Crossposting it here after advice on the askUbuntu site; my hard drive just died, my network connection is very slow (typing it over Tor under Tails probably doesn't help), so I want to be 100% sure I'm downloading the right image (latest desktop xubuntu x64 installer), and thus I'm asking it in advance here rather than test some myself.
For 'Yesterday', I need a fully functional linux distro to run from a usb stick until I get a replacement drive from support. By fully functional I mean:
- root access (in particular package manager) (mandatory)
- persistence of everything, especially installed software on the said usb (mandatory),
- full access to hardware on which it is being run (mandatory),
- system-agnostic, i.e. can boot on any modern machine and autoconfigure network, etc., '''regardless''' of the settings of the machine on which persistance was enabled (highly desirable)
- encrypted partitions (at least /home) support (highly desirable)
- debian/ubuntu based (preferable - no time to relearn yaml or RedHat architecture)
This is a somewhat different use-case from both a 'try-before-you-buy' live-usb, and normal-user oriented, browser-centric 'safe' distributions, persistence or not. What I need is probably closer to a 'normal' installation for developers, but completely hardware independent. I'm not sure if in fact full '''installation''' of xubuntu on that usb wouldn't be the best solution, as I don't know what is actually persisted in the live mode, and to what degree booted system can adapt to architecture changes between restarts. As I said, I'm typing this from Tails which is great for carrying around and occasional browsing, but a huge overkill for any prolonged work, with a high risk of losing something between sessions.
Any advice here (especially suggesting better suited distros/installers) would be highly appreciated!