Running manjaro from a usb flash drive

I have a few posts on this subject. I want to add another one after several installs and trials and errors.
I have a 30GB flash drive that I have installed manjaro xfce on.
I will list inxi system info following this post.
The first thing I do on this system is change the screen resolution to 1920x1080 so I can read it.
The second thing I do is change the mouse touchpad to click to tap
My first issue here is it seems the system files on default install are set on read only. For example if I go to change the /etc/fstab file and go to save it, it wants me to do a save as and says the file is read only. I was expecting a prompt for the users password to allow me to save the file.
So it seems my install is not working correctly.
This is my current issue I would like to resolve.
I haven’t updated anything yet and install is a 21.2.4 I think.
I will provide any info if need to solve this.
Here is my inxi - Fazyr

[demo@fixit ~]$ inxi -Fazyr
  Kernel: 5.15.25-1-MANJARO x86_64 bits: 64 compiler: gcc v: 11.2.0
    parameters: BOOT_IMAGE=/boot/vmlinuz-5.15-x86_64
    root=UUID=dc8d1d83-fdab-4807-a085-b7b27efcf4ef rw quiet apparmor=1
    security=apparmor udev.log_priority=3
  Desktop: Xfce 4.16.0 tk: Gtk 3.24.29 info: xfce4-panel wm: xfwm 4.16.1
    vt: 7 dm: LightDM 1.30.0 Distro: Manjaro Linux base: Arch Linux
  Type: Convertible System: HP product: HP Spectre x360 Convertible 15-df1xxx
    v: N/A serial: <superuser required> Chassis: type: 31
    serial: <superuser required>
  Mobo: HP model: 863F v: 54.24 serial: <superuser required> UEFI: AMI
    v: F.26 date: 07/09/2021
  ID-1: BAT0 charge: 52.9 Wh (78.7%) condition: 67.2/67.2 Wh (100.0%)
    volts: 12.2 min: 11.6 model: HP Primary type: Li-ion serial: <filter>
    status: N/A cycles: 171
  Device-1: hid-0018:04F3:2992.0001-battery model: ELAN2514:00 04F3:2992
    serial: N/A charge: N/A status: N/A
  Info: model: Intel Core i7-10510U bits: 64 type: MT MCP
    arch: Comet/Whiskey Lake note: check family: 6 model-id: 0x8E (142)
    stepping: 0xC (12) microcode: 0xEC
  Topology: cpus: 1x cores: 4 tpc: 2 threads: 8 smt: enabled cache:
    L1: 256 KiB desc: d-4x32 KiB; i-4x32 KiB L2: 1024 KiB desc: 4x256 KiB
    L3: 8 MiB desc: 1x8 MiB
  Speed (MHz): avg: 800 min/max: 400/4900 scaling: driver: intel_pstate
    governor: powersave cores: 1: 800 2: 800 3: 800 4: 800 5: 800 6: 800 7: 800
    8: 800 bogomips: 36812
  Flags: avx avx2 ht lm nx pae sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3 vmx
  Type: itlb_multihit status: KVM: VMX disabled
  Type: l1tf status: Not affected
  Type: mds status: Not affected
  Type: meltdown status: Not affected
  Type: spec_store_bypass
    mitigation: Speculative Store Bypass disabled via prctl and seccomp
  Type: spectre_v1
    mitigation: usercopy/swapgs barriers and __user pointer sanitization
  Type: spectre_v2 mitigation: Enhanced IBRS, IBPB: conditional, RSB filling
  Type: srbds mitigation: TSX disabled
  Type: tsx_async_abort status: Not affected
  Device-1: Intel CometLake-U GT2 [UHD Graphics] vendor: Hewlett-Packard
    driver: i915 v: kernel ports: active: eDP-1 empty: DP-1,DP-2 bus-ID: 00:02.0
    chip-ID: 8086:9b41 class-ID: 0300
  Device-2: NVIDIA GP108M [GeForce MX250] vendor: Hewlett-Packard
    driver: nvidia v: 510.54 alternate: nouveau,nvidia_drm pcie: gen: 1
    speed: 2.5 GT/s lanes: 4 link-max: gen: 3 speed: 8 GT/s bus-ID: 3b:00.0
    chip-ID: 10de:1d13 class-ID: 0302
  Device-3: Chicony HP Wide Vision FHD Camera type: USB driver: uvcvideo
    bus-ID: 1-5:2 chip-ID: 04f2:b67b class-ID: 0e02 serial: <filter>
  Display: x11 server: X.Org v: compositor: xfwm v: 4.16.1 driver:
    X: loaded: modesetting,nvidia alternate: fbdev,nouveau,nv,vesa gpu: i915
    display-ID: :0.0 screens: 1
  Screen-1: 0 s-res: 1920x1200 s-dpi: 96 s-size: 508x318mm (20.0x12.5")
    s-diag: 599mm (23.6")
  Monitor-1: eDP-1 model: AU Optronics built: 2017 res: 1920x1200 hz: 60
    dpi: 142 gamma: 1.2 size: 344x193mm (13.5x7.6") diag: 394mm (15.5")
    ratio: 16:9 modes: 3840x2160
  Message: Unable to show GL data. Required tool glxinfo missing.
  Device-1: Intel Comet Lake PCH-LP cAVS vendor: Hewlett-Packard
    driver: sof-audio-pci-intel-cnl
    alternate: snd_hda_intel,snd_soc_skl,snd_sof_pci_intel_cnl bus-ID: 00:1f.3
    chip-ID: 8086:02c8 class-ID: 0401
  Sound Server-1: ALSA v: k5.15.25-1-MANJARO running: yes
  Sound Server-2: JACK v: 1.9.20 running: no
  Sound Server-3: PulseAudio v: 15.0 running: yes
  Sound Server-4: PipeWire v: 0.3.47 running: no
  Device-1: Intel Comet Lake PCH-LP CNVi WiFi driver: iwlwifi v: kernel
    bus-ID: 00:14.3 chip-ID: 8086:02f0 class-ID: 0280
  IF: wlp0s20f3 state: up mac: <filter>
  Local Storage: total: 960.81 GiB used: 9.33 GiB (1.0%)
  SMART Message: Required tool smartctl not installed. Check --recommends
  ID-1: /dev/nvme0n1 maj-min: 259:0 vendor: Samsung
    model: SSD 970 EVO Plus 1TB size: 931.51 GiB block-size: physical: 512 B
    logical: 512 B speed: 31.6 Gb/s lanes: 4 type: SSD serial: <filter>
    rev: 2B2QEXM7 temp: 38.9 C scheme: GPT
  ID-2: /dev/sda maj-min: 8:0 type: USB vendor: SMI (STMicroelectronics)
    model: USB size: 29.3 GiB block-size: physical: 512 B logical: 512 B
    type: N/A serial: <filter> rev: 1100 scheme: GPT
  ID-1: / raw-size: 29 GiB size: 28.38 GiB (97.85%) used: 9.33 GiB (32.9%)
    fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda2 maj-min: 8:2
  ID-2: /boot/efi raw-size: 300 MiB size: 299.4 MiB (99.80%)
    used: 288 KiB (0.1%) fs: vfat dev: /dev/sda1 maj-min: 8:1
  Alert: No swap data was found.
  System Temperatures: cpu: 48.0 C pch: 45.0 C mobo: N/A
  Fan Speeds (RPM): N/A
  Packages: pacman: 1070 lib: 314 flatpak: 0
  Active pacman repo servers in: /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist
  Processes: 236 Uptime: 39m wakeups: 2585 Memory: 15.27 GiB
  used: 2.02 GiB (13.2%) Init: systemd v: 250 tool: systemctl Compilers:
  gcc: 11.2.0 clang: 13.0.1 Shell: Bash v: 5.1.16 running-in: xfce4-terminal
  inxi: 3.3.13

