Installation of MeX Linux to a USB stick
(To perform the installations you must be root)
The MeX ISO is now a ISO-hybrid,
which means that it can very easily be transferred (copied) to a
USB pen drive. You can then even run MeX from the USB stick and
save all your system changes on the stick. I.e. you will enjoy persistence!
A) "Normal" installation without
MeX Linux can be installed/transferred to a USB stick
directly from the ISO file. It might be good to use this method
if your computer lacks a CD/DVD drive, or if you just prefer to
run Linux systems from a USB stick.This is the way to perform
1. Boot up a Linux system (Ubuntu or...) and
download the ISO file mex-64bit-16.04.1-cinnamon-refracta-1000mb-161030.iso
2. Open up a terminal and cd to the folder where the ISO file is
3. Insert a USB stick and make sure which name it was given
(/dev/sdb1 or /dev/sdc1 or ...)
4. Run the installation command cp
5. Then run the command sync
NOTE1: It is not
necessary to format the USB stick.
NOTE2: Do not use /dev/sda. (You
will then delete the partition on which you probably have a
NOTE3: You shall not write /dev/sdb1
(which is easy to believe).
After following the instruction 1 - 5:
Restart your computer with the USB stick in place and change the
BIOS so that the
computer in the first place is booting from the USB stick.
NOTE4: If the above described method
doesn't work for you, you should try with another USB stick.
(Another brand). All different versions of SanDisk
are known to work very well. See also below.
B) Installation with perfect persistence using the regular installation program Refracta
Do it like this:
1. Start up MeX from a
DVD and log in as root.
2. Insert a USB stick of 8GB, 16GB or 32GB and format the stick as
ext4. Use GParted
(installed in MeX) for that so you can be absolutely sure that the
stick is known as /dev/sdb or /dev/sdc or…
3. Start Refracta Installer from Menu >> Administration
>> Refracta Instraller . Be sure to choose the Installation
4. Then choose your USB stick (/dev/sdb1, /dev/sdc1 or…) to
install to and set the mount point to /. No need
to format the stick again. Be sure not to choose
/dev/sda as “Device for boot loader installation”. The correct
place is /dev/sdb, /dev/sdc or…I.e. on the stick!
5. Again be sure to install the boot loader (Grub2) to the USB
6. Start the installation and follow the instructions.
Watch this slideshow! It is
made for LFA (Linux For All),
but the installation works in the same way for MeX.
C) Using Refracta2USB
(pre-installed in MeX)
You can install MeX to USB while
running MeX live (from DVD) using a script called Refracta2USB.
It's a bit complicated but it should work. When you start
Refracta2USB it will look
Error messages when running from USB
Common error message when trying to run MeX from an USB stick: (initramfs)
mount: mounting /dev/loop0 on //filesystem.squashfs failed:
Invalid argument. Can not mount /dev/loop0
(/cdrom/casper/filesystem.squashfs) on //filesystem.squashfs
Solution: Try with another USB stick (another
It appears that not all USB sticks are suitable for topical
they can not be made bootable. I
myself have experience of brands Kingston DataTraveler,
SanDisk Extreme USB 3.0 and Sony Micro Vault. The
first two works (for me). You
shall not use USB sticks of older model. They
may work, but mostly bad. If
you - after the installation of MeX to the USB stick - get
different error messages (see above) when you try to run the
system from the stick it is often because the stick is not
B) Alternatives in Windows
The installation can also be done in Windows with Rufus
(Create bootable USB drives the easy way). Download
Rufus. Rufus will recognize your inserted USB stick automatically
(but check it carefully anyway). Find your downloaded ISO file and
start Rufus. The created MeX USB stick with Rufus will work
perfectly! Just restart your computer and have fun! NOTE:
Persistence won’t be enabled. For persistence you have to follow
my advice’s under B).
You can also use UNetbootin
in Windows or Linux. See a picture
how it looks before the installation starts in Windows 10. There's
other ways to do it, but using UNetbootin is the best/safest way.
I.e. if you want to do the installation to a USB stick in Windows.
However, if you want to install MeX to hard drive you will have to
run the system from a dvd disc during installation or install MeX
to USB the way I describe in paragraph A). If you use Startup
Disk Creator in Linux to transfer MeX to USB it is also
possible to install MeX to hard drive later on from the USB stick.
To be able to run your computer from the USB stick you’ll
have to change the BIOS
settings. For example from UEFI
boot. View this screenshot
from one of my computers. As you can see I’m using SanDisk
Cruzer Blade. Works very well (and you can buy it for about 7 $).