Is install to USB flash drive with persistance possible with OM Lx 3?


I would like to have a complete environment on an usb key, that i can use on any PC (for professional demo purpose).
I tried what would be a perfect world solution, install OpenMandriva Lx 3.03 on an usb key, but then the system was very very slow.
I also tried a live USB OpenMandriva Lx 3.03, on which i added another partition with remaining place as ext4, but this partition is read-only when booting from live USB.

Other distributions allow persistence with a little effort, but would prefer OpenMandriva.
Is it possible with OpenMandriva ?


1 Like


Just meant as helpful suggestion. It would be difficult for anyone to know you are requesting about installing OM Lx 3.03 to a USB Flash Drive from this title.

Post-edit: And I forgot to add that you can edit the title including changing it completely just click on the pencil icon by the title.

I just asked developers about this on #openmandriva-cooker (Freenode IRC). It would be a good idea for you to go there yourself and ask and talk directly to developers as they are the ones that know. Talking to devs does require patience as they are all volunteers with day jobs and sometimes it takes a while before anyone responds. (And there is no predicting that.)

Everyone in OpenMandriva is a volunteer FWIW.

Because of spam, people need to be registered in IRC to be able to speak in our cooker channel IRC, it may just be a little complicated for a newcomers (of course, for someone who is already rocking with lot of IRC channels, it’s simpler to just add another one)

It’s why it can also be a good idea to access it with Riot (available by web or desktop/mobile app), I’ve made a tutorial here: Newcomer guide: join OpenMandriva chat room with (...) - OpenMandriva

And a general FAQ (to be completed) here

1 Like

I understand, that’s why I asked if it is possible, not why it is not possible.
20 years ago, I tried a lot of distributions and I adopted Mandrake. I think OpenMandriva Lx is (one of) the best distribution for every type of user, and I hope linux community will come back to OpenMandriva with the time as it was with Mandrake. That’s why I try to use OpenMandriva Lx rather than another distribution, every time I can, professionally and personally.

I am developer, now specialized in acceptance test automation, so I technically can help. Unfortunately I can’t spend time for it for the moment, for personal reasons, since it’s already complicated for me with my work. I hope one time.


I have a suggestion, I don’t know where to put it, I let you post it I the right place.
I meet more and more people having problems with their 5 years old PC, since update to Windows 10 or Mac OS is not possible. Probably current OpenMandriva Lx would work for them, but a light version can also be useful for others. I think about a version launching only needed tools, including a light kde, without cosmetic options consuming resources, even if it looks like Win95 ;-). A good and light working OS is better than a slow and beautiful OS.
It’s possible that I light version could have solved my problem by installing it on a usb key.

1 Like

Upcoming OpenMandriva Lx 4 support Plasma5, LXQT and Lumina desktop. This last - Lumina as lightweight desktop env, should be good for old PC. Also in contrib repository is available xfce - but I dont know how it is supported, whether it works well or not.

1 Like

From Lx 4.0 Alpha Release Notes. Note the line about this being a “work in progress” and subject to change. So this represents what we want to do at this point. It is very early in Lx 4.0 development (Pre-Pre-Alpha)./

Available Media

This section is a work in progress and changes can and will be made as develpment of OM Lx 4 proceeds.

This release is available as a live media DVD, downloadable in ISO format. These are available on our downloads page.

Live media means you are able to run OpenMandriva Lx straight from a DVD or memory stick (see below) and try it before installing it. You may also install the system to hard disk either from the running live image or from the boot manager.

Available ISO files are:

  1. KDE Plasma desktop only full featured (Includes applications that will do most things for most users including multimedia and office software.)

  2. LXQt desktop only somewhat full featured (Includes many applications but lighter on memory and disk space usage.)

  3. Basic GUI with Lumina desktop and only basic system packages with Falkon browser. (The concept is for user to then install only packages they wish to use after installing basic system.) (Also for users with less robust hardware.)

Thanks for all.
Currently I’m trying Puppy Linux installation on an ext3 partition. Not sure for the moment that it suits my needs.

When Lumina version of OpenMandriva Lx 4.0 will be available in a relative stable state, I will try it.
I hope it will suits all my needs.

1 Like

Asking again on IRC (#openmandriva-cooker on Freenode IRC). Partly because I want to know if this is possible with Lx 3 and partly in the hopes that it will be possible with Lx 4.

