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

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: 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.

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

THANKS as always for your reviews hero!


I shall look forward to hearing from you and wish to thank you again for your courtesy.

Best regards

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.