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: SDB:Live USB stick - openSUSE Wiki. 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: openSUSE Forums
And here is the output of ‘inxi -F’ running from the liveUSB memory stick:
linux@linux:~> inxi -F System: Host: linux.site 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: 188.8.131.521 drivers: intel (unloaded: fbdev,vesa) Resolution: email@example.com 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.