In the old days, when I made a USB live installer for Ubuntu, it used to be formatted with
fat32, and so I could have copied arbitrary files (say, pictures) on it, and use the same USB thumbdrive to both install Ubuntu, and to copy these files.
Unfortunately, something changed in the meantime; so now, when I use
usb-creator-gtk to “flash” an Ubuntu Live CD .iso image to a USB thumbdrive, the format is
iso9660, which is read-only, so I cannot copy files to the thumbdrive anymore. What is worse, I cannot even shrink this partition and make a new
fat32 partition: this is what I get in
gparted for the USB thumbdrive (on Ubuntu 18.04) …:
… that is, “Resize/Move” (partition) is grayed out – after “flashing” it with either
mkusb (with “Install (make a boot device)” -> and either “Cloning iso file, [compressed] image file or device” or “‘Live only’ or linux installer from iso file” options) — or
usb-creator-gtk. (and if I unmount
/dev/sdc1, then neither
gnome-disks see any partitions here;
gnome-disks simply says “No Media”)
This irritates me to no end – because the damn unresizeable iso9660 partition takes up the entirety of the USB disk (here 3.71 GB), whereas the actual usage of files for the installer is but:
$ du -hs /media/Ubuntu-MATE\ 18.04.3\ LTS\ amd64/ 1.9G /media/Ubuntu-MATE 18.04.3 LTS amd64/
So, nearly 2GB goes to waste!! And I could have very well used that to copy my pictures!
Now, I’m aware that I can use
mkusb to create a “Live Persistent” USB, in which case I get three partitions – one bootable with the Live CD, one for persistent storage, and one extra
fat partition that can be used to copy files – the thing is, I do not want a persistent USB in this case, especially since when I run the Ubuntu installer in that case, it tells me that it wants to change two partitions: the partition on the hard drive, where I want to install Ubuntu – and some other partition, likely either the persistent or the exchange one, on the USB thumbdrive – and then I really do not feel confident in continuing the installation.
So, my question is – what other options do I have, to have a proper Live USB Ubuntu installer – and an extra partition for copying arbitrary files (without persistent storage)?
mkusb and tried to drag the slider for persistent storage to 0% – unfortunately, the minimum is 1%.
I’ve seen https://superuser.com/questions/1192620/how-to-shrink-resize-32gb-usb-flash-drive-with-2gb-partition-into-2gb-image-file which implies you can use
dd with specific byte/sector count; but then, it turns out,
mkusb uses this (when not making other partitions):
< "/media/mydisk/ubuntu-mate-18.04.3-desktop-amd64.iso" pv -s 2003435520 | dd bs=4096 of=/dev/sdc
… so even if the progress monitor is set to 100% for 1.9GB – the end result (the iso9660 partition) still takes up the entire drive.
- I’ve seen How to convert an usb iso9660 filesystem to ext4 and the answer is:
There’s no Easy Way to do this. It will be less stressful to re-create your Kubuntu USB with “persistent storage”.
… but as I said, I do not want persistent storage.
- I’ve seen Can I format and use the "free space" to the right of my Bootable USB stick's partition table? where the the initial answer is:
The only use for a SDC install nowadays is for making an installer drive.
… but I mean – why? Why throw away 2GB of space that I could have otherwise used? (and otherwise, the answer is “make persistent USB”, but as I said, I do not want that)
I’ve seen Ubuntu live usb with extra storage partition – recommends Windows software LiLi http://www.linuxliveusb.com/ – but it does not detect my thumbdrive under Wine, even when formatted as FAT32
I’ve seem https://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/linux-newbie-8/how-to-create-bootable-usb-with-multiple-partitions-4175602849/ which recommends YUMI ( https://www.pendrivelinux.com/yumi-multiboot-usb-creator/ ), but that is Windows software, and it does not detect my USB thumb drive on Ubuntu 18.04 under Wine.
So, are there any options left here, so I can have an extra partition on a Ubuntu Live USB stick, without persistent storage, so I can just copy files?