Ubuntu on a stick

For the past couple of days, I’ve been attempting to install Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron on a USB flash stick. I’ve followed the tutorials word for word and so far, it’s sort of working. My only problem is that nothing saves. I’m trying to follow the other tutorials that show you how to save your session but those are working either.

This whole thing started when my coworker and I tried to copy an installation disc to a flash drive. The book process for the disc was very slow and it would take about 2-3min before anything would happen. We wanted to see how much faster it would be if we booted from a USB flash drive so we copied the content of the disc to our flash stick.

The part that took the longest was the loading part but when we ran it from the flash drive, it literally took seconds. I think the whole process was completed within a minute. After we were able to do that, we thought it’d be cool to try and boot and operating system (OS) from our flash drives. Our first choice was to try Linux, namely Ubuntu.

After creating the necessary partitions, copying over all the files and making the flash drive bootable, I restarted the computer and booted from the USB stick. Everything appeared to be working just like the Live CD. It signed me in and I was able to do things. I tried to install a few packages and it allowed me to. So far so good.

I created myself an account because I didn’t want to use the “Live session user” account. I switched over to my account and did some mores testing. I tried a few of the included software, played some music and surf around a bit. The nice thing about Ubuntu is that every working right out of the box. I didn’t have to do much configuring. It detected my display, picked up my wireless card and everything. The only downside at the time was that it didn’t save my session.

After a quick reboot, everything that I had done was gone. My account was no longer there and it had defaulted back to the Live account. All of the software that I had installed was gone. The only thing that was left was the files that I had saved on the ext2 partition. I later found out that I had to edit some things so that it’ll boot up in “persistent” mode.

When I made the changed and booted up in persistent mode, the problem was still there. I didn’t go all out and install all the software this time. I just created an account for myself and reboot. It still didn’t save that information and signed in using the Live account again. I made some more changed and the next thing I knew, I was booting into something called “initramfs” which was pretty much like DOS.

My first few attempts at installing Ubuntu onto a flash drive failed. Although I can boot into it, I cannot save any of my sessions. I don’t mind booting up like that but it’d be nice if I can save what I was doing. All of the settings that I’ll be making to the OS should save itself somewhere on the flash drive. I’m probably doing something wrong and skipping some steps somewhere so I’ll have to go back and try it a few more times before I start to look interest in it.

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