I'm working on making an ISO image I can burn to a USB device as a live system. In order to install to the internal drive of the system that booted the live USB, I have an icon on the desktop to launch the installer.

After installation, I want to remove the icon. In order to do this, I was going to make a script that detected whether the system was running as a live USB or was actually installed. Is there a way to detect this from BASH?


  • Basically, no guarantees 'cause no actual difference. But can be detected by detect the property of the device your root filesystem reside on, like a overlayfs with the lower fs on a loop device which is on a USB device. udevadm might help. – 炸鱼薯条德里克 Sep 25 '18 at 23:39

You can examine the entry for the root file system in /proc/mounts. If you boot from CD, you likely use iso9660 as a file system and have a device like /dev/sr0.

Of course, you can just create a file somewhere as part of the installation and use the presence of this file as an indicator.

  • that /dev/sr0 helped me get to me what I figured out I could do. So thanks! – Batcastle Sep 26 '18 at 13:02

I found that you can do lsblk | grep 'sr0' and if it finds that sr0 then more than likely it is running as a live usb. Even if it is actually installed with a live usb plugged in that sr0 only shows up if the live usb is actually booted.

  • The sr0 is a CD, not USB storage. Instead of grep, you could use lsblk /dev/sr0. I get a line for sr0 just for having a CD drive, without even a CD being present in the drive. – RalfFriedl Sep 27 '18 at 6:38

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