Suse Live on USB pendrive questions

Hi dear forum members,
I am not sure if I’m in the right forum with this, but I hope so…

I have created a Live USB stick with a second partition as instructed on Live USB stick - openSUSE
and it works so far.
However, I have a couple of problems and I hope someone can assist me solving them.

  1. I have set up my DSL connection and every time I boot, it connects automatically as it should do. It runs a while, then the connection breaks and it is impossible to reconnect manually. If I reboot, its connected again. Thats bothering. What could cause that and what could be the reason that I can’t reconnect manually e.g. what can I do here?

  2. I am unable to install any rpm package. It starts downloading the selected packages and on installing it stops with an error message (Fatal error…) I forgot to make a note of it, so I don’t remember the exact error.
    Is the Live system despite the second partition unable to install anything? Or does it need an additional setting somewhere (if so, I would be grateful if someone could give me instructions)?

Thanks a lot in advance for any help

Well what are you using the second partition for? How is it mounted? Just having a second partition does nothing.

The CD and thus the USB runs from a file system that is in memory. So this does not work like a real install and new software probably won’t install and if it does it won’t be persistent.

Thats actually explaind here
Live USB stick - openSUSE

The second partition is not mounted, it is created using a script (not like the usual way of creating partitions!) as explained at the above site, and its sole purpose is to create a persistency. With it any settings are being kept and not lost after reboot, also, storing files in the home folder are also saved and not lost. Its for making the Live USB persistent unlike a Live CD, so the USB stick is portable AND keeps settings and files.
Thats why I would assume that one could also install new packages.

Problem was solved by creating partitions with GParted (as can be read → here.)

When crossposting, please link to the other threads as well.

I assume you are right, bine - after all, it is a live-System. Those usually are not able to install packages persistent, even though you can store settings and the like.



let us see how this second partition is mounted.

This is not a “real” partition - said that above. I don’t know how this works, but I think, its kind of a “virtual” partition, i.e. it is not formatted, so has no real filesystem. It is only for making the Live system persistent. If it would be a real mountable partition, it would not do anything, since the Live system would not know that it can use it for saving changes, one could only mount it and store files in it, but no system settings.
Quote from Suse instructions page (see above link):

By default, your USB stick will behave like a live cd: when you poweroff, all data are gone. By creating a new partition which the Live system is able to write to, openSUSE becomes portable: an operating system that you can use on any computer. # With the following instructions, a new /dev/sdb2 partition will be created to save your changes.

openSUSE will transparently use the new partition to store data, but you will see the live system as one big file system.

Therefore one cannot mount this partition. You see all directories such as etc, usr, …home just as usual in the root directory, but whatever is stored there is being kept, using the 2nd partition.
Fdisk gives:

Disk /dev/sdf: 8367 MB, 8367636480 bytes
64 heads, 32 sectors/track, 7980 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 2048 * 512 = 1048576 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x651d5702

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sdf1 * 1 678 694272 83 Linux
/dev/sdf2 679 7980 7477248 83 Linux

But it cannot be mounted, getting an error about bad blocks etc. since its not a real partition and not formatted (no filesystem).

However, the purpose of this is to keep also installations and updates, so I am sure, one can install new packages.
When I booted the system the first time, I started some new installs and without error messages. Unfortunately in the middle of the process the dsl connection broke and with it the yast installer wasn’t able to continue downloading.
The only thing it could finish was flash player - which is now installed and still there after several reboots, so it sure works - but when I try to install anything now, I am getting that fatal error.

The actual problem is

  1. the instable dsl connection and why it cannot be reconnected manually and
  2. the error now on trying to install new packages.

No I think you have to be wrong about this:

But it cannot be mounted, getting an error about bad blocks etc. since its not a real partition and not formatted (no filesystem).

It has to be a real partition on the USB stick, with a proper file system, so that stuff can be installed in it. The fact that, when the Live USB starts and mounts additional partitions (your second partition in this case), you get one single file system does not mean the addition partition(s) are(is) virtual.

I can run PartedMagic on a system which produces a file system completely in memory. I can them mount partitions from the actual hard disks at mount points located in that memory resident file system. It will then look like one complete file structure.

The reason, I think, you are having problems is because the file system on your second partition has become corrupted, as evidenced by the bad blocks message. It could be your USB stick is on the way out. On obvious strategy is to try and get all valuable data off the second partition and then recreate it.

When you run the script, as per the USB How To, you fill the partition with null characters. This is probably used as a flag by the Live CD system to format the partition with ext4 (probably). If the first couple of blocks of the partition are not nulls the Live CD will assume the partition contains valid data and leave it alone.

So do as gogalthorp suggest and try and mount. You could also do a:

parted -l

command which will indicate what the file system on the second partition is supposed to be.

Well that is my 5 cents worth. Hope that helps.

A partition can be mounted anywhere in the file system mounted. So /home can be on the root partition or some other.

the mount command (no parameters) will list all mounted partitions and their mount points.