Current netrunner install to USB stick

Hi there

I’m looking for advise on how to best backup my netrunner installation on a USB stick but also make that USB stick bootable so in case my HDD would completely crash and burn I would still be able to work from the USB thumbdrive.

I was thinking of following the arch rsync method ( for backing up to some ext4 partition on the USB stick which will also have a NTFS partition so I can have data readable from windows as well…

Would then be as easy as to then install grub on the stick, change the fstab in the backup to point to the UUID of the USB partition and its done?

What I’m mostly unclear with is the grub install. Should I format in a particular way the start of the USB stick. Read somewhere that one should leave 2MB empty before any partition. Should that be formatted somehow? Also how would one actually fix grub on the USB stick? Would installing grub on the stick also fix the various grub conf files that are on the backup which I want to boot?

Any advice is highly appreciated, thanks!


I can confirm that using a USB transfer program such as KDE-USB startup, or LinuxLive USB creator (windows) do not work. I checked the MD5 which matched each time. I even checked the USB drives (Several) for read/write errors (none found). When you do a DVD check with the Netrunner startup USB it throws up 66 errors and will only boot into Grub. When I used Ubuntu Image Creator as suggested in this thread a “DVD” check shows no errors and the installation works successfully. I would suggest that the suffix “.iso” is in fact a Misnomer and should be called .img. Anyway, thanks for the help to previous posters.

I should have updated my post as I managed to make a bootable USB install of my Netrunner system. Don’t really know if that was what you were aiming for as well.

The reason I wanted to have my system also bootable from a USB stick is that when I travel, in case my HDD in my laptop would crash and burn I would still be able to work on my laptop by booting from the USB and the install would then be exactly what I had on the HDD, with all the same programs installed and so on in addition to the most important data.

What I did was to use sgdisk to clean the USB stick I was going to use, and then used fdisk to create two partitions and partition table on the USB disk.

Used mkfs.ntfs and mkfs.ext4 to make an NTFS and ext4 partition respectively and used blockdev to check that the alignment was OK.

After that I just copied, using rsync, my Netrunner install from my HDD to the ext4 partition on the USB.

Then used grub-install to install grub on the USB stick and then made a configuration file using grub-mkconfig.

However, one has to change the UUID in the grub.cfg file to point the UUID of your partition on the USB as mine was still pointing to the UUID of my HDD partition. The same applies to the /etc/fstab file where you will also have to change the UUID to point to the USB partition instead.

Can give exact details/commands if you are trying to do the same thing. Anyway, it was easier then I though in the end and it worked really well and if you have a fast USB then speed is not really a problem…