Everything outside a user’s home (except root) is readonly.

Editing system files as a user will always yield with a readonly message - that is normal - and you will very rarely be prompted for a credentials.

If you want to edit system files (defined as files outside your user’s home) you must do so using sudo or su to enter a root environment.

Another option - if you must use a gui based editor - is to use a gvfs compliant editor - e.g. xed or gedit.

My favorite terminal editor - micro - is capable of asking for credentials when the file is readonly.

So is sublime text.

On the contrary - it woirks just as expected - it is your expectation or understanding which need to be adjusted.

1 Like

Thanks for posting all of that. There is allot to read.
I have a manjaro kde install on my laptop also and when I edit fstab for example and go to save it , it prompts me for my user password and then save the file.
That is what I am looking for to happen with the install on the flash drive.
That is why I said it didn’t seem to install to the flash drive the same way it installed to the hard drive.
Maybe I am still misunderstanding something.
Shouldn’t it work the same no matter what drive it is installed to?

No. It depends on the editor and what is available in the chosen environment.

Generally - it is bad practise to run GUI apps as root and on Wayland it is outright impossible (or at least it has been) due to the security model.

System configuration files should always be edited using a standard terminal text editor (due to the binary garbage added by some gui editors).

I definitely understand your point about editing root files.
However in my case I think I know what risks I am taking in doing this and want to make it as easy as possible for me. I like doing most things in a gui if I can.
We could get into a philosophical dicussion on if I break something and then ask for help I should be on my own and not expect to get help but I don’t believe in that philosophy.
Back to my issue.
I thought it was a manjaro feature to allow you to edit root files with a gui and then when needed to save it would ask for the user password. I liked that feature.
So it depends on the app used if that works?
I will test this and let you know.

I think the KDE targeted application/editor KATE can do this automatically, so ask for a password if trying to save a read-only file.

Ok I installed kate on my xfce flash drive and yes kate let me edit the file then save it prompting me for my user password.
I learned something today about manjaro . Thanks for the help.
I will mark this solved.
On to my next flash drive adventure.

One more thought .
I wonder if there is a way to get mousepad to act like kate does?

You are entitled to maintain your system in any way you see fit - I don’t want to argue - I am merely pointing out that some apps can do it others cannot.

It is not a Manjaro feature but a feature of the editor - some has it some has not.

From the archive

No - mousepad cannot - and it cannot be made to. You can test if an editor is gvfs compliant by running the editor like

xed admin:/etc/fstab

If you are challenged for credentials it works.

If you prefer a graphical interface which is closer to Plasma - you can use lxqt with kwin window manager.

There’s even a community edition on the download page

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