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Thread: How to make a PERSISTENT live usb on windows using ext2 filesystem

  1. #1
    Join Date
    2013-Apr
    Posts
    32

    Talking How to make a PERSISTENT live usb on windows using ext2 filesystem

    Hi everyone.

    The title of this post may sound silly, but many people are trying to make a persistent live usb for kali from windows, and many people don't want to use the ext4 filesystem for the 'persistence' partition, since it could reduce the lifetime of their USB. So here is my solution to this issue (apologise for the bad english).

    I assume your USB has been formated (in fat32).

    First of all, you will need to install universal USB installer . When it is done, launch it and follow the different steps to install kali linux on the USB.

    Then, download and install minitool partition wizard. When it is done, launch it, select "move/resize partition" to proceed to format a new partition of your desired size to be used for persistence. Select the "ext 2" filesystem, and Label it "persistence". Then apply change (you also need to set partition as primary, buy you do not need to "set active")

    Now, plug the USB stick into the computer you want to boot up. Make sure your BIOS is set to boot from your USB device. When the Kali Linux boot screen is displayed, select “Live” from the menu (this is the first choice).

    Ok, the system should start. Launch the terminal, and then type (this is for kali 1.0.7):

    mkdir -p /mnt/my_usb
    mount /dev/sdb2 /mnt/my_usb
    echo "/ union" > /mnt/my_usb/persistence.conf
    umount /dev/sdb2

    For earlier version, you can use this one, which is basically doing the same thing:

    mkdir /mnt/usb
    mount /dev/sdb2 /mnt/usb
    echo "/ union" >> /mnt/usb/persistence.conf
    umount /mnt/usb


    Check that the peristence conf is now on your "persistence" partition. Shutdown the system. Restart the computer and launch kali linux by selecting the "live USB persistence" option in the boot menu.

    You're done

    Note: if you have installed an earlier version of kali linux, you'll have add the word “persistence” to the end of the boot parameter line each time you want to mount your persistent storage.
    Last edited by xxyxxyxx; 2014-06-28 at 21:54. Reason: updating info

  2. #2
    Thanks a lot for this tutorial, it really helped me. Also, if you be a bit more clearer in the 4th paragraph, that would be good as I good really confused as to what I was supposed to do. Pictures would have been good too. :P But other than that this was a really good tutorial because I could not find anything else at all to help me and this worked straight away (almost) for me.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    2013-Apr
    Posts
    32
    You're Welcome!

    I will add some pictures when I will have some spare time :s

    Don't hesistate to ask if you need further help

  4. #4
    Join Date
    2014-Mar
    Posts
    1
    What exactly is ex 2 and ex 4? I heard that ex 4 has more functionality. Is ex 2 still the best? Thanks.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    2014-Mar
    Posts
    2
    Quote Originally Posted by ZSmith16 View Post
    What exactly is ex 2 and ex 4? I heard that ex 4 has more functionality. Is ex 2 still the best? Thanks.
    What is the difference between ext2, ext3, and ext4?

    The ext2, ext3, and ext4 file systems are a family of file systems that have a strong amount of backwards and forward compatibility. In fact, they can be considered a single filesytem format with a number of feature extensions, and ext2, ext3, and ext4 are merely the names of the implementations found in the Linux kernel. This way of looking at things is supported by the fact that they share the same userspace utilities (e2fsprogs), and that many filesystems can be mounted on different filesystems. For example, a filesystem which is created for use with ext3 can be mounted using either ext2 or ext4. However, a filesystem with ext4-specific extensions can not be mounted using ext2 or ext3, and the ext3 file systems code in the kernel requires the presence of a journal, which is generally not present in partitions formatted for use by the ext2 file system. The ext4 code has the ability to mount and use a filesystem without a journal.

    Why was ext2 created?

    In April 1992, the ext filesystem was written by Remy Card to address two key limitations with the Minix filesystem, which had previously been the only filesystem available to Linux: filenames could be only 14 characters, and the maximum file system size supported by Minix was 64MiB. The ext filesystem supported block devices up to 2GiB, and file names up to 255 characters, but (like Minix) it only had a single timestamp for last modification time, last access time, and inode change time. It also used linked lists to store free blocks, which meant that files tended to get fragmented very easily. In January, 1993, the ext2 filesystem was released which further increased the maximum block size to 4TiB, added POSIX timestamps, and supported variable block sizes. More importantly, it added support for extensibility so that new features could be added to the filesystem.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    2014-Jun
    Posts
    5
    THX i dont know why but your TUT is the only one that brings me success.
    i used it from the sentens "Select the "ext 2"....."
    bevor i copied kali on the usb stick with dd if=kali.iso .........

    THX....

