Dual MX/Antix Live persistent USB stick?

Forum Forums General Tips and Tricks Dual MX/Antix Live persistent USB stick?

  • This topic has 10 replies, 7 voices, and was last updated Jun 10-8:22 pm by Xecure.
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  • #61217
    Member
    Danathar

    So…

    I’ve been thinking about what to carry around on my keyring. A nice encrypted Live persistent USB stick is a great thing to have handy! It occurred to me that having both Antix AND MX as an option to deal with whatever computer I might encounter could be a good thing. Now of course you could have two sticks, they aren’t THAT big, especially the Sandisk sticks and I’ve got those lying around.

    A cooler idea would be to have a dual boot MX/Antix stick with persistence. I wouldn’t necessarily need to use the same persistence. Each side could be self-contained.

    Has anybody attempted this or thought about how it might be accomplished?

    #61219
    Moderator
    christophe
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    :D

    Yep. Here’s a full thread on just that thing, initiated by seaken64 on the MX forum.

    https://forum.mxlinux.org/viewtopic.php?p=492946#p492946

    (And I can vouch that it works very well.)

    Regarding persistence: Use a big usb stick. (You need separate persistence file(s) for each. Plus you want room to remaster.)

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 6 days ago by christophe.
    • This reply was modified 1 week, 6 days ago by christophe. Reason: I can't seem to write coherently the first or 2nd version
    #61242
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    seaken64
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    :D

    If I had to carry only one Live operating system it would be antiX-19.x in 32-bit. I have run into some situations where I could not boot a 64-bit USB. That is one of the reasons I was looking for a solution for a multi-OS LiveUSB for both MX and antiX. I put MX 64-bit and antiX 32-bit on the same USB stick. I have since created others with antiX 64-bit and antiX 32-bit and MX 64-bit and MX 32-bit.

    This works great for antiX LiveUSB systems. As long as you are using only the antiX and MX distros this will be a good solution. Some others have used other tools for non-antiX setups, like Puppy or Arch distros.

    Use a USB of at least 16Gb. If you use one with 32Gb or more you can fit several more antiX/MX distros on same LiveUSB. You can make one with antiX 64-bit, antiX 32-bit, MX 64-bit, and MX 32-bit. All on one USB key drive.

    Seaken64

    #61245
    Member
    Danathar
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    :D

    I probably should post this question in the other thread but what about remastering and upgrading kernels? Have you run into any difficulties with the native tools when using them to update changes to multi-boot persistent USB with MX and Antix together on the same stick?

    #61246
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    seaken64
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    :D

    No, I have not had any issues using the systems as normal. But as mentioned in the other thread on MX Forum the live-usb-storage folder is shared. No problems remastering or updating.

    Seaken64

    #61284
    Moderator
    ModdIt
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    :D

    While running live,
    One important point to remember is that with USB sticks there is no fstrim, that applies as far as I am able to
    find out to all (free to purchase) sticks. The end result is that with remastering updating changing kernel sticks
    can quickly have far less usable memory than expected.

    After many changes and several updates/remasters my 128 GB stick has about half of its capacity unavailable with no
    way to free the memory by trimming old data. This does not apply completely to SSD and SD cards which do trim, but
    does not overwrite memory cells (to conserve life), or maybe ordered by interested agencys so as to preserve evidence
    of past activitys. Point to China and Russia, talk freedom but working ever nearer toward global total surveillance.

