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I want to test wine with a current Ubuntu live image.

I managed to install ubuntu-11.10-desktop-i386.iso on a USB stick. The resulting USB stick boots alright.

Unfortunately, the live image does not include wine.

I noticed that the root file system is an overlay one - the overlay is stored in RAM.

The problem is that the test system does not have that much RAM - i.e. modifying /etc/apt/sources.lst and apt-get install wine works on the live system - but a few packages eat all the available RAM and the system halts.

Plus - I also need some space for installing the windows application (to test it).

Is it possible to use a spare partition on the USB stick for the root-overlay?

Then I would have enough space for the wine packages and the windows application - or am I missing something?

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You can use usb-creator-kde and a USB stick which is 2 GB or larger. The tool presents options to use some space for persistent storage on the USB stick.

In case the stick is smaller than 2 GB, the options are not available.

The persistent storage is configured as loopback-filesystem-file on the stick (4 GB max). This file is then use as overlay on the live system (instead of RAM).

This works quite well - apt-get install and wine work as expected and everything is written to the stick.

On my Ubuntu 11.04 system, the usb-creator was a bit picky. With a 16 GB stick it failed to write the boot sector. usb-creator-gtk did not report the problem - udb-creator-kde did report it. With another stick sudo usb-creator-kde started the GUI etc. - but the resulting stick did not boot. With usb-creator-kde inside a sudo su - the installation on the same stick worked and the live system booted.

I looked into the of the resulting USB stick and noticed in scripts/casper that the live system checks if persistent is given as boot parameter and if it can find a ext2 filesystem labeled casper-rw - if so it uses that as overlay.

This mechanism is also documented at the Ubuntu-wiki. But I didn't manage to create a second partition on the stick that is recognized by the live system. I failed to create first the partition and instruct usb-creator to just use the first one. I also failed to let usb-creator create the live system and then use gparted to shrink it and create a second partition (as described at the Wiki) - the resulting stick would not boot anymore.

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usb-creator-gtk can do the same. – Oxwivi Nov 20 '11 at 19:13
@Oxwivi, sure, usb-creator-gtk should be functional equivalent to usb-creator-kde - but on my system usb-creator-gtk did not display an important error message (see also the answer) - usb-creator-kde did. – maxschlepzig Nov 20 '11 at 21:11

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