  7. #7
    Join Date
    2014-Jul
    Posts
    3
    Thanks for this post which I found very helpful. I followed all the creation of partion stuff for Windows and booted up fine, once I'd corrected the boot line error reported elsewhere about changing the line to /live/vmlinuz from what's written (otherwise it loops round and round and never starts).

    So I have Linux running, I can see the persistence mount. I created the persistence.conf using a text editor as I'm new to Linux and don't fully understand the command line stuff. I entered the first line of text as / union with the 'space' between the / and union. Then I saved the file in the root of the partition.

    On rebooting, this file had now incorporated several ~ characters and a line at the bottom with the path to my new file, so I guess the persistence has worked.

    However, I can't get it to remember things like WiFi passphrases or preferences in Iceweasel. It said it could not find the Iceweasel profile. Do I have to set up other things too in order to make this work? Or have I totally misunderstood what persistence is all about?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    2014-Jul
    Posts
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by xxyxxyxx View Post
    You're Welcome!

    I will add some pictures when I will have some spare time :s

    Don't hesistate to ask if you need further help
    Thanks for this post which I found very helpful. I followed all the creation of partion stuff for Windows and booted up fine, once I'd corrected the boot line error reported elsewhere about changing the line to /live/vmlinuz from what's written (otherwise it loops round and round and never starts).

    So I have Linux running, I can see the persistence mount. I created the persistence.conf using a text editor as I'm new to Linux and don't fully understand the command line stuff. I entered the first line of text as / union with the 'space' between the / and union. Then I saved the file in the root of the partition.

    However, I can't get it to remember things like WiFi passphrases or preferences in Iceweasel. It said it could not find the Iceweasel profile. Do I have to set up other things in order to make this work? Or have I totally misunderstood what persistence is all about?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    2014-Dec
    Posts
    5
    Thanks for this! I am trying it now, but as a complete noob, I am running into issues.

    When I type "mount /dev/sdb2 /mnt/my_usb", it comes back with "mount: special device /dev/sdb2 does not exist".

    fdisk -l shows /dev/sda1 (W95 FAT32) and /dev/sda2 (Linux)

    if I change the mount command to sda2, comes back to say that sda2 is mounted on /media/persistence

  10. #10
    Join Date
    2014-Feb
    Posts
    26
    I'm working my way through this as I write, so there will be updates to this post ...

    I'm a complete noob to Linux/Kali, but I suggest some changes to these paragraphs:

    First of all, you will need to install universal USB installer ...
    Then, download and install minitool partition wizard...


    Download Universal USB Installer. Insert an 8GB minimum USB drive. Run Universal USB Installer:
    Step 1: select Kali Linux in the dropdown
    Step 2: Browse to and select your Kali*.iso
    Step 3: Select your USB drive, tick the box to format it.
    Click Create. Note that this takes about 15 minutes. It may appear to have stopped (the progress bar will freeze on the left-hand side), but there is a second window in the background extracting the files.

    Download and install MiniTool Partition Wizard. Launch it, select the existing UUI partition on your USB drive then click "Move/Resize". Resize the partition leaving a "Unallocated Space After" of 1024MB, and click Apply. When completed, select the blank area you just created (after the UUI partition), and click Create. Select FileSystem: Ext2 , select Create As: Primary, and Partition Label: persistence. Then click Apply.
    Last edited by nigelmercier; 2015-01-06 at 13:51.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    2014-Feb
    Posts
    26
    Quote Originally Posted by nigelmercier View Post
    ...Run Universal USB Installer ...
    When I booted from the USB drive, I got a message saying "SYSLINUX 4.07 EDD 2013-07-25 ..." and nothing else. It seems this is not unknown, so I'm going to try Rufus...

    OK, I installed the ISO using Rufus, then tried to boot from it. I got the KALI LINUX boot menu, I chose Live (686-pae). The PC beeps, and displays two lines at the bottom of the screen

    loading /live/vmlinuz ... ok
    loading /live/initrd.img...


    Then the screen clears, and the PC beeps again. Just a flashing cursor ...

    The PC is a Dell mini-9, with latest (A07, 03 Nov 2011) Phoenix BIOS.

    New thread started: https://forums.kali.org/showthread.p...aili-boot-menu
    Last edited by nigelmercier; 2015-01-06 at 14:34.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    2015-Jan
    Posts
    1
    I was successful in my noob try. Selected FileSystem: Ext4: in MiniTools and then in Kali:
    mkdir -p /mnt/usb
    mount /dev/sdb2 /mnt/usb
    echo "/ union" > /mnt/usb/persistence.conf
    umount /dev/sdb2

    In my case it was mount /dev/sdg2. Use command: lsblk to find yours. Then booted with first option. Thanks.

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