When I load the LIVE version of Debian 11 (xfce edition),I can't login using the login and password live / user,but I should use root / root. On the preseed file I'm using root / root as login / password :

d-i passwd/root-password password root
d-i passwd/root-password-again password root

BUT,I have already tried to change the root password with another password,but it hasn't affected the live session. I still should use root /root otherwise it says "access denied". I'm confused. Where are stored the default user and password used by the LIVE session ? and most of all,why has this information been removed ? I think that I haven't modified it by my own will.

In other terms,when I boot the LIVE session I should enter root/root. I don't want to do this. I want that xfce starts automatically like it happens with the untouched ISO image. Instead, on my case,I have modified something that I'm not able to realize and for this reason xfce does not start automatically anymore,but I should enter root/root (in the LIVE session).

If you look on internet you will read that the default login and password for the Debian live is user / live. So there was at least some Debian live systems that used or use them. If Debian 11 xfce edition does not use user / live,there is another question to solve : why in my case xfce does not start automatically (but it requires login and password) as it does on the unaltered ISO image ? and what should I do to enable the automatic login for xfce in the LIVE session ? Thanks.

  • Are you using a basic live (live-only) system or a persistent live system?
    – sudodus
    Oct 29, 2022 at 19:38
  • basic live only system.
    – Marietto
    Oct 30, 2022 at 13:37

1 Answer 1


Live (live-only) system

You cannot save anything (make it survive shutdown and/or reboot) in a live-only system. What you can do is modify the system before or during cloning it to the drive, but it can be complicated. A previous version of Will Haley's blog post taught me the basics of how to do it. But it takes some time and sweat to do it that way.

You can try with a persistent live system.

It is possible not only to save data files, but also installed program packages and various settings. For example, you can create a new user with a custom password or modify the password of an existing user. But you cannot modify what is initiated before the overlay structure of the persistence is activated: The kernel and the kernel drivers.

It is possible to use mkusb (dus-persistence) and mkusb-plug to create a persistent live drive with Debian 11. See the following links,

How to create a Debian live USB with persistence?



  • ---> What you can do is modify the system before : yes,I want to learn how to modify the ISO image to enable again the automatic login for xfce without enter root/root as a combination of login and password. Do you have some guide to suggest ?
    – Marietto
    Oct 30, 2022 at 14:35
  • There are methods to create a custom iso file. Basically what you do is to create an own Linux distro, or if a smaller modification, a 'respin'. There are tools for that purpose, and I know that Cubic is such a tool for Ubuntu (search the internet for Linux Cubic). I would think that there is some similar tool that works with the current version of Debian, but I don't know. Let us hope that people who know will chip in and share their methods.
    – sudodus
    Oct 30, 2022 at 16:12
  • A previous version of Will Haley's blog post taught me the basics of how to do it. But it takes some time and sweat to do it that way ...
    – sudodus
    Oct 30, 2022 at 16:35
  • I know cubic,yes. what I don't know is where debian stores the login and password for the live session and the setting that enable / disable the automatic login inside xfce.
    – Marietto
    Oct 30, 2022 at 19:10
  • See how Will Haley is setting the root password before exiting chroot.
    – sudodus
    Oct 30, 2022 at 20:58

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