Using Official OpenMandriva Lx 3.03 ISO (Build-ID-1588)

Install to USB flash drive stalls probably because of this:

17:17:26 [0]: Starting job "unpackfs" 
17:17:26 [1]: Job file "/usr/lib64/calamares/modules/unpackfs/" 
17:17:26 [1]: Job "unpackfs" (doc) -> "Unsquash filesystem." 
mount: /tmp/tmpdwc7avd_/squashfs: WARNING: device write-protected, mounted read-only.

If we can figure out how to get it to drop the “device write-protected, mounted read-only” this should be not only doable but down right easy.

Post-edit: Developers tell me and I confirmed that the above is not an error, Calamares is talking about the squash file system that is installed from and it is supposed to say that and it always gives that output.

Which means I did not give install enough time.

Which may also mean install would take a long time. But I forget that this is not my computer hardware it is installing from a USB 2.0 device to a USB 2.0 device which will be slow as molasses. So the only trick if you consider it a trick is that you must have flash drive being installed to completely erased and not formatted. I will confirm when or if I get a successful install.

OK, I don’t know for sure that I clearly understand the issue. Is it to be able to install to USB stick? You can, I just did. It took me 61 minutes for the actual install. For me normal installs on computers with SSD’s takes literally minutes like from 2 to 8 minutes depending on the computer.

Or is it that the installed system is slow? I used 2 USB 2.0 sticks and the OM Lx 3.03 ISO (Build-ID-1588). The installed system seems to me to be very slow but I have no frame of reference for this. Never done this before and not sure what I should expect.

I guess I never understood what

means. So until I understand that I’m wondering if perhaps I got my replies here completely wrong.

I have open suse leap on a usb flash it was a little tricky but I managed to put it on there ,
it doesn’t seem to have any slow speed issues.

1 Like

For me it’s not a problem that installation takes a long time. But if the result is an OS very slow (ex: launch an application takes a minute), for me it’s not usable.

If you try a Puppy Linux, you will see that the OS is as speed as installed on a HDD. It has an installation option to load the whole system in RAM, so that it hasn’t to access USB key when launching a new application for example. With recent PC and a light OS, I think it’s a good compromise. But it’s not OpenMandriva, so I’m waiting OM Lx 4 :wink:

1 Like

With “persistence”, I am meaning this: Step 3: Persistence (when I open it, it is in french, I hope you will see it in your language)
Or this:

Persistence has some limitations, like system update. But it can be a solution when a complete installation on an USB key is not possible or not useable.

1 Like

Thanks for the good links. That explains a lot. It also lets me know I don’t know much about this, and why a Linux OS would be slow or normal on a flash drive.

AFAIK OpenMandriva is not considering using it’s operating systems on USB flash drive during development. I do know that this is not being tested when we develop. So waiting for Lx 4 would be like waiting on luck.

The most important thing to take away is “Don’t wait for Lx 4 to be released that will be to late. You need to test this from Lx 4 Alpha and provide feedback.” I would strongly urge that anyone that wants this to work should start testing it and providing feedback now. Test it and start a thread in “Development Testing” forum category. (If I can find the time I’ll try to test and report this myself.)

Currently ISO’s are here. They are Plasma based but skinnier that the Lx 3.03 ISO. As time and development progress there should be other choices.

I understand, and it would be the right moment to test.
But I don’t have much time, and I’m almost sure that KDE is too heavy for this purpose. When a Lumina version will be available, I will try it.

1 Like

So we already have a Live ISO that will go on Flash Drive. That would be any or our ISO’s. Would making that persistent do what you want to do? The original Live ISO is certainly faster that what I was doing.

Post-edit: The best thing for this issue would be if a developer/developers were helping instead of me. But this is probably something that can be done with a command or two. Either a command option with dd when you are copying the ISO to flash drive or a command run on a partition or something like that.

I tried this:

  • burn Live ISO on Flash Drive with dd
  • from my PC, use mandriva tool or gparted (I tried both) to create a second partition with remaining space
  • boot on Live USB, mount second partition
    Then the second partition is automatically mount in read only mode, and I wasn’t able to solve the problem.

Note that this could be a solution if I could make my demo completely portable, what I’m not sure.

With persistence, I would be able to specify a file, perhaps on the second partition, that would contain all modifications of the Live install: install of packages (with some limitations), account settings,…
So after a reboot I would have my customized Live USB, and it could be a real solution.

1 Like

No secret I don’t have an answer. A developer could possibly come up with correct commands to do this from command line. If we only could get the attention of say @bero, @Colin, @fedya, or @TPG.

The best suggestion I have is to get involved with testing and reporting this with Lx 4 Alpha ISO’s thus getting our developers involved.