I can't set Knoppix 8.6 to persistence


New Member
Hello. I've been using Linux for years but I still consider my computing skills rudimentary so I need some help here.

My computer is currently lacking a hard disk and I thought it was not usable until I read about Knoppix - a Debian-based live Linux distro designed to function entirely on removable media, without a HD.

I bought a 32 GB USB stick just for the purpose of installing Knoppix and using it as my main system, but for some reason it doesn't save any data, changes, or documents after I reboot (I came to learn such saving is called persistence). I've found a couple of tutorials on the subject but those are either outdated (e.g. they refer to much older versions of Knoppix, not 8.6) or are too confusing and technical and don't go straight to the point, so I have the following questions:

1. Is there a way to make Knoppix 8.6 persistent?
2. Do I need another media besides my 32 GB USB stick (be it another USB stick, a flash drive, a DVD, or anything else) or is a single USB stick enough to make it persistent?
3. In a positive case, how exactly do I configure Knoppix 8.6 to save everything I do and keep it after reboot?

I am really in the need of a persistent system in the moment so any advice is welcome. Thank you.


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In non-computer terms, you are booting from "a" and telling it to create a persistent image "b".

Where can "b" go?

You might need 2 USB sticks?

As I keep telling people there can be 3 kinds of install to a USB stick:
1) Like a LiveCD
2) With persistence
3) Full install

What you have is type 1. What you are aiming at is type 2, With a 32Gb stick, you might have been better with type 3, to do a full install. Then all changes/additions will register.
Last edited:


Well-Known Member
1. Is there a way to make Knoppix 8.6 persistent?
2. Do I need another media besides my 32 GB USB stick (be it another USB stick, a flash drive, a DVD, or anything else) or is a single USB stick enough to make it persistent?
3. In a positive case, how exactly do I configure Knoppix 8.6 to save everything I do and keep it after reboot?
How did you create your Knoppix USB? Knoppix is different from most distros... for one, it is not designed to install to a hard drive, and you generally do not install or update the software on it. So I don't think @arochester's #3 suggestion will work with Knoppix.

But Knoppix also has it's own built-in persistence, although maybe that depends on how you create it. I made a Knoppix 8.6 USB using the Linux "dd" command. As a test, I just now booted on the USB and created a simple text file on the desktop. After rebooting.... the text file was still there. That shows persistence is working for me. This should save things like your WiFi password, browser bookmarks, etc.... but I'm not sure of its ability to install added software. If you need to add/update software... you may need to modify the /etc/apt/sources.list at least.
i've got Knoppix 8.? something. willl double check next time i boot it up. I installed it the simple way using a live knoppix CD that i got from Linux magazine ; in the menu there was is an entry install to usb. While doing it the options came up persistence ..single overlay ..I installed clamav , then ran #freshclam which gave no hicupps.
ah ...welcome to he club " How exactly do I do this?" that phrase i ask myself very frequently. So if i understand you correctly you booted up the Knoppix OS and used it to create a file, then you placed this file on your pc at location /home/user/Desktop ? Well for me the whole purpose of having knoppix is how I an use it to interact with the PC from which i'm using to boot up the usb knoppix. So for instance paritions on the PC can be mounted and "interacted with" just like you do when you boot up an OS from the hard drive of a PC and then insert a usb. Viewing it simply things are reversed your PC hard drive , then is like a usb stick. I've used knoppix fsck to fix problems on the P.C , scanned using clamav ,


Well-Known Member
How exactly do I do this?
"dd" is very simple to use, but you have to be very careful telling it where to burn the .iso. It will erase everything on the destination! Here are the steps that I use, along with a graphic below that shows the whole operation in a terminal window. Following the graphic shows how easy this is... but all the written description makes it seem harder.

1. Start from a running Linux computer, with the Knoppix .iso file downloaded or transferred to the computer. My example starts in my Downloads folder.

2. Do not plug in your USB drive yet. Open a terminal and navigate to the folder where you stored the Knoppix .iso file.

3. Use the ls command to list the files, confirming the Knoppix .iso is there.

4. Use the lsblk command to list all your block devices (drives). Mine just shows my hard drive, sda.

5. Now plug in your USB drive, and run lsblk again. You will see the change from Step #4 so you know which is your USB drive. In the graphic, my USB drive is sdg. The size also helps you confirm which drive is the USB. I will keep using sdg in my description, but you must use your correct drive identity in all of the steps below... yours may be sdb, sdc, sdd, sde, sdf, etc.

6. Your USB drive may be automatically mounted when you insert it... but you need to unmount it now. Mine did not auto-mount, as you can tell in the graphic. You use the umount command on the partition... with the number, like /dev/sdg1 in my graphic. Sudo and the prefix /dev/ are both required. Note that the command is "umount" not "unmount". If there are more than one numbered partition, try to unmount all of them. So, sudo umount /dev/sdg1 and then sudo umount /dev/sdg2 and so on.

7. Okay, you should be ready to burn the .iso file now with the "dd" command (with sudo). The "if" means "input file" (Knoppix .iso) and the "of" means "output file" (your USB drive). The "bs" means "block size" and should make this process a bit quicker... use capital "M" in "bs=1M". This is still a SLOW process... my computer has 8GB of RAM, and it took about 7 minutes to complete. Also note that after you enter the command... you will not get any feedback to tell you it's working, except to see the light blinking on your USB drive, if it has a light. Be patient! Knoppix is a big file, so this will take 5-10 minutes, and maybe even longer. Remember to use your USB drive identity (/dev/sdb, /dev/sdc, etc) and note that there is no partition number attached... just the letters. Here goes: sudo dd if=KNOPPIX_V8.6-2019-08-08-EN.iso of=/dev/sdg bs=1M

When it's finally finished, you'll see the output shown in the graphic below. Good luck!

Using dd.png


Well-Known Member
it is not designed to install to a hard drive
I should correct that to say that Knoppix CAN be installed to a hard drive, although it is still much more commonly used from a USB or DVD. When Knoppix is running "live" from USB/DVD, there is an icon on the desktop to "flash Knoppix"... and this tool will install Knoppix to either removable media (USB, SD cards, etc) or to a hard drive. Additionally there is a menu item under the Knoppix category to specifically install to a hard drive. However, I still don't think that choosing a hard drive install, and then pointing to a USB drive, is a good idea, or will make a difference. This still isn't a "full install" like other distros perform. I suspect that it is simply putting the "live" distro on a hard drive, same as it would on a USB.

I love Knoppix, but I'm not an expert with it. I was very happy to see the new release and I'm willing to experiment with it some more if you need further help. I can install it to a desktop hard drive, if needed.

I still have not figured out how to add new software (from Debian repos) yet, even after making changes to /etc/apt/sources.list. There is a menu item to "install more components" which provides a small handful of other applications that can be installed, but that's all.

i've just installed knoppix to a USB in a scenario where i don't have a a cd/dvd drive in my lap top . Keepig it succinct i installed english version from here. ftp://ftp.mirrorservice.org/sites/ftp.uni-kl.de/pub/linux/knoppix-dvd/KNOPPIX_V8.6-2019-08-08-EN.iso i just did a dd to a usb stick using laptop .I Couldn't figure out how to get persistance; booted that knoppix usb up, on the desktop there's an icon flash install . Basically i used that function to install knoppix which had facility for overlay <4gig persistence to another usb stick. I guess thats what @arochester meant with comment "2 sticks"


Well-Known Member
i just did a dd to a usb stick using laptop .I Couldn't figure out how to get persistance
I just repeated your steps... I used dd to create a Knoppix 8.2 USB. Knoppix creates its own persistence when you create the USB, the KNOPPIX-DATA partition (see below), and it uses the remaining space on the USB drive. In my case, that is about 27 GB of persistence. The downside to Knoppix is that it does not use Debian repositories (or any others) and you cannot install programs in all that persistence space. Or at least it would not be easily done for most users, and it seems that installing or updating software is discouraged. But data that you create or copy to the USB is saved and available to Knoppix when it's running. It's a good way to take a music or movie collection along with you.

No special steps or options are needed to create or use the persistence space. Just create the USB and boot up on it. I started with a GPT USB, but MBR would likely work also, and I had the USB formatted to FAT32.



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