My settings, docs and such on an older 14.04 USB stick are persistent, but the 16.04 stick seems to reset with each reboot.

I made a USB stick following the directions here: https://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop/create-a-usb-stick-on-windows

and using the rufus installer.

Is there a way to configure this install so that my work stays on the stick?


  • 1
    Possible duplicate: askubuntu.com/questions/397481/… – ThatGuy Nov 20 '16 at 0:10
  • 1
    @mr-kennedy Understood. This looks like it's been an issue with Rufus for quite some time. Bug Report – ThatGuy Nov 20 '16 at 0:24
  • 1
    It would seem so, but I cant find a reference to someone who has actually done it successfully. It SHOULD be possible after you have it installed on the USB though. I've found references to casper-rw here and here – ThatGuy Nov 20 '16 at 0:39
  • 1
    @ThatGuy this looks promising: linuxliveusb.com Doesn't support 16.04 but I am using the 16.04 .iso to do an install using 15.04 parameters... ::fingers crossed:: – Mr. Kennedy Nov 20 '16 at 1:07
  • 1
    @ThatGuy Nope - super buggy... Am moving on to pendrivelinux.com/universal-usb-installer-easy-as-1-2-3 which also claims persistence... – Mr. Kennedy Nov 20 '16 at 2:01

If you want to make a Persistent USB stick try mkusb, UNetbootin or MultiBootUSB, not Rufus, they will all make persistent drives however mkusb will make persistent partitions greater than 4GB, and MultiBootUSB will allow multiple persistent O/S installs.

| improve this answer | |
  • mkusb looks like a powerful tool to learn. Do you know if it is applicable to making the existing Rufus install persistent? – Mr. Kennedy Nov 20 '16 at 3:05
  • 1
    I understand you can compress your current Persistent Ubuntu install and mkusb will install it on USB with a persistent partition. (I have not tried it), Sudodus, the creator, has a thread going over at Ubuntu Forums, he answers all posts. – C.S.Cameron Nov 20 '16 at 10:08
  • 1
    You can make a syslinux install like Rufus persistent by hand, obtain a casper-rw file, drop it on the USB root and add <space>persistent after -- in the txt.cfg file of grub.cfg file. but it will be limited to 4GB of persistence and making a new drive with mkusb is easier and there is no 4GB limit. – C.S.Cameron Nov 20 '16 at 10:23
  • It is complicated to convert a persistent live system to that of another tool. You can backup the content of the casper-rw file and after making a new persistent live system with mkusb, you can restore it to the new casper-rw partition. It might work. It it more likely to work, if you restore only the home directory, or even better if you create a separate home-rw partition with an ext file system and restore your backup (of the previous home directory) to this new home-rw partition. – sudodus Nov 20 '16 at 19:41

Rufus Persistent Pendrive install

That works with both BIOS and UEFI

Rufus does an OK job of installing Ubuntu Live to USB. It works with both BIOS and UEFI. It does not do Pesistent installs out of the box.

Many people prefer a Persistent pendrive that will save changes.

  • Create a Live pendrive using Rufus.

  • Boot the Rufus pendrive toram to make the drive editable, (press shift when booting, press Esc from language, press F6, press Esc, type {space}toram after "quiet splash ---", and press Enter.

  • Create a casper-rw file:

    sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=casper-rw bs=1M count=512

    sudo mkfs.ext3 -L casper-rw -F casper-rw

(where count=512 is persistence size, with max 4GB).

  • Move the new casper-rw file from home to the root of the Live Pendrive.

  • Edit /isolinux/txt.cfg, (for BIOS boot persistence) and /boot/grub/grub.cfg, (for UEFI boot persistence), add a space and the word "persistent" after "quiet splash ---".

  • Shut down and reboot the persistent drive.

*Casper-rw partitions do not work with Rufus.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.