Update of live-images

did anyone try to update a live image of TW? My best guess is that ‘zypper dup’ will not do it, but that some additional kiwi stuff may be required

Yes, I did it, it worked just fine up to kernel/bootloader. In live images kernel is not in “standard” location (i.e. /boot), it is loaded from separate partition. Live image is configured with “no bootloader”, so after new kernel installation any post-processing that actually makes system to use this kernel is skipped.

It may be possible to manually generate initrd and copy kernel/initrd to actual location, but this will likely require extra dracut configuration to include modules needed for live image (I’m not sure if they are even installed by default).

Same problem with bootloader.

Given that both kernel and bootloader are updated rather frequently on TW, this makes it somewhat less than optimal. If you find solution please describe it for others. One possibility would be dummy RPM that provides trigger scripts to run after kernel/bootloader update.

Yes, the kernel/bootloader is the expected issue. Leap would be the better alternative, but they have no XFCE Live Image. I’m looking for a halfway lightweight desktop to create a live system for someone a bit scared to use his PC (not running Linux) for banking etc. But that needs updates from time to time as well

Doesn’t the Leap live rescue CD use XFCE?

Why not simply install on USB stick (or any other external drive)? You can chose whatever software and desktop you need.

I installed on a SanDisk SSD U100 64GB in February and successfully updated today. There is some thermal throttling. But duping on a USB stick is as smooth as on SSD.

Yes it does (as I just found out), but it is quite outdated as well (December 2019).

Why not simply install on USB stick (or any other external drive)? You can chose whatever software and desktop you need.

Honestly, I did not consider this as a solution. But as karlmistelberger wrote, it seems to work. Probably not as smooth as SSD (USB-2 is quite limited in transfer speed), but if that works…good. Will give it a try!


Make sure to find good quality USB stick. I recently needed quick testing and used live on gift USB (simply because it was the only one with sufficient capacity lying around). Booting alone took about 15 minutes. And when I had to install additional packages I left it run over the night.

Honestly, I did not consider this as a solution.

Not sure I understand the difference between live USB and USB with installed OS after software was finally transferred to device.

The Sandisk Ultra Extrem is a fast USB 3.0 device:

erlangen:~ # hdparm -tT /dev/sdc

 Timing cached reads:   38442 MB in  1.98 seconds = 19370.13 MB/sec
 Timing buffered disk reads: 736 MB in  3.00 seconds = 245.21 MB/sec
erlangen:~ # 

System uses btrfs:

erlangen:~ # journalctl --directory /mnt/@/var/log/journal/ -b -u init.scope -o short-monotonic --grep Startup
-- Logs begin at Mon 2020-02-10 17:47:11 CET, end at Tue 2020-05-19 19:26:48 CEST. --
   22.656973] localhost systemd[1]: Startup finished in 1.530s (kernel) + 3.908s (initrd) + 17.217s (userspace) = 22.656s.
erlangen:~ # 

Optimized desktop (systemd-networkd, no plymouth):

erlangen:~ # journalctl -b -u init.scope -o short-monotonic --grep Startup
-- Logs begin at Wed 2020-05-20 13:44:02 CEST, end at Thu 2020-05-21 14:00:08 CEST. --
    5.830803] erlangen systemd[1]: Startup finished in 24min 35.332s (firmware) + 3.514s (loader) + 1.501s (kernel) + 2.070s (initrd) + 2.258s (userspace) = 24min 44.677s.
erlangen:~ # 

Note that if you install, the image is setup for a given machine. The live auto does mkinitrd or equivalent thus is better at detecting and running on different hardware.

I have Tumbleweed installed on a USB drive – an external hard drive, rather than a flash drive. It seems to boot fine on all of my computers. You could run

mkinitrd -A

to force all drivers into the “initrd” if having issues, but I have not found that to be a problem.

I have a 32GB m2.-> USB3.1 external SSD. Ran TW on it from a live image until I found out the kernel / initrd issue. I then installed from a second USB3 stick to the external SSD. The thing I paid some attention to was the GRUB2 config. But the thing I’ve been wondering ever since was exactly what the OP is asking about, i.e. make the image so that the kernel etc also can be updated,

Must say that performance wise there was no noticible difference between the live image and the installed system on the SSD.