Some days ago, KDE 4.3.0 has been released by the KDE community and I myself as a loyal GNOME user was just curious about this new release of the KDE4 desktop environment. Thus I took a test-drive of both openSUSE 11.2 Milestone 5 and the Kubuntu Karmic Daily Build as of the 8th of August 2009 – both are shipping with KDE 4.3.0. Utilizing my Eee PC 901 I setup LiveUSB sticks of both distributions and I’d herewith like to share my findings with the openSUSE community. As you might have noticed, openSUSE Milestone releases provide the ability to deploy the LiveCD ISO image directly to USB flash media as of 11.2 Milestone 4, which is a great step ahead from my perspective. So, let’s get started:
1. openSUSE 11.2 Milestone 5 – (so far) non-persistent
Only one single step is needed here Couldn’t be easier!
# dd if=openSUSE-KDE4-LiveCD-Build0201-i686.iso of=/dev/"usbdrive" bs=4M
2. Kubuntu Karmic Daily Build as of the 8th of August 2009 – persistent
While this setup is a bit “harder” to complete it delivers (at least from my perspective) the smoother solution – so far!
Mount the ISO to /mnt/ and rsync the whole content to a FAT32 partition on the USB flash media (here labelled “ubuntu”)
# mount -o loop karmic-desktop-i386.iso /mnt/
# rsync -avh /mnt/ /media/ubuntu/
Now install GRUB (Syslinux should work as well, but I myself prefer GRUB here)
# grub-install --no-floppy --root-directory=/media/ubuntu/ /dev/"usbdrive"
Create a GRUB configuration file /media/ubuntu/boot/grub/menu.lst with the following content
title Kubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) Daily Build 08-Aug-2009
kernel /casper/vmlinuz file=/preseed/kubuntu.seed boot=casper persistent quiet splash
Last but not least, resize the FAT32 partition labelled “ubuntu” to its minimal extent and create an ext2/3 partition labelled “casper-rw” within the remaining free space.
What I’m currently curious about and the major reason for posting this comparison actually: Could some fellow openSUSE community member extend my current solution to beat the Kubuntu setup not only in ease of creation but also in regard of usability? The major difference here is that the openSUSE 11.2 Milestone 4/5 LiveUSB setup isn’t persistent while the Kubuntu one is due to the casper-rw aufs overlay partition.
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