Using Meikian Live

Meikian Live distribution download can be made through the links on www.meikian.eu download page.

Once you download the iso file containing the distribution, the content need to be transfered to a physical device. Procedures for performing the operation depend on both the physical device and the operating system used.

Recording to DVD

No problem about the platform or operating system used, since any CD/DVD recording program that allows iso images recording will be able to perform this operation.

Copy to an USB storage device

Using GNU/Linux

The first step will be to connect the storage unit you want used for the copy of the distribution, it must have capacity enough to accommodate the downloaded iso. If you want to create one or more additional partitions to use data persistence, the size needed space will increase depending on the size you want for those partitions.

After connecting the storage unit from a command console dmesg command can be used to see last message lines from kernel and get the device ID that the system assigned to it.

To copy the iso file, two different methods can be used:

  • The first, more correct, will be using the commands isoinfo and dd:

    For example, to obtain the information of meikian-live_beta1.iso file, the following command will be executed:

    user@meikian-dev:~$ isoinfo -d -i meikian-live_beta1.iso
    
    CD-ROM is in ISO 9660 format
    System id:
    Volume id: Meikian_20140915
    Volume set id:
    Publisher id: MEIKIAN
    Data preparer id: LIVE-BUILD 3.0.5-1; HTTP://PACKAGES.QA.DEBIAN.ORG/LIVE-BUILD
    Application id: MEIKIAN LIVECD
    Copyright File id:
    Abstract File id:
    Bibliographic File id:
    Volume set size is: 1
    Volume set sequence number is: 1
    Logical block size is: 2048
    Volume size is: 749984
    El Torito VD version 1 found, boot catalog is in sector 76
    Joliet with UCS level 3 found
    Rock Ridge signatures version 1 found
    Eltorito validation header:
      Hid 1
      Arch 0 (x86)
      ID ''
      Key 55 AA
      Eltorito defaultboot header:
        Bootid 88 (bootable)
        Boot media 0 (No Emulation Boot)
        Load segment 0
        Sys type 0
        Nsect 4
        Bootoff 19B32 105266
    

    From the information that the command returns, the values of Logical block size and Volume size fields are needed.

    Warning

    The following process eliminates the partition table and all the information contained in the specified device, so it is imperative to be sure it is the correct device.

    The command that must be executed is:

    dd if="path to the downloaded file" bs="Logical block size" count="Volume size" of=/dev/"device identifier"
    

    Using data from the previous example for a flash drive that has been assigned a device identifier sdb, the following command will be executed with root privileges, either by using su or sudo command:

    user@meikian-dev:~$ sudo dd if=meikian-live_beta1.iso bs=2048 count=749984 of=/dev/sdb
    
  • The second, faster and usually enough, using only dd command:

    Warning

    The following process eliminates the partition table and all the information contained in the specified device, so it is imperative to be sure it is the correct device.

    The command to be executed is:

    dd if="path to downloaded file" of=/dev/"device identifier"
    

    Using data from the previous example for a flash drive that has been assigned a device identifier sdb, the following command will be executed with root privileges, either by using su or sudo command:

    user@meikian-dev:~$ sudo dd if=meikian-live_beta1.iso of=/dev/sdb
    

Once the command returns control to the console, and if there has been no error during the process, the copy will be made. To start the distribution is necessary to ensure that the computer allows booting from USB devices and that the boot sequence order is correctly selected on the computer BIOS.

Using MAC OSX

On computers running MAC OSX is possible to use the same method as for GNU/Linux, changing only the name of the device being used to dump the content of the image.

To facilitate the utilisation of the dd command, dd-gui utility may be used, allowing you to use a graphical interface to perform the operations.

Using MS Windows

On computers running MS Windows it is possible to use an utility like win32diskimager to perform the operation, which is similar to GNU/Linux dd command but using a graphical interface.

Using persistence for user data

To store the information, files, settings, etc. or changes made between reboots of the Live distribution, it may be resorted to the use of auxiliary partitions in which the information can be stored permanently. To do this, two different types of data persistance may be chosen:

  • System data in which all changes made in the system including the user directory is stored.
  • User data in which only the changes made in the user directory are stored.

They are not mutually exclusive, so we can create both or either separately.

To enable data persistence it is needed to create one or more additional partitions in the free space of the USB device or hard disk, using an ext3 or ext4 type filesystem for them with the volume label persistence.

In the root directory of each partition used for persistence must exist a file named persistence.conf:

  • persistence.conf file to enable system data persistence:

    # Use partition for system data persistence
    / union,source=.
    
  • persistence.conf file to enable user data persistence:

    # Use partition for user data persistence
    /home bind,source=.
    

If created from the Live distribution itself, the system must be restarted to recognize the new partitions at startup and to generate the files and directory structure required for operation.

Users

Default users defined in the distribution are as follows:

  • root is the admin user and is disabled by default, so to execute actions or commands with root privileges you have to resort to using su, sudo or gksudo commands.

  • user is the common use user of the distribution and its password is live.

    Note

    When the distribution is installed on a hard drive it will be needed to enter the user password to execute certain commands or actions that need root privileges, but not in Live mode.