Normally I use my Kali Linux live usb boot using a 32gb usb stick. This time I wanted more space so I successfully wrote Kali Linux 2016 iso image onto a new 64gb stick using Win32DiskImager.

I have already created the persistence portion within the usb, using minitool partition wizard (much like one would do using gparted).

Now the persistence is located in my /dev/sd2 but every time I use the syntax to mount (mkdir and such and such), I then reboot and nothing is saving on this new usb. If anyone can give me the correct syntax to save everything for Kali 2016, would be very much appreciated.

  • What filesystem are you using? Is this SquashFS by any chance? Aug 27, 2016 at 16:14
  • /dev/sd2 as written in your question is an invalid name for a linux block device. maybe you have made this typo in other places too? Aug 27, 2016 at 16:55

2 Answers 2


I tried this - which successfully worked. So for anyone else who ever has trouble with this - here is one way to configure persistence to your live boot usb:

Assuming you have already burned your Kali Linux 2016 iso image onto your usb stick, and also assuming you have already created a partition through gparted - the following syntax applies. ((PS - after typing "fdisk -l" I found that my usb was located in "/dev/sdb/" and the persistence partition itself was located in "/dev/sdb2"))

So anyway type:

mkdir -p /mnt/my_usb

mount /dev/sdb2 /mnt/my_usb

echo "/ union" > /mnt/my_usb/persistence.conf

umount /dev/sdb2

--Then Reboot from the actual Boot Menu itself. --Choose Live Persistence once Kali is turned back on. --Then on your Desktop, you will see a drive that is named "persistence." Open the drive and a folder named persistence.conf will be seen. Open it up using a text editor (gedit/leafpad/ or whatever) and you will see the word UNION. Remove both of the quotation marks so it will look like this: / union. Save the folder and close it up. --Reboot again using the Boot Menu --Once turned back on through live persistence, create a folder and leave on Desktop as a test to see if usb will successfully save. --Reboot once again. Now you should be fine. Everything should now save onto your usb

  • I don't intend to test it but I don't get why you can't just put the right information in persistence.conf from the beginning. Aug 29, 2016 at 4:48
  • For whatever reason the persistence was not saving if I just entered / union. It wasn't until I put the quotations and manually removed them the second go around at rebooting, did I finally see everything working. Aug 29, 2016 at 19:07
  • I can confirm this works worked for me very well. I'm not sure why noone else is encountering this problem, but this has been the only workaround I've found on the Web so far
    – Xantium
    Jan 27, 2021 at 23:27

None of them tutorials or videos online work. Cause they other copied one another and they're wrong or they have different situation. For all those who have issues with using Kali USB persistence mode I have the solution and after many many hours of trying harder I finally did it and it worked.

Follow these steps assuming you already installed Kali weekly edition on a USB stick or hdd, using win32 software as advertised on Kali's documentation website. After installing Kali on a USB make sure you have a Linux swap partition.

The solution is

1) don't format the persistence partition using a windows software in windows os. Format it using Gparted from Kali. It will give you errors . Ignore them. To find gparted simply run it from terminal or from apps and type gparted then run it. Go for your USB partition and right click on it and format it using ext4 file system primary partition type and rename it persistence, with no capital letters whatsoever.

2) restart your laptop than you will see the persistence drive on your desktop.

3) run terminal and press this commands as we already all get used to following articles and videos. So,

mkdir -p /mnt/usb

mount /dev/sdc3 /mnt/usb

echo "/ union" > /mnt/usb/persistence.conf

umount /dev/sdc3

4) if the persistence drive is still there do the umount line until it disappears from desktop and explorer

5) reboot

6) create a folder on desktop and now everything should be saved after each restart including the Kali settings.


Please note sdc3 is my ext 4 partition, yours might be different. How to find out:

Open terminal and type in fdisk -l and find your USB drive and replace sdc3 accordingly.

Fdisk shows your drives, and -l lists them all.

Mkdir creates a new folder directory with the name and location you specify after it.

Mount mounts the drive which the Linux don't do it by heart automatically

Echo command line creates a text with the content / union and with the filename persistence.conf in the folder path specified by the user.

Umount un-mounts the partition specified.

Final note. If you don't format the persistence partition under Linux Debian , or own Kali , it will never work. Also the persistence should be all lowercase , and no missed spelling as Kali was setup to work under certain commands . Ext4 is the file system read by Debian Kali Linux

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