flash memory degradation issues over time. There are real flash SSDs out there though, such as this: goo.gl/vx3k2r (note it states "sandforce controller" in description). if it helped you an up vote would be appreciated :) – Robin Gould Oct 7 '16 at 14:26

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