Create a persistent Debian Live USB Flash Drive

Debian logoFor a hobby project I have recently build a new computer system. This system is setup only for mining altcoins using three ATI Radeon 7950 graphics cards. I decided to make use of an unused USB Flash Drive for two reasons. Because it is cheap and less power hungry then a conventional hard drive.

Make & model: Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 Gen2 32GB Flash Drive

Fast — data transfer rates for USB 3.0 to 100MB/s read and
70MB/s write; USB 2.0 = 30MB/s read and 30MB/s write

Being my favourite Linux distro for hosting 24×7 services I chose to go with the latest release of Debian Live. I picked the standard (text based) flavor, because a desktop is such a waste running a headless system. The standard image does not boot with full persistence, has no auto boot, uses DHCP and cannot shutdown or reboot without user interaction (prompt for USB reject). To allow all this, I modified some parameters and described the steps below.


Fresh HDD space arrived

WD30EZRXTwo years have past since I installed two 2TB disks on my home server. Last week I squeezed out the remaining bytes of my data volume, so I ordered two brand new 3TB Western Digital harddisks (WD30EZRX) to replace the current 2TB ones. Two things prevented an upgrade as easy as the previous one. First I wanted to do a clean install of Debian 7.1 “Wheezy” and secondly wanted to switch to UEFI boot and GPT, so I had to create a new partition table and a new EFI boot partition.

System specification (before upgrade):

  • Intel DQ67EPB3 board
  • Debian 6.0.7 “Squeeze”
  • 2x WD20EARS (in software RAID1 and LVM2)


Sensors on Intel DQ67EP

On my previous board I was using the information from lm-sensors for Cacti and phpSysInfo, so after upgrading to a new system board it turned out lm-sensors did not work out of the box for my Intel motherboard DQ67EP. A sensors-detect gave me the following information:

Now follows a summary of the probes I have just done.

Driver `to-be-written’:
* ISA bus, address 0x290
Chip `Nuvoton W83677HG-I Super IO Sensors’ (confidence: 9)

Note: there is no driver for Nuvoton W83677HG-I Super IO Sensors yet.
Check for updates.

Doing some research it turned out I had to install a separate driver as kernel module on my Debian 6.0.6 (Squeeze) system. You can find the driver on this website.