I am running Kubuntu 17.04 from a USB drive. Since I don't have a PC of my own, I was wondering how can I save changes that I make in my live session, since starting from scratch is starting to get really annoying each time I run on a different PC. Thanks for your help.


You need to create a "Persistent" Live USB. A persistent USB contains a partition where you can save your data, and it will also save changes you make to your Ubuntu.

An excellent tool is mkusb.

Install it using the following.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mkusb/ppa
sudo apt update
sudo apt install mkusb mkusb-nox usb-pack-efi

Instructions for using mkusb are here.

Prepare your USB

  1. Launch guidus from launcher
  2. w Wipe a drive
  3. 1 wipe 1 (the first) Mibiyte

Install Ubuntu

  1. Launch guidus from launcher
  2. Select i Install (make a boot device)
  3. Select p 'Persistent live' - only Debian and Ubuntu
  4. Select your USB device (like "sdb" or "sdc")

  5. Select msdos GPT

  6. Select usb-pack-efi (default grub from ISO file). Note, this is for EFI boot.

  7. Select percentage of USB that you want to use for persistence.

  8. Select Go
  9. Click OK to the grub-pc error
  10. Click OK to ... must be fetched from the iso

Create an Admin User

Once you've created your persistent Live USB, you might want to create a new user for your persistent iso, and grant the user sudo (admin) and other privileges:

sudo adduser <user>
sudo usermod -a -G adm,dialout,cdrom,floppy,sudo,audio,dip,video,plugdev,users,lpadmin,sambashare <user>
  • Persistence works on many other distros, not just Debian / Ubuntu. Persistence, however, is not a substitute for an install and is good for saving basic settings, wireless passwords, and perhaps installing a few packages. It will fail if you run sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade multiple times. If you want to save data I highly suggest making a separate data or home partition on the usb. – Panther Oct 29 '17 at 1:43
  • Minor point but the question is about Kubuntu and so GDM and some other "GNOME" elements may not apply. – DK Bose Oct 29 '17 at 2:20
  • @DK Bose, good point! I removed the GDM stuff. – PJ Singh Oct 29 '17 at 2:40

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