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I would like to use Debian wherever I go by installing it on a USB flash drive, but I'm not sure how to make it save the settings and be able to install/update packages without loosing them on reboots.

So I downloaded a Hybrid ISO image from this link, and I followed the instructions in the FAQ:

dd if=image.iso of=/dev/sdb bs=4M; sync

This command copied the image to the flash drive by creating a partition which size is the same as the ISO image (1.3 GB out of 8GB), and the rest of the flash drive is unallocated.

I searched on how to do this, but every tutorial uses a different approach and some of them are outdated and talk about the old usb-hdd image.

So how should I install this hybrid image on the flash drive ?

How should I partition my flash drive to be able to install packages and save settings ? and how can I install this image without using dd ?

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Why don't you make a new installation of Debian choosing the usb device instead your HDD as the destination? What capacity does your usb have?

I have a Debian LXDE installed and runing in a 4GB usb memory stick, updating the system whenever I want and installing packages when I need them.

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It's an 8GB flash drive, I want to use GNOME, and thought that it would take a lot of space, and the GNOME live image is 1.3 GB only, but my HDD install is larger but I don't know exactly how much, which installation image did you use ? – Pierre Mar 10 '14 at 12:15
@Peter - 8GB should be fine for a default install. – slm Mar 10 '14 at 13:00
I used cdimage.debian.org/debian-cd/current-live/i386/iso-hybrid/…, since I wanted speed I picked lxde. You have a gnome image there too. Gnome from the usb may be a little bit slow, but if you have plenty of RAM, it will only be slow opening the apps the first time, next time they will open faster. Regarding space, obviously you will have reduce the number of apps you install in the usb to the ones you really use/need, and leave the rest for your home computer. – YoMismo Mar 10 '14 at 14:09
By the way, you may want to create your /tmp on your ram instead on your disk, you will only need to add the line tmpfs /tmp tmpfs nodev,nosuid,size=2G 0 0 to your fstab (change 2G for the size you want it to be and have in mind that the amount you assign to tmp won't be available for the rest of the apps) – YoMismo Mar 10 '14 at 14:13

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