Creating a Persistent, Bootable USB Flash Drive with @PeppermintOS ICE (Updated)

Some of the Steps Illustrated in the Video Above appear below, along with more detailed instructions:
...I hope to add more video for folks who really want to get this going:
**Note** Items in bold italic are what you actually type.

  1. Download USB Universal Installer and save it on your Desktop (on Windows XP/7)
  2. Download the Peppermint ICE ISO and rename it to something similar to what appears in the drop-down list of available OTHER ISOs in USB Universal Installer. In this case, go for "Peppermint-One-3/25/2011.iso" where the date reflects your download (or leave it blank..the important stuff is what is in red bold).
  3. Run the USB Universal Installer and set the options up as outlined in the video. If you're using a 16gig flash drive (recommended), set your persistence file ("casper-rw") to be 4 gigs or the max allowable. If using a smaller drive, set it lower.
  4. Start the process and wait about 5 minutes until it is complete.
    Note: Steps 1-4 above are covered in the video. The rest of this will appear in a follow-up video.
  5. Reboot your computer and press the function key (F12 on Dells usually) so you can tell the computer to start from USB device.
  6. Enable Medibuntu in the Source Packages. Do that by going to START->PREFERENCES->SOFTWARE SOURCES. Then, click on the OTHER SOFTWARE tab, and put a checkmark by clicking in the box next to " free non-free" then click CLOSE. A window will pop up with the option to RELOAD. Click RELOAD.
  7. Go to LXTerminal--go to START->ACCESSORIES to find LXTerminal, which allows you to type in commands--and type in "sudo apt-get update" and then after that is done, type in "sudo apt-get upgrade" (both without quotes) to ensure you have the latest and greatest of everything. You'll be using LXTerminal quite a bit so you might as well keep the window open or learn how to get to it quickly.
  8. Once you're booted up into Peppermint ICE, make changes to your desktop (be aware of this) and install programs using commands (run LXTerminal from Accessories then copy-n-paste the following or type it can do the programs one at a time or try to do more than one) like
       sudo apt-get install mozilla-firefox vlc gparted gpart filezilla keepassx libgoo-canvas-perl shutter shotwell clamtk gnome-commander sun-java6-plugin
  9. Remember to go to PREFERENCES and install Hardware/Video drivers for your wireless and/or video card. Type in sudo apt-get install nvidia-common to ensure you get drivers for your nVidia graphics card (if you have one installed...if you don't, you can skip this step). Or, you can do this to get proprietary (not open source) wireless drivers. It's usually a good idea to have a "wired" connection during this process so that you're not stuck without connectivity. Once you get the wireless going, then you can "unplug."
  10. To change your desktop wallpaper so that it "sticks" beyond boot time, you'll have to take these steps:
    1. Find your favorite wallpaper and save it somewhere on your computer (e.g. /home/peppermint/Pictures/myfavoritewallpaper.png)
    2. In LXTerminal, type sudo leafpad /home/peppermint/.config/pcmanfm/pcmanfm.conf
    3. Change the line that starts off with wallpaper= with some value (the current wallpaper) to read as follows:
    4. Go to FILE and SAVE, then exit. On your next reboot, your wallpaper will be the new one.
  11. Is your time clock off? Run LXTerminal and then type in sudo dpkg-reconfigure tzdata  so that you can change the geographic location and time.
  12. There are many programs/apps you can add to your Peppermint ICE install. Just remember that you only have 4 gigs to play with, so try to keep it light and unencumbered. Here are some of my must-have decide which ones YOU want!
  13. I like to modify the START button on Peppermint ICE to reflect an icon of my choice. You can download one--just do an image google search on something with the word "icon" after it (e.g. peppermint icon), save it to your PICTURES folder (/home/peppermint/Pictures) and then right-click on your "old" icon in the bottom left-corner of your screen and replace it. Follow these instructions.
  14. To enable printing--read the backstory here--for printers you connect directly to your computer, you will need to take two steps...once they are done, you should be able to plug in your printer and it will be detected!
    1. sudo apt-get install hplip cups system-config-printer-gnome
    2. Create a script:
      sudo leafpad /etc/network/if-up.d/cups
      Then, paste in this code:
      service  cups restart
      Then make that script executable:
      sudo chmod +x /etc/network/if-up.d/cups
      Then restart your computer.
  15. Want Peppermint ICE to just "login" as you each time without having you type in your username and password? Then take these steps (adapted from this forum post):
    1. sudo leafpad /etc/xdg/peppermint-ice/lxdm/lxdm.conf
    2. Remove the "#" without quotes from the first two lines, which appear as follows:
    3. And, modify the "dgod" to read whatever your username is. For example, mine is "mg" so I changed the first line to read as follows:
    4. Reboot and you should log straight in to ICE without having to type your username and password.
  16. Looking for an app to merge PDF files? Install PDFChain with
    sudo apt-get install ghostscript pdftk pdfchain
  17. Looking for an easy way to convert MP3 or other files to OGG audio format? Use the following:
    sudo apt-get install dir2ogg and follow these directions.
  18. Burn CDs/DVDs with K3b - this like everything but the kitchen sink of burning software. But it's incredibly easy to use and worth the space if you have it. Otherwise, use Brasero or Gnomebaker (neither is as good as K3b, IMHO, but will do in a pinch).
    sudo apt-get install k3b
  19. To enable printing, 
  20. Enjoy! 
I'll be adding a video showing most of the other steps later.

