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Chris Thompson
Chris Thompson

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DragonOS (lubuntu) on USB with persistent storage

DragonOS is a Lubuntu-based Linux distribution for software-defined radio. The x86-64 version runs well from a USB stick. However, I wanted persistent storage. That is, I wanted to be able to save files and change configuration settings and have these stick around when I next booted DragonOS.

I couldn't get this to happen with Rufus or Balena Etcher. I had a preexisting install of Linux and found mkusb worked perfectly. I tested these steps with both Ubuntu (22.04.1 LTS) and Mint (21, Cinnamon). The instructions for mkusb are here.

# Enable the universe repository
sudo add-apt-repository universe
# Add the mkusb PPA
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mkusb/ppa
sudo apt update
# Install mkusb
sudo apt install mkusb
sudo apt install usb-pack-efi
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Now that mkusb is installed, the process is fairly straight-forward. When you start it up, you have the choice of user interface. I picked p, Plug for the new UI. Now, p, Persistent live drive because that's the whole point. mkusb can't quite figure out that DragonOS is based on Lubuntu, so I tell it u, Ubuntu. The rest of the process takes a few minutes.

Reboot to test the results. The process should work the same as booting the non-persistent version. The first boot takes a little time to rearrange the file system. Once DragonOS is up, test the persistence by creating a small file in the home directory, then reboot and see if the file is still there.

That's it. Enjoy your persistent live USB install!

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