Live USB image?


Hi all,

I’m new here, so thanks in advance for your patience.

I’m considering setting up a TrueOS desktop machine, but before doing so I’d like to get a sense of Lumina. Is there anyway of installing it on a USB stick so I can take a look, and also test whether it works OK with the hardware I have?

By way of background: I have around ten years’ experience running FreeBSD as a server, and I’ve been running Linux on the desktop since 2004. My current choice for DE is Cinnamon (Mint), and I’d like to get a sense of how Lumina compares before I take the plunge.



If you’re running Linux currently, have you looked to see if there is a Lumina package already built? If so, you could simply install that and try it out on hardware you know works. Worst case is it may not be the absolute latest version of Lumina, but should be close enough for you to get an idea of how it feels in use.

As for hardware compatibility there is the ability to check when booted up into the installer, but that is just basic “yep this should work”.

The “…works OK” part is twofold: does the base OS work on your hardware and how does Lumina work on that OS.


There is no live USB image of TrueOS, just install images for USB/DVD media.
You could always install it into a VM on your Linux box to give it a “test run” if you like. :slight_smile:

There are a number of people who have been asking about live images recently, and we are open to the idea, but there are still some technical limitations on the FreeBSD side of things that we need to work out before we are willing to officially support another type of image… :wink:


I’m all for it, too. :slight_smile:

I’d really like to “upgrade” my PC-BSD 9.x live usb stick…

(Only downside would be “no 32bit” - and you never know which old pc you run into on which you want or need to run your stick-OS.)


I too would like to see a “Live” image for a USB drive with persistence. An OS with data portability may be in the future for IT.
Thanks for the ability to ask for it.


Why not install TrueOS on a USB stick ?
I am running TrueOS on a USB stick on my office Mac Mini from June without problem.


I really like what FreeNAS or Nas4free are doing with their USB installs. If I understand right, they copy whole system to RAM, to reduce slow USB r/w. Considering today systems come with quite large amounts of installed RAM, running whole OS from memory is not science fiction anymore :wