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-64bit-17.2-lxqt-nvidia-1480mb-170320.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 …)
4. Run the installation command cp extix-64bit-17.2-lxqt-nvidia-1480mb-170320.iso /dev/sdb
5. Then run the command sync
B) Installation with perfect persistence using the regular installation program Ubiquity
Do it like this:
1. Start up ExTiX from a DVD and log in as root.
2. Insert a USB stick of 8GB, 16GB or 32GB and format the stick as ext4. Use GParted (installed in ExTiX) for that so you can be absolutely sure that the stick is known as /dev/sdb or /dev/sdc or…
3. Start Ubiquity from Menu >> Preferences >> Install ExTiX . Be sure to choose the Installation type “Something else“.
4. Then choose your USB stick (/dev/sdb1, /dev/sdc1 or…) to install to and set the mount point to /. No need to format the stick again. Be sure not to choose /dev/sda as “Device for boot loader installation”. The correct place is /dev/sdb, /dev/sdc or…I.e. on the stick.
5. Again be sure to install the boot loader (Grub2) to the USB stick (Kingston DataTraveler in my example) as this screenshot show.
6. Start the installation and follow the instructions.
C) ExTiX KDE 17.0 Build 161221 can also be installed to a USB stick using the regular installation program. In this case Refracta Installer. 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 install grub-pc
2. Screenshot 2 – Start Refracta Installer and choose Expert installation
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 right 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.
10. Screenshot 10 – After the installation you may want to see Grub’s boot menu. For that you have to edit /boot/grub.cfg (change line 89 and 90).
After following the instructions 1 – 5, 1 – 6 or 1 – 10:
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 Rufus in Windows. It will look like this. Persistence can’t be enabled though. You can also use UNetbootin in Windows or Linux. See a picture how it looks before the installation starts in Windows 10. NOTE: You must replace syslinux.cfg in the root of the stick with this file. Change the file extension from .txt to .cfg before or after you have replaced the original syslinux.cfg. (Also so you can enjoy persistence and run ExTiX in RAM). There’s other ways to do it, but using UNetbootin is the best/safest way. I.e. if you want to do the installation to a USB stick in Windows. However, if you want to install ExTiX to hard drive you will have to run the system from a dvd disc during installation or install ExTiX to USB the way I describe in paragraph A). If you use Startup Disk Creator in Linux to transfer ExTiX to USB it is also possible to install ExTiX to hard drive later on from the USB stick.
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 7 $).