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I created an Ubuntu 10.10 live usb with persistence feature. And it works well on my PCs. But one thing annoys me is that each time I boot from live usb, I have to choose between "Try Ubuntu" and "Install Ubuntu". Is there any way to dismiss that dialog and boot directly to the live Ubuntu system?

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+1 from me. I'd love to hear a solution to this. My laptop's hard drive is dead, so I've been doing everything on a USB drive with persistence, and it would be wonderful to bypass this step at startup. –  michaelms Mar 29 '11 at 3:04
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Why don't you install Ubuntu directly on usb –  Achu Mar 29 '11 at 6:38
    
@Achu: a Live Session + casper-rw file/partition has its uses... read-only system files, no login screen (or password for sudo), untouched clean install files (no need to keep ISO for install in another PC), etc. I always keep one in all my pendrives –  MestreLion Jun 7 '11 at 12:56

3 Answers 3

up vote 15 down vote accepted

I wouldn't do it the way you have, but it kinda depends what you want to use the USB key for. If you want to use it to do installs on computers then the way you set up the key is right. If you want to use it as a standard desktop install, that you can use on any random (or even just a few specific) machines then use this method instead:-

For this you will need:

  • 1xUSB key onto which you will install Ubuntu
  • 2xCDR or DVD or USB key onto which you will put the installer
  • 1xComputer which is capable of booting off the above device

Steps to install:

  • Download the ISO and burn it to a CD or DVD, or use USB startup disk creator (or unetbootin) to make an 'install USB key'
  • Insert the above media into a computer and boot from it
  • Choose 'Install Ubuntu' from the menu
  • Once booted to the installer, insert the USB key you want to install Ubuntu "persistent" onto
  • During the installer, when you get to partitioning, ensure you select the USB key inserted, to install Ubuntu onto.
    • Meaning, don't mistakenly install Ubuntu onto the internal hard disk on the computer
  • At the end of the install you need to tell the installer to put GRUB onto your USB key, and not to overwrite the bootloader on the hard disk (or indeed the USB stick you installed from - I have made that mistake!)
  • Once the install is done, you can shutdown, pull out all the keys and optical disks, and take that new key to any machine and boot from it.

Advantages to this method

  • It's a full desktop install that you can add packages to, remove packages from and generally fully customise as you would any install
  • You can enable encryption of the home directory during install so that if you lose the key you don't have to worry about losing your data

Disadvantages to this method

  • It's not as straightforward as making a persistent key, but it's no more difficult than a standard Ubuntu install
  • A full install on a usb flash key will cause more write cycles, and thus more wear and tear on the flash drive's memory, potentially causing it to fail much sooner
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Yeah, I should have already tried that. Thanks :) –  davidshen84 Mar 29 '11 at 7:01
    
I found one problem with this solution. The USB disk cannot be formated in FAT format, which means it cannot be used in Windows system. Kinda inconvenient... –  davidshen84 Mar 29 '11 at 12:07
    
The main problem with this solution is that you cannot use it to install Ubuntu in another PC. –  MestreLion Jun 7 '11 at 13:04
    
You cannot use it to install Ubuntu anymore, and it uses MUCH more space than usual persistent install - 3,5Gb instead of 700mb. –  Shnatsel Jun 9 '11 at 15:58
    
Sure you can, get a bigger USB stick :) –  popey Jun 16 '11 at 11:43

You can remove 'ubiquity' package, it should remove the switcher but removes the ability to install the system from that USB as well.

There's one more way: on boot of live USB there's a purple screen with keyboard = accessibility symbols in the bottom. If you press any key while it's shown, you'll get another boot menu, which allows to boot directly to the desktop, bypassing the switcher. It doesn't remove the switching completely, but at least works much faster.

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It does works a LOT faster. I use this myself... but its still annoying. I wish there was a way to bypass that and still use it as a Live Session (dont want a full install on USB) –  MestreLion Jun 7 '11 at 13:00
    
There should be some way to make it automatically do this each time. Just need to figure out which config file is responsible for selecting the default option... –  AJMansfield Sep 15 '13 at 18:33
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I was looking around, and a possibly better solution is to only remove the ubiquity-frontend-gtk package, not ubiquity. That way, you can still install it by selecting it from the boot menu, but it can't start the installer window. –  AJMansfield Sep 15 '13 at 19:25

So far, I've been able to boot straight to my maverick netbook remix persistent live USB log in screen by edited the syslinux.cfg file on my USB drive.

  1. Plug your live USB, go to syslinux folder on it.
  2. Open txt.cfg (better use a code editor like notepad++), & copy the first five line. The code looks like this on my maverick netbook remix :

    default live
    label live
    menu label ^Run Netbook Remix from USB
    kernel /casper/vmlinuz
    append noprompt cdrom-detect/try-usb=true persistent file=/cdrom/preseed/ubuntu-netbook.seed boot=casper initrd=/casper/initrd.lz splash --

  3. open syslinux.cfg, & change it's content with the code you've copied before. You can delete menu label ^Run Netbook Remix from USB or you can change it like this say Run Netbook Remix from this USB (basically you can put any line as long as you use say in front of it)

  4. save the changes you've made on syslinux.cfg, & we're done.

note : backup the original syslinux.cfg in case the method I explained above is not working for you.

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