    #61292
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    skidoo
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    :D

    After many changes and several updates/remasters my 128 GB stick has about half of its capacity unavailable with no
    way to free the memory by trimming old data. This does not apply completely to SSD and SD cards which do trim, but
    does not overwrite memory cells (to conserve life)

    Whoa! Surely the loss of “capacity” is attributable something else, some other factor.
    “TRiM” is only relavent at the filesystem level
    and
    even if “lsblk -D” reports 0 (i.e. discard is unsupported for a device)
    (re)formatting is an effect “way” to accomplish a result essentially identical
    to that which would have been achieved by a series of incremental TRiM operations.

    specific to remastering:
    Although a remaster operation does not reformat the partition,
    it does initiate the use of new, freshly formatted, rootfs (and/or homefs) Sparse_files

    https://www.antixforum.com/forums/topic/async-mount-option-and-datajournal-re-persist-save-and-live-remaseter/
    moddit wrote:

    [..] the controller is non transparent to the connected device, where things actualy get written to or moved too is manufacturer software controlled. Same goes for wear levelling. So trying to physicaly write data to a new location from the OS is futile.

    Again, here in this new topic, I would insist that it is not futile.
    A rootfs occupies “XX blocks” somewhere on the device.
    During a remaster operation, it is renamed to rootfs.OLD and still occupies those XX blocks at the point when a new rootfs is created. “Freeing” the blocks occupied by rootfs.OLD is, optionally, performed during a subsequent liveboot session.

    Have you browsed “/live/boot-dev/antiX/” to verify/ruleout the possibility that one or more *.OLD files are present, or that some other huge file is occupying a chunk of the available storage capacity (e.g. a forgotten snapshot ISO file)?

    #61294
    Moderator
    Brian Masinick
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    :D

    No, I have not had any issues using the systems as normal. But as mentioned in the other thread on MX Forum the live-usb-storage folder is shared. No problems remastering or updating.

    Seaken64

    I agree completely. Regardless of which antiX tool I have used with Live USB, they have all performed flawlessly. If there are, or ever have been, any defects, I have not encountered them in the recently released versions in the 19.* series, nor in the systems currently in development.

    Brian Masinick

    #61299
    Moderator
    ModdIt
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    :D

    Hi skidoo regarding :
    A rootfs occupies “XX blocks” somewhere on the device.
    During a remaster operation, it is renamed to rootfs.OLD and still occupies those XX blocks at the point when a new rootfs is created. “Freeing” the blocks occupied by rootfs.OLD is, optionally, performed during a subsequent liveboot session.

    Have you browsed “/live/boot-dev/antiX/” to verify/ruleout the possibility that one or more *.OLD files are present, or that some other huge file is occupying a chunk of the available storage capacity (e.g. a forgotten snapshot ISO file)?

    Yes well knownto me, on several occasions I have deleted everything I could find which is non essential. While investigating ended up with a non booting stick too :-).
    Learning by doing is the game.

    The problem is absolutely not antiX, MX or debian related. It is happening because the USB stick memory can not be freed using trim as it is not implimented.
    There are some discussions regarding the problem on Buntu, debian and Arch forums.

    Normal reformatting has brought capacity back to an expected level in most cases.

    I checked again on my 128 GB sti9ck 44 are reported to be free today. I have one old rootfilesys i can remove, that will free up max under 5 GB.

    My next boot device will be a fast micro sd card in an adapter, micro sd cards and ssd do not have the same issue as the trim command is effective on those devices..

    #61300
    Moderator
    Brian Masinick
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    :D

    When I create a different image I always wipe it first.

    Historically I have used dd for all operations but over the past couple of years I have used the tools provided. I’ve seen zero indication of a problem.

    If in doubt reformat the media.

    Brian Masinick

    #61316
    Member
    Xecure
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    :D

    antiX comes with a GUI tool to manage all live filesystems. From the menu (or from Control Centre): “Set up Persistence”.
    It lets you create, resize and delete rootfs and homefs persistence files and also lets you delete .OLD and .BAD linuxfs, rootfs and homefs files.

    If you are afraid of removing incorrect files inside /live/boot-dev/antiX/, you can use this tool instead.
    I had been using for more than a year a 32 GB USB with antiX-core + fluxbox + KDE as live-USB as a daily driver and managed the space reducing rootfs size when needed, remastering and removing old or bad live files to always have enough space (though I must admit I don’t download too many files myself and always browse in “incognito” to save no web-browser cache).

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