I have Elementary OS on my 2 GB USB Stick. I burned the ISO file on the USB Stick using Rufus. Unlike other softwares, Rufus doesn't have Persistence option. Now I want to use the remaining space to make Elementary OS persistent. How can I do that without re-burning the OS with different software?

Note: I created the USB Stick using Windows 7.


Based on [https://askubuntu.com/questions/295701/what-would-be-the-differences-between-a-persistent-usb-live-session-and-a-instal], you cannot use a 2GB flash drive to make a "persistent live usb installation". This page is about Ubuntu but to my knowledge Elementary OS is Ubuntu based, so it must apply to Elementary OS too. According to the article you would need a 4GB flash drive to do such an installation. Secondly the only real advantage of a persistent live installation would be to be portable between different computers, I suppose it is this what you are after? See discussion:
Live iso distributions are created to boot from read-only media such as a cd and thus are largely memory oriented. There is a way to copy your live system into a persistent new system but you will definitely need to use at least a second flash disk to install it into and follow the instructions in:
But to me it seems too much of a fuss to so it for other than educational purposes (i.e. to learn better linux inner-workings and filesystem structure).
I would opt for an easier solution such as :
1) make a real peristent live usb installation using unetbootin
2) make a portable virtualbox based installation which can also be copied into a usb disk and be ported to other computers. This would be done by installing Elementary OS into a virtualbox created virtual machine and then export it as a virtual appliance or simply copy it as is into the usb drive. Though in the latter case you might face some issues when opening it from another computer.


There is a very simple way to create a fully persistent USB of eOS. You will simply require the following:-

-Windows PC -Oracle VM VirtualBox (free) -Copy of the eOS .ISO -A 32gb+ Pendrive (I use a SanDisk 32GB)

All you need to do it configure a new virtual machine with a virtual HDD greater than 9gb. In settings, be sure to enable USB support also. Set that up, and set the boot image to be the eOS ISO file you already have. Boot up the VM to the installation screen. With your USB attached, follow the instructions until you get to the screen suggesting YOU WILL DESTROY ALL DATA ETC ETC and select the bottom option. It's along the lines of "do something else". The next screen allows you to assign partitions. You should see your USB listed as a drive (Linux detects SanDisk thumbdrives at actual drives) and you can go ahead and partition it up. I recommend and 8gb root, a 4gb swap and the rest assigned to home. If you're not sure how to do this, check out the method detailed here. The partition set up is the same.


That's it essentially. Restart, boot from legacy mode using the USB and you're done. I'm not sure if UEFI can be incorporated here, but I just disable it to use Linux anyway.

  • Please note that this isn't an answer to the OP question (a full install is not the same as a persistent install and this process doesn't avoid reinstallation as he requested). With that said, this a good explanation of a possible alternative. – Diego V May 24 '19 at 10:07

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