Persistent USB slow

Hi all,

I’m afraid this is going to sound extremely n00b-ish. But here’s the situation, anyway:

This morning, I tried the Xfce persistent USB image for the first time. Now, this might sound weird, but I want to know if it’s normal that it’s extremely slow. Much, much much slower than the KDE Live ISO I had on there. The launcher would take several seconds, yes seconds, to open. Firefox even longer.

Is this normal?

I wanted to make it my go-to rescue drive kind of thing. But if it’s always going to be this slow, I’m not going to bother.

It might just be the USB stick itself. They do wear out over time due to write amplification, and much more quickly than an SSD, because SSDs support TRIM, whereas USB sticks do not.


I thought of that as well. However, I don’'t think it is that, because:

  1. The flash drive was bought exclusively for use with the Live ISOs and I( haven’t used it more than 10 times. If that much even, I suspect less than 5.
  2. It worked perfectly with the KDE version, the only reason I didn’t stick too it was because of the persistency.

Is it usb3?

Not 100% sure, but I think so. (Not sure because I can’t remember for certain.)

And, it’s not startup speed, it’s working speed, so I don’t think it’s really the speed of the USB drive. And I don’t think it’s computer speed, since my computer is usually quite responsive.

It’s difficult to have an opinion on and while I have not tried the Xfce persistent image - I have tried several USB installations.

When you have ruled out bad stick quality and the system’s general responsiveness it is an issue with the installation itself.

For example - what filesystem is used? ext4 is fine but for an USB installation I have found f2fs to perform significantly better.

Other things is how the files are scattered in the image - I mean - if files are fragmented then the system must jump between locations which can cause a noticeable delay when reading files.

My test system is a cheap Yepo laptop and I have used cheap Kingston 32GB USB3 devices with a handcrafted LXDE and this config runs almost as from the system SSD.

But as noted - it is difficult to say.

I will link to my notes - in a moment - when I have found them :slight_smile: (this one is with LUKS encryption) but it is fairly easy to do without.

Thank you! I suspected it would be about the same as my install. And I also know it’s difficult to tell for certain if you’re not there, in front of the machine with access to it, so I totally understand.

However, I do not believe it’s a hardware issue. BeCause, like I mentioned, the KDE live ISO worked flawlessly.

Is it possible to add another partition on the same USB flash drive for persistent data? Because, then I can just as well do that and keep the KDE ISO on it.

You can use ventoy and create a data partition for persistence - something like

ventoy -i -g -r 8192 /dev/sdy

which will create a bootable stick with 8G empty space at the end of the stick.

When ventoy is done create a partition in the empty space - use your favorite tool and format the space to be usable.

Copy the ISO of choice to the first partition and reboot.

But remember - you will not be able to install extra software - when booted. You can but it will disappear on reboot.

That persistence of the running system is usually what people are going for.

The manjaro-tools has some hidden features for building ISO - maybe it is half-baked - and therefore not enabled but I found references COW and copy-to-ram and I have been reading interesting things on the web page for the system rescue cd - Arch based - with copy-to-ram and with scripts to create overlays for a specific ISO.

So I am trying to put the info together with readings from the Arch wiki - see what creature crawls out :slight_smile:

I know this, yes. But it’s not a problem for me. That’s why I asked about the extra partition, because I’ll keep all the necessary data on that, then. And I’ve checked, the software that I do want on it is .Appimage files anyway.

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Update, for those wondering/following:

I created the Ventoy image, and copied both the KDE and Xfce ISOs on it. They are both working admirably. It’s the same flash drive as the persistent image was, so I think it’s safe to rule that out.

However, I couldn’t access the flash drive’s storage/data partition, the one the ISOs are copied onto. So so much for that idea. Back to the drawing board I guess… :thinking: