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oldcpu's meandering thoughts on Computers, GNU/Linux and openSUSE

liveKDE 64-bit openSUSE-13.1 on USB-3.0 memory stick

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The liveKDE 64-bit openSUSE-13.1 works well on a USB-3.0 memory stick with my Toshiba Z930 Ultrabook's USB-3.0 port. In particular this is a 16 GB Sandisk Extreme USB Flash Drive and I have to say I am quite impressed with it.

[Memory stick plugged in to my Toshiba Ultrabook]

I installed the 64-bit .iso file for openSUSE-13.1 on the memory stick, using the application Image Writer, per the instructions here: That is pretty much a no-brainer (drag and drop) and given this is a very fast USB-3.0 memory stick in a compatible USB-3.0 port on my Toshiba Ultrabook, Imagewriter had openSUSE-13.1 installed on that memory stick in less than a minute.

It helps that the SanDisk Extreme, is one of the fastest USB-3.0 memory sticks currently on the market. I say that after having played with a few USB-3.0 memory sticks, and having read some reviews which support my own assessment. Other USB-3.0 memory sticks that I own and have played with are the very nice Kingston DataTraveler HyperX 3.0 (64-Gbyte version) and the inexpensive and nice Lexar USB-3.0 S23 (8.0 GB and 16.0 GB versions).

According to one review I read, the SanDisk Extreme has purported sequential read speeds of 194 MB/sec and 177 MB/sec write speeds. The SanDisk faired even better on the more demanding random large-block transfer speed test, with 177 MB/sec read speeds and 43.5 MB/sec write speeds. I know that random write speed appears slow for USB-3.0, but compared to the competition, that is actually very fast. From what I gather, a 'random large-block transfer' write is very demanding.

I believe that super 'random large-block transfer' characteristics, made this SanDisk Extreme USB-3.0 memory stick very good for putting an operating system on .... at least for now (as I have no idea how long it will with stand the many read/writes associated with a GNU/Linux OS).

This is what I saw on my Toshiba when I first booted to the USB stick (with my pressing F12 to obtain this boot menu). Note this Toshiba has UEFI firmware with Secure boot.

After selecting the SanDisk to boot from, I then selected the liveKDE per this image below.

That gave me the KDE desktop.

One nice thing about the openSUSE-13.1 liveUSB image is one can update it !! I applied the openSUSE updates, right up to the current updates. I also added the Packman repository for 3rd party openSUSE applications and installed a number of multimedia applications from that. When one reboots to the liveUSB stick, all those installed apps and the desktop configuration are still present.

Given this is a USB stick, performance is very good. For example, boot time (from KDE selection to Desktop up) is 25 seconds to the USB-3.0 memory stick, which is not bad at all. That beats many hard drives on older PCs.

Here is what one see's for the USB stick from 'lsusb' :
Bus 004 Device 002: ID 0781:5580 SanDisk Corp. SDCZ80 Flash Drive
This is what the various temporary partitions look like when running from the USB memory stick:
linux@linux:~> df -Th
Filesystem     Type       Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
rootfs         rootfs      14G  3.8G  9.0G  30% /
devtmpfs       devtmpfs   2.9G   24K  2.9G   1% /dev
tmpfs          tmpfs      2.9G   88K  2.9G   1% /dev/shm
tmpfs          tmpfs      2.9G  224M  2.7G   8% /run
/dev/sdb2      udf        935M  935M     0 100% /livecd
/dev/loop7     squashfs   827M  827M     0 100% /read-only
/dev/sdb3      ext3        14G  3.8G  9.0G  30% /read-write
overlayfs      overlayfs   14G  3.8G  9.0G  30% /
tmpfs          tmpfs      2.9G     0  2.9G   0% /sys/fs/cgroup
tmpfs          tmpfs      2.9G  224M  2.7G   8% /var/run
tmpfs          tmpfs      2.9G  224M  2.7G   8% /var/lock
This is the partitioning of the memory stick with openSUSE installed (on sdb) :
Disk /dev/sdb: 15.7 GB, 15693664256 bytes, 30651688 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk label type: dos
Disk identifier: 0xa893698d

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdb1            4084       12275        4096   ef  EFI (FAT-12/16/32)
/dev/sdb2   *       12276     1929215      958470   83  Linux
/dev/sdb3         1929216    30650368    14360576+  83  Linux
Note that sda is the SSD drive on my Ultrabook.

Of course one of the reasons for fast performance, is my Ultrabook is a Core-i7. I reported on it here in this blog thread:

And here is the output of 'inxi -F' running from the liveUSB memory stick:
linux@linux:~> inxi -F
System:    Host: Kernel: 3.11.6-4-desktop x86_64 (64 bit) Desktop: KDE 4.11.5 Distro: openSUSE 13.1 (Bottle)
Machine:   System: TOSHIBA (portable) product: Satellite Z930 version: PT23LC-01300D
           Mobo: TOSHIBA model: Satellite Z930 version: Version A0 Bios: TOSHIBA version: Version 6.80 date: 06/25/2013
CPU:       Dual core Intel Core i7-3667U CPU (-HT-MCP-) cache: 4096 KB flags: (lm nx sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3 vmx) 
           Clock Speeds: 1: 2400.00 MHz 2: 2075.00 MHz 3: 2825.00 MHz 4: 2700.00 MHz
Graphics:  Card: Intel 3rd Gen Core processor Graphics Controller 
           X.Org: drivers: intel (unloaded: fbdev,vesa) Resolution: 1366x768@60.2hz 
           GLX Renderer: Mesa DRI Intel Ivybridge Mobile GLX Version: 3.0 Mesa 9.2.3
Audio:     Card: Intel 7 Series/C210 Series Family High Definition Audio Controller driver: snd_hda_intel 
           Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture ver: k3.11.6-4-desktop
Network:   Card-1: Intel 82579V Gigabit Network Connection driver: e1000e 
           IF: enp0s25 state: down mac: e8:e0:b7:73:c3:68
           Card-2: Intel Centrino Wireless-N 2230 driver: iwlwifi 
           IF: wlp2s0 state: up mac: 84:a6:c8:ad:ba:4c
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 271.8GB (1.8% used) 1: id: /dev/sda model: TOSHIBA_THNSNF25 size: 256.1GB 
           2: USB id: /dev/sdb model: Extreme size: 15.7GB 
Partition: ID: / size: 14G used: 3.8G (30%) fs: overlayfs 
RAID:      No RAID devices detected - /proc/mdstat and md_mod kernel raid module present
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 67.0C mobo: N/A 
           Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: N/A 
Info:      Processes: 187 Uptime: 0:04 Memory: 480.4/5873.8MB Client: Shell (bash) inxi: 1.9.18
Overall I am very impressed with the 64-bit openSUSE-13.1 KDE liveUSB running on this very fast USB-3.0 memory stick.

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  1. oldcpu's Avatar
    Some tuning that I did to this 64-bit openSUSE-13.1 liveUSB stick included:

    • switch on the firewall (it was OFF by default)
    • change the root password from < enter > to my own password for user 'root'
    • change the password for the user 'linux' to my own password for user 'linux'
    • add a new user oldcpu with my own password
    • block ssh access for root user
  2. tech9iner's Avatar
    THANKS as always for your reviews hero!

  3. akilliphone's Avatar
    I shall look forward to hearing from you and wish to thank you again for your courtesy.

    Best regards
  4. richwaters's Avatar
    Did you have to do anything special to run the updates? I keep getting messages to restart, for example. Other updates seemed to be downloading in the background, but were reporting 0 kb/s on the download speed.