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Linux Live USB Creator looks really promising, but mentions their persistence prevents updating the kernel and other system-level portions. Is there any way to install a Linux distro to a USB so it's fully updatable, bootable, and changes can persist?

Ideally it'd also avoid thrashing the flash drive and have a way to encrypt home or at least a Private folder. Long term support like CentOS or Ubuntu LTS would also help; though, not necessary in my case.

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Linux has USB support built into most kernels so installing to and booting from a USB drive is fine (unlike standard Windows installations which load USB drivers later in the boot process), you should be able to load up most distro's installers on one USB thumb drive, and install it to another USB thumb drive, and then use it just like a removable hard drive... Everything should be 'persistent' and the OS will treat the thumb drive essentially like a hard drive. I did this with Mint for some time before a 64GB thumb was just too small, but updates and other tweaks or changes were no problem and were stored as if the drive was a hard drive.

  • however, it won't work on "any" computer hardware configuration. – donlan Jan 13 '19 at 15:29
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One procedure to create an fully updatable Ubuntu, with the necessary EFI fix: https://meaningofstuff.blogspot.com/2019/09/linux-ubuntu-1904-full-install-on-usb.html

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