OLD BLOG ENTRY with Previous instructions:
One of the neat things to learn how to do is creating what's called a "persistent" bootable USB Flash drive with your favorite GNU/Linux operating system on it. Creating a bootable USB Flash drive with Peppermint ICE--my new favorite--is straightforward and easy; I summarized the steps for a friend and she was up and running in no time (read the end of this blog entry for those steps).

To review, a persistent flash drive allows you to install programs and save those beyond the session you're working on. Usually, you pop in a bootable "LIVE" USB flash drive, and when you restart the computer, it doesn't matter what you did (like installing programs, saving stuff), it's all gone from the computer's short-term memory. A persistent flash drive allows you to save what would be temporary and allow it to endure, or persist, after a computer restart or shutdown.

I'm not sure if that paragraph is crystal-clear but I thought I'd try explaining it and see what happened. Ah well. Here's Wikipedia's explanation:

Persistence in computer science refers to the characteristic of state that outlives the process that created it. Without this capability, state would only exist in RAM, and would be lost when this RAM loses power, such as a computer shutdown. This is achieved in practice by storing the state as data in non-volatile storage such as a hard drive or flash memory. Picture editing programs or word processors, for example, achieve state persistence by saving their documents to files.

Here's how the experts at PenDrive Linux explain it...much better explanation, although they quote Wikipedia, too!
For USB Linux users, a persistent Linux install is one that allows it's user to save data changes back to the USB storage device instead of leaving the information in system RAM. This data can then be recovered and used again on subsequent boots, even when booting from different machines. Typically a separate Persistent storage space (persistent overlay) is used in conjunction with a compressed Live Linux OS.

Ok, so my goal was to create a Peppermint ICE persistent, bootable USB Flash drive. That way, I can carry it around with me. Since Peppermint ICE doesn't exist in the list of ISOs on the USB Universal Installer, I decided to rename the Peppermint ICE ISO filename to LinuxMint's filename, then start the process off....

Note that in the image above, I've already downloaded the USB Universal Installer and renamed the Peppermint ICE ISO file to LinuxMint. 

After the process above finished, I restarted the computer and was prompted with two choices when starting up off the new flash drive...Linux Mint and Linux Mint Compatibility Mode. Although it said Linux Mint, I knew it was really Peppermint ICE and chose the first one.

From that point, it started up normally into Peppermint ICE and worked smooth. I'd always wanted to try this (renaming the ISO file) and was surprised it worked! Now I have Peppermint ICE on a 4gig bootable flash drive that will save my settings, etc.

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure


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