Installation of ExLight to a USB stick
(To perform the installations you must be root)
The ExLight ISO is now a ISO-hybrid, which means that it can very easily be transferred (copied) to a USB pen drive. You can then even run ExLight from the USB stick and save all your system changes on the stick. I.e. you will enjoy persistence!
A) A “normal” installation without persistence
ExLight can be installed/transferred to a USB stick directly from the ISO file. It might be good to use this method if your computer lacks a CD/DVD drive, or if you just prefer to run Linux systems from a USB stick.This is the way to perform the installation:
1. Boot up a Linux system (Ubuntu or…) and download the ISO file exlight-64bit-e20-refracta-isoh-nvidia-1420mb-170105.iso
2. Open up a terminal and cd to the folder where the ISO file is
3. Insert a USB stick and make sure which name it was given (/dev/sdb1 or /dev/sdc1 or …)
4. Run the installation command cp exlight-64bit-e20-refracta-isoh-nvidia-1420mb-170105.iso /dev/sdb
5. Then run the command sync
B) Installation with perfect persistence
Installation with perfect persistence using the regular installation program Refracta Installer.
Do it like this:
1. Start up ExLight from a DVD and log in as exlight or root.
2. Insert a USB stick of 8GB, 16GB or 32GB and format the stick as ext4. Use GParted (installed in ExLight) for that so you can be absolutely sure that the stick is known as /dev/sdb or /dev/sdc or…
3. Start Refracta Installer from Menu >> System >> Refracta Installer . Be sure to choose the Installation type “Expert Installation”.
4. Choose to install Grub in MBR on /dev/sdb. (Normally your USB stick, but check it carefully!) I.e. you will get a chance to choose between /dev/sda and /dev/sdb or /dev/sdc or.. – see this screenshot. The correct place is /dev/sdb, /dev/sdc or…I.e. on the stick.
5. Again be sure to install the boot loader (Grub2) to the USB stick.
6. Finally you’ll get the chance to choose the install partition for the system – see this screenshot. Choose /dev/sdb1, /dev/sdc1 or…Start the installation and follow the instructions.
7. Watch the slideshow below showing the installation process. It’s for LFA (Linux for all), but it works in the same way in ExLight.
Watch this slideshow (Install method B)
NOTE1: Do not use /dev/sda. (You will then delete the partition on which you probably have a Windows system).
NOTE2: You shall not write /dev/sdb1 (which is easy to believe).
After following the instruction 1 – 5 or 1-6:
Restart your computer with the USB stick in place and change the BIOS so that the computer in the first place is booting from the USB stick.
NOTE3: This way to transfer/install ExLight to a USB stick works perfectly. See this Boot menu.
NOTE4: If the above described methods doesn’t work for you, you should try with another USB stick. (Another brand). All different versions of SanDisk are known to work very well. See also below.
Error messages when running from USB
Common error message when trying to run ExLight from an USB stick: (initramfs) mount: mounting /dev/loop0 on //filesystem.squashfs failed: Invalid argument. Can not mount /dev/loop0 (/cdrom/casper/filesystem.squashfs) on //filesystem.squashfs
Solution: Try with another USB stick (another brand). NOTE: It appears that not all USB sticks are suitable for topical purposes. I.e. they can not be made bootable. I myself have experience of brands Kingston DataTraveler, SanDisk Extreme USB 3.0 and Sony Micro Vault. The first two works (for me). You shall not use USB sticks of older model. They may work, but mostly bad. If you – after the installation of ExLight to the USB stick – get different error messages (see above) when you try to run the system from the stick it is often because the stick is not “good enough”.
Alternatives in Windows
You can as an alternative to the above mentioned commands use Rufus in Windows. Persistence can’t be enabled though. You can also use UNetbootin in Windows or Linux. There’s other ways to do it, but using UNetbootin is the best/safest way. I.e. if you want to do the USB installation of ExLight in Windows. However, if you want to install ExLight to hard drive you will have to run the system from a dvd disc during installation or install ExLight to USB the way I describe in paragraph A) or use Rufus.
To be able to run your computer from the USB stick you’ll have to change the BIOS settings. For example from UEFI to Legacy boot. View this screenshot from one of my computers. As you can see I’m using SanDisk Cruzer Blade. Works very well (and you can buy it for about 7 $).