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Need a Linux Live USB with the following characteristics:

Posted on 2014-04-01
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Last Modified: 2014-04-04
The USB boots directly into linux with no menu.  No "Do you want to install Linux" nor "Do you want to try Linux" nor "Do you want to multiple install" nor "Do you want to checkdisk".  None of that.  You boot up from the and you end up at a desktop or a terminal window.  

B)  It has SSH server built into it so that when the system boots up it is ready to accept SSH connection.

C)  It is persistent in that if I add a user it will remember that I added that user and password the next time I reboot.

D)  Basic utilities like ping, traceroute, curl, ssh, telnet will be on there.  

That's it!  I have a Windows 7 system or an Ubuntu laptop from which I can create the USB.  What USB utility plus what distribution of Linux will get me to my needed bootable USB?
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Question by:amigan_99
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by:Hassan Besher
ID: 39971247
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by:Zephyr ICT
ID: 39971275
Another Live USB creator if needed is http://www.linuxliveusb.com/en/help/guide/step3

And one guide with a link to a tool if needed from my favorite distro: https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/How_to_create_and_use_Live_USB
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by:amigan_99
ID: 39971277
I have the YUMI installed on my ubuntu laptop.  Now what distribution will bring me to the promised land?  No menu on bootup, ssh running and ready to go, remembers the users from boot to boot.
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by:Hassan Besher
ID: 39971297
anything use ubuntu/fedora/centos/......
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by:Zephyr ICT
ID: 39971310
Yes, like Hassan mentions, if you use persistence on the Live USB you can set the environment to your liking, the config will stay the same with each reboot.
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by:TobiasHolm
ID: 39971348
What can I do and not do on a persistent system?

You have to keep in mind that a persistent system is a Live system on which there is an overlay that is writable.

This means that core files are in read-only mode while other files are in read/write mode.

What you cannot do on a persistent system:

updates core files (kernel, etc...) = no full system updates
install drivers
What you can do on this kind of system :

install some software
do some software updates
create some files/folders

Ref: http://www.linuxliveusb.com/en/help/faq/persistence/68-persistent-do-not-do
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by:amigan_99
ID: 39971384
So far I have not had luck with YUMI.  I tried putting slax and m4 on there
4MLinux-7.0-allinone-edition.iso, slax-English-US-7.0.8-i486.iso.  The create ostensibly succeeded but first boot would say "no operating system" and boot on through to the hard drive with my exising ubuntu.  So I performed a Rebuild Syslinux in each case.  This boot ended me at a colon prompt but complained about there not being gui or directive.  

If anyone has any tips on how to get YUMI to do the needful I'm all ears.  Else its on to trying some of the other suggestions.  I must be missing some central concept.  I've been at this many hours.
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by:Hassan Besher
ID: 39971391
Try UNetbootin
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by:TobiasHolm
ID: 39971449
Be sure to format the USB stick with FAT32. It's usually easier to get the stick to boot with that file system. It also can help to retry the boot stick create process once more after the first try (strange, but I've had several USB sticks that didn't boot the with the first try, then I remade the stick in the same way and it booted the second time...).
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by:amigan_99
ID: 39971462
A little more progress - I created a 4MLinux and Slax USB using LiLi USB Creator on my Win 7 machine (Linux Live USB Creator.)  Those two booted beautifully and right to a terminal - no GUI.  Perfect.  They autodetected the network and the base ping traceroute ssh telnet all worked fine.  There was no curl.  The first thing it did was for me to put in a password for root and once that was in I could do whatever.  Unfortunately at second boot it didn't remember that I had put in a password the previous time.  So something it not right about persistence.  Not sure if it has to do with the version of LiLo or the distros I'm using.  I'll try one more distro with LiLo then call it for tonight.  Maybe UNetbootin will do the trick.  Thanks for all the advice.  It's much appreciated!
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by:amigan_99
ID: 39971531
Even better was Lili with Mint Linux.  It said completely compatible.  When I booted it went straight to the GUI screen - no menu, no enter your root password - straight into a useful area.  I did a general apt-get update then apt-get openssh.  LiLi had said it was creating a persistence file during the install 4GB.  So I was hopeful.  I was able to SSH to it from another device.  perfect!  But after I rebooted - the sshd and the user I had created were gone.  So getting close.  I have everything I need except the persistence.  Need to have that sshd come up every time the thing boots or else it's worthless.
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by:skullnobrains
ID: 39971655
knoppix handles persistence nicely with usb-based installations.
you may also give a try to slitaz as well.

