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I have an old netbook lying around so I've been trying to install ubuntu on it. I downloaded unetbootin and the ubuntu iso, and used unetbootin to install it. In unetbootin, for "Space used to preserve files across reboots (ubuntu only)" I have tried both 10 MB and 3072 MB (I wasn't really sure what it was).

And both times, I can boot into ubuntu flawlessly, but nothing I do is saved when I reboot. And unfortunately I don't have any USB sticks or a CD drive, so I can't install Ubuntu the traditional way.

Is there any way I can install Ubuntu and get it to keep my files after I boot, or is this a lost cause?

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If you did choose this, and about 1GB is pretty optimal, it takes time to write out the updates so if it let you reboot or shutdown without delay I would be surprised if it wrote to 3GB. The thing is to keep your changes small and let the baseline do the heavy lifting so no wholesale apt-get upgrades. I can't tell you how to remaster the install either.

Go back and try again, and keep your changes small, and the space small and do not interrupt shutdown.

You may want to try one of the netbook remixes.

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