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-cinnamon3-isoh-960mb-160630.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 Ubiquity
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 Ubiquity from Menu >> Administration >>
Install MeX . Be sure to choose the Installation type “Something
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.
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) Alternative in Windows
You can as an alternative to the above
mentioned commands use Linux
Live USB creator (LiLi) in Windows. When using it it will
look like this. Persistence
can't be enabled though. Be sure to
go to OPTIONS and choose/force "Recognized
Linux" as Ubuntu 16.04 before starting the installation.
You can also use UNetbootin
in Windows or Linux. See a picture
how it looks before the installation starts in Windows 10. NOTE:
You must replace syslinux.cfg
in the root of the stick with this
file. (Also so you can enjoy persistence
and run MeX in RAM). 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 $).