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Having, say, a 4GB USB pendrive, if 0.5GB is reserved for the persistent installation, will this perform better or worst than reserving 1, 2 or 3GB? Let's assume that little space is needed, way less than 0.5GB. When the live version boots, does it take longer in reading this partition (affecting the setup time)?, or will it be limited to swap memory (affecting the run time)?

In particular, I'm dealing with a Lubuntu 16.04 live version for computers with limited resources (~1GB RAM), and have installed GNU Octave, occupying some 300MB of the persistent memory.

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Persistence is the space on your USB stick used to store information, so that the information is still there after a reboot. The size won't affect performance. Having more space will allow you to have more information, including files, available between boots.

  • After trying different sizes, I had the impression that 500BM was not enough for swapping sometimes, limiting the use of firefox, for example. Doesn't it have to be loaded at startup? If so, reading a bigger file would mean longer wait. – nightcod3r Oct 23 '16 at 17:32
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    The system will only read what information it need for operating regardless of the size of the storage. It just like having a 500G hard drive in your computer VS a 100G hardrive. When you boot it's not going to ready the whole hard drive into memory. It's going to only use whatever it need to load when it time to load or run a program. The difference is that you can store more programs/files on a 500G hard drive than you can on a 100G hard drive. – L. D. James Oct 23 '16 at 17:36
  • That's what I was assuming, however, the hard disk is partitioned, while the persistence file is a file, so I thought that may be the live version was using it differently. As for swapping, I understand that having a too small persistence file will affect swapping if you are working with low memory systems. Is that correct? – nightcod3r Oct 23 '16 at 17:51
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    @nightcod3r The persistence file is not used for swap. You may be able to manually create an additional swap partition on the stick for that purpose. Not sure what you're using the stick for. Are you using it specifically for installations or are you using it for the Ubuntu OS environment. If it's the latter, then you would get better performance and the swap partition you want by performing a full Ubuntu install on the pen drive. – L. D. James Oct 23 '16 at 18:10
  • You're probably right, having a production SO in the pen drive would work better here, as boot up time matters. It is intended for students to run a concrete educational program on a huge variety of systems and configurations, that's why the individual pen drive is necessary. Do you have any idea of how much space would a Lubuntu 16.04 full installation demand? – nightcod3r Oct 23 '16 at 19:58

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