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Ubuntu 24.04 Rufus Persistence

Rufus Fixes Creation of Persistent Ubuntu 24.04 USBs

Rufus, a popular open-source tool for making bootable USB drives on Windows, just released an update that includes a ‘fix’ for working with Ubuntu 24.04 LTS ISOs.

A truly versatile tool, Rufus is able to create bootable Windows installers from ISO files and disk images as well as Linux installers and, more pertinent to this news, persistent Ubuntu, Linux Mint, and Debian USB installers.

Rufus 4.5, released this week, includes support for persistence in Ubuntu 24.04 LTS. Additionally, this update also fixes issues when creating persistent Linux Mint 21.x USBs too.

Rufus 4.5 fixes persistent Ubuntu USBs
Creating persistent Ubuntu USBs in Rufus isn’t new (the feature debuted in 2019) but its devs often have to play catchup as distros rename, update, or alter the various files needed to enable this feature.

What is a persistent Linux USB?

A way creating a bootable, portable installation without actually installing it. The ISO boots into a live session (as a USB installer would) but persistence adds a “casper-rw” file/partition (in Ubuntu) where files, settings, apps, etc., are stored.

A live Linux USB installer boots a pristine version of OS each time and while you can use the live session like a real install (add apps, edit settings, etc) but all changes you make during the live session are lost when you shutdown.

On a persistent Linux USB those changes persist between boots.

Overlap with, say, creating a USB installation (i.e., using an installer to install the distro to the USB drive properly, and then booting that USB on other systems) exists.

But persistent installers have their pluses: reduced overhead and they take up less space than a full, unpacked installation to disk. Plus, USB installations may end up tailored to specific hardware, affecting portability.

And it’s easy to ‘reset’ the install without having to rewrite, reformat, or reinstall – just clean out the persistent storage section. In certain circumstances, that makes them better suited to ad-hoc testing.

Persistent Ubuntu 24.04 USB has drawbacks: no Wayland; no user accounts; slower startup/shutdown; can’t switch session; and the Flutter installer will spawn on every boot.

What’s New in Rufus 4.5?
Since I’m here talking about the update I’ll list the other changes in Rufus 4.5.x release — most aren’t related to Ubuntu so don’t chide me for it in the comments for it, okay ;)

Option to perform runtime UEFI media validation for Windows & Linux ISOs
Fixes with/writing VHD/VHDX images
Use Rufus MBR advanced option moved to ‘cheat mode’ panel
Fix support for Linux persistence in Linux Mint & Ubuntu 24.04 LTS
Security vulnerability patches
Internal GRUB bumped to v2.12
UEFI:NTFS updated + now uses ntfs-3g driver
Buffer size when copying ISO files increased
Improve partition creation/handling
If you’re looking for a powerful, open-source tool for creating bootable USBs on Windows, with advanced options then Rufus is worth checking out or at least making a mental note of for possible future needs/recommendations.

Among its most popular feature: the ability to create a Windows 11 USB installer using the official Windows 11 ISO but configured to bypass many of the hardcoded requirements which prevent users from installing it on “unsupported” hardware.

Nifty, eh?

But for Ubuntu users who want a portable operating system to keep handy, with the ability to save files, settings, and install tools without the complexity or hardcoded nature of a full installation, a persistent USB may be the ticket.

You can download Rufus for Windows (32-bit and 64-bit) from the Rufus Github page.

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