note that given your requirements you may also consider actually installing linux on your pendrive rather than using a live dist with persistency. just setup the bootloader to boot the default entry without waiting in order to meet your first requirement. the other ones should be trivial for you.

also note that if you find a live dist that does what you expect except for the first requirement, you can install grub on the usb key, and instruct it to mount the iso and directly boot the kernel inside the iso (possibly with a parameter such as iso-scan , isoboot... depending on your dist that will allow the kernel to use the iso as it's root) which will effectively bypass the boot menu that comes with the iso.
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by:amigan_99
ID: 39975392
@skull - it's been one failed experiment after another.  So I tried actually installing ubuntu desktop on a USB but something went awry.  Not only did the USB install fail something pooched up the hard drive too.  No big deal because I'll re-image it.  Ready to try once more.  Gawd - I am the worst Sysadmin *ever*!
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by:amigan_99
ID: 39975758
Finally getting around to trying out UNetbootin.  And one more full mint linux install on another system.  *Something* has to work!  :-)
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by:amigan_99
ID: 39975925
So I used the Unetbootin and tried to put kubunu on the USB.  It took over an hour to complete and appears to have resulted in a Kubuntu install USB instead of the desired bootable instance of Kubuntu.  You can see the screen grab to see what ended up on the USB.  Is there something I can do to make the Kubutu boot into system not just installer media?
ScreenHunter-16-Apr.-03-11.03.jpg
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by:amigan_99
ID: 39976406
2 more fails:  Unetbootin loading Linux Console distro to USB.  On bootup I got "invalid or corrupt kernal image".  On the other system I tried to install mint from a USB to another USB - full install.  It said it completed ok but booting up yieled a black screen and a blinking white cursor.  

Ok - maybe I'll try the Knoppix with the LiLi USB creator.  Looks hopeful as LiLi immediately noted "has built-in persistence".
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skullnobrains earned 500 total points
ID: 39976949
going down the knoppix way...

if lili does not do the trick, you can try these instructions

http://knopper.net/knoppix/knoppix720-en.html
scroll to "Booting from Flash"
basically boot into a knoppix cd, put the usb key in and launch a program

or from windows

http://www.pendrivelinux.com/install-knoppix-6-to-a-usb-flash-drive-in-windows/
makes use of "universal usb installer"

on windows, "yumi" works good enough for this as well

once knoppix is installed, you need to create the persistent image file.
knoppix provides a small program to do this in the "configure" menu
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by:amigan_99
ID: 39977048
Is this the image file needed? KNOPPIX_V7.2.0bootonly-2013-06-16-EN.iso
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by:amigan_99
ID: 39977207
A Genius indeed.  We have a winner!  I downloaded Knoppiex ADRIANE-KNOPPIX_V7.2.0gCD-2013-07-28-EN.iso and installed to USB with LiLi.  On bootup Knoppix asked if I wanted to create the permanent file and I chose 4 GB out an 8 GB stick.  I added in network and user settings etc and rebooted.  And...they are still there!  Thank you for sticking with the marathon.  :-)
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by:skullnobrains
ID: 39977684
great. feel free to post if you have a hard time adjusting your setup to fit your other requirements.

you should be able to remove the boot menu, and possibly boot non graphically from the boot manager included with lili, setting up sshd should be easy, the rest of the tools should be there except possibly for telnet, but nc should be available. anyway any missing tool would be easy to install.
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