Software & AppsOperating SystemLinux

How To Create a Live USB on a 2-Partition USB Drive

Ubuntu 15

Creating a Live USB with two partitions can be a handy tool for system administrators. It allows you to boot into a live environment and also have a separate partition for storage. This article will guide you through the process step-by-step.

Quick Answer

To create a live USB on a 2-partition USB drive, you will need to use tools like GParted and UNetbootin. First, partition the USB drive into two partitions – one for the live environment and one for storage. Then, use UNetbootin to install the live USB onto the first partition. You can then boot into the live environment and use the second partition for storage.

Prerequisites

Before we start, ensure you have the following:

  • A USB drive with enough space (at least 4GB)
  • A computer with a working internet connection
  • The ISO file for the operating system you want to install on the Live USB

Step 1: Partitioning the USB Drive

The first step is to partition the USB drive. For this, we will use a tool called GParted, which is a free and open-source partition editor.

  1. Install GParted on your system. If you’re using Ubuntu, you can install it via the terminal with the following command:
sudo apt-get install gparted
  1. Launch GParted and select your USB drive from the drop-down menu at the top right.
  2. Delete all existing partitions on the USB drive. Be careful to select the correct drive as this will erase all data on the selected drive.
  3. Create the first partition for the Live USB. This should be at least 2GB and can be formatted as ext4 or FAT32.
  4. Create the second partition for storage. This can take up the remaining space on the drive and can be formatted as FAT32 or NTFS for compatibility with Windows.

Step 2: Installing the Live USB

Next, we will install the Live USB onto the first partition. For this, we will use a tool called UNetbootin, which is a free and open-source Live USB creator.

  1. Install UNetbootin on your system. If you’re using Ubuntu, you can install it via the terminal with the following command:
sudo apt-get install unetbootin
  1. Launch UNetbootin and select the ISO file for the operating system you want to install.
  2. In the “Type” section, select “USB Drive”, and in the “Drive” section, select the first partition on your USB drive.
  3. Click “OK” to start the installation. This may take a few minutes.

Step 3: Using the Live USB

Once the installation is complete, you can boot into the Live USB environment by restarting your computer and selecting the USB drive as the boot device. This process will vary depending on your computer’s BIOS settings, but typically involves pressing a key (such as F12 or F2) during startup.

The second partition on the USB drive will be accessible as regular storage when you plug in the USB drive. It can be used to store files and can be accessed from both the Live USB environment and other computers.

Conclusion

Creating a Live USB with two partitions can be a useful tool for system administrators and power users. It allows you to boot into a live environment for troubleshooting or system installation, while also providing a separate partition for storage. With the right tools and steps, you can easily create your own dual-partition Live USB.

How much space should I allocate for the first partition?

The first partition, which will be used for the Live USB, should be at least 2GB in size.

Can I use a USB drive with less than 4GB of space?

It is recommended to use a USB drive with at least 4GB of space to ensure there is enough room for the Live USB and storage partition.

Can I use a different partition editor instead of GParted?

Yes, you can use other partition editors such as Disk Management on Windows or Disk Utility on macOS. Just make sure to follow similar steps to create two partitions.

Can I use a different tool instead of UNetbootin to install the Live USB?

Yes, there are other tools available for creating Live USBs, such as Rufus or Etcher. The steps may vary slightly, but the general process is the same.

Can I use the Live USB on multiple computers?

Yes, the Live USB can be used on multiple computers as long as they support booting from a USB drive. Keep in mind that some computers may require changes to the BIOS settings to enable booting from USB.

Can I save files and settings on the Live USB?

The Live USB environment is typically read-only, so any changes made during the session will not be saved. However, you can save files and settings to the second partition, which can be accessed as regular storage.

Can I update the operating system on the Live USB?

Yes, you can update the operating system on the Live USB just like you would on a regular installation. However, keep in mind that the updates will only be applied to the Live USB environment and not the underlying system.

Can I use the Live USB to install the operating system on a computer?

Yes, the Live USB can be used as a tool to install the operating system on a computer. Simply boot from the Live USB and follow the installation process provided by the operating system.

Can I create more than two partitions on the USB drive?

Yes, you can create more than two partitions on the USB drive if needed. However, keep in mind that the first partition should be used for the Live USB, and the second partition is typically used for storage.

Can I use a different file system for the partitions?

Yes, you can use different file systems for the partitions. The first partition for the Live USB can be formatted as ext4 or FAT32, while the second partition for storage can be formatted as FAT32 or NTFS for compatibility with Windows.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *