Thursday, 11 February 2016

Q4OS with persistence on E2B

Q4OS is a rather nice, clean debian-based linux OS. The LiveCD ISO will boot directly from E2B.

If you want persistence with the LiveCD version, you can use the same method of creating a persistence file that we use for many other linux live ISOs.
I used an NTFS E2B USB hard disk and the q4os-live-2.0.2-i686pae.iso ISO file in the \_ISO\LINUX\MNU folder for testing.
The .mnu file I used is shown below. It will be in v1.77 Sample mnu files folder.

# For persistence: (File Name=q4os-rw  Volume Name=persistence)
# 1. click 'Create ext2/ext3 FS' in RMPrepUSB
# 2. Set the FILENAME     to:  q4os-rw
# 3. Set the VOLUME LABEL to:  persistence      <------ VERY IMPORTANT
# 4. Set amount of space you would like allowed to persist - use ext3 as it is less likely to be corrupted in use

#The persistence 'volume' needs a persistence.conf file added to it
# Boot to linux, right-click - Open Terminal window here..., and then type following 5 lines in the terminal console
#    sudo mkdir /mnt/usb
#    df               (to see which is the USB device e.g. sd3 - partition 4 should always be listed - try also sudo fdisk -l)
#    sudo mount /dev/sdb3 /mnt/usb      (always use 3)
#    echo "/ union" > /mnt/usb/persistence.conf   or try   sudo bash -c "echo '/ union' > /mnt/usb/persistence.conf"
#    sudo umount /mnt/usb

# now reboot 

iftitle [if exist $HOME$/q4os-live-2.0.2-i686pae.iso] q4os-live-2.0.2-i686pae iso PERSISTENT\n Boot using .mnu file with persistence
set ISO=$HOME$/q4os-live-2.0.2-i686pae.iso
set PF=/q4os-rw

if "%E2BDEV%"=="" set E2BDEV=hd0 && pause E2BDEV forced to hd0!
if exist CD echo WARNING: Cannot use partnew command! && pause && configfile (bd)/menu.lst
#enable parttype output
debug 1
# make empty table entry in 3rd position in ptn table
parttype (%E2BDEV%,2) | set check=
debug off
set check=%check:~-5,4%
if "%check%"=="0x00" partnew (%E2BDEV%,2) 0 0 0
if not "%check%"=="0x00" echo WARNING: PTN TABLE 3 IS ALREADY IN USE - PERSISTENCE MAY NOT WORK! && pause
debug 1
if not exist %PF% echo WARNING: %PF% persistence file not found! && pause
errorcheck off
if "%check%"=="0x00" partnew (%E2BDEV%,2) 0x0 %PF%
errorcheck on
#map ptn 4 to ISO
partnew (%E2BDEV%,3) 0x0 %ISO%
map %ISO% (0xff)
map --hook
root (0xff)
# default username usually  user
kernel /live/vmlinuz boot=live persistence components quiet splash label username=adminq
initrd /live/initrd.img

Follow the instructions carefully when creating a persistence file, in particular note the spaces in the echo "/ union" > /mnt/usb  line.

I have not done much testing and be careful to always shut down the linux session using the Shutdown button to avoid corrupting the persistence file. It is worth taking a backup of the \q4os-rw file. If you find that q4os does not boot one day due to a corrupt \q4os-rw file, you can replace the q4os-rw file with the backup file.

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