The ExTiX ISO is now a ISO-hybrid, which means that it can very easily be transferred (copied) to a USB pen drive.
A) “Normal” installation without persistence
ExTiX can be installed/transferred to a USB stick directly from the ISO file. It might be good to use this method if your computer lacks a CD/DVD drive, or if you just prefer to run Linux systems from a USB stick.This is the way to perform the installation:
1. Boot up a Linux system (Ubuntu or…) and download the ISO file extix-20.1-64bit-deepin-15.11-refracta-1850mb-200101.iso
2. Open up a terminal and cd to the folder where the ISO file is
3. Insert a USB stick and make sure which name it was given (/dev/sdb1 or /dev/sdc1 or …). Check it carefully to avoid data losses!
4. Run the installation command cp extix-20.1-64bit-deepin-15.11-refracta-1850mb-200101.iso /dev/sdb
5. Then run the command sync
B) Installation with perfect persistence using the regular installation program Refracta Installer.
Do it like this: Start up ExTiX a DVD and insert a USB stick. No need to format the stick in advance. Just do as the following screenshots show.
1. Screenshot 1 – Run the command sudo apt-get update followed by sudo apt install grub-pc
2. Screenshot 2 – Start Refracta Installer
3. Screenshot 3 – Accept the installer suggestions
4. Screenshot 4 – Choose to install Grub in MBR
5. Screenshot 5 – Choose /dev/sdb (check it carefully so it’s the correct device. I.e. your USB stick)
6. Screenshot 6 – Choose to install ExTiX to /dev/sdb1 (check it carefully so it’s the right device. I.e. your USB stick)
7. Screenshot 7 – Check carefully and then proceed with the installation
8. Screenshot 8 – The installation progress…
9. Screenshot 9 – Mount /dev/sdb1 and edit /boot/grub/grub.cfg. Change ro to rw on line 158.
After following the instructions 1 – 5 or 1 – 9:
Restart your computer with the USB stick in place and change the BIOS so that the computer in the first place is booting from the USB stick.
NOTE1: This way to transfer/install ExTiX to a USB stick works perfectly.
NOTE2: If the above described methods doesn’t work for you, you should try with another USB stick. (Another brand). All different versions of SanDisk are known to work very well. See also below.
Error messages when running from USB
Common error message when trying to run ExTiX from an USB stick: (initramfs) mount: mounting /dev/loop0 on //filesystem.squashfs failed: Invalid argument. Can not mount /dev/loop0 (/cdrom/casper/filesystem.squashfs) on //filesystem.squashfs
Solution: Try with another USB stick (another brand). NOTE: It appears that not all USB sticks are suitable for topical purposes. I.e. they can not be made bootable. I myself have experience of brands Kingston DataTraveler, SanDisk Ultra USB 3.0, SanDisk Extreme USB 3.0 and Sony Micro Vault. The first three works (for me). You shall not use USB sticks of older model. They may work, but mostly bad. If you – after the installation of ExTiX to the USB stick – get different error messages (see above) when you try to run the system from the stick it is often because the stick is not “good enough”.
Alternatives in Windows
You can as an alternative to the above mentioned commands use Etcher, Rufus or Win32 Disk Imager in Windows. (Rufus is possibly the best alternative). Persistence can’t be enabled though. NOTE: As regards ExTiX Deepin 20.1 persistence can be enabled if you use Rufus 3.8. Watch this screenshot showing the creation of a persistent partition of 25 GB. Works very well!
Unfortunately persistence will only work if you run ExTiX from a USB stick on an UEFI enabled computer. You shall see the boot screen below.
On a non-UEFI computer the boot screen will look like this.
To be able to run your computer from the USB stick you’ll have to change the BIOS settings. For example from UEFI to Legacy boot. View this screenshot from one of my computers. As you can see I’m using SanDisk Cruzer Blade. Works very well (and you can buy it for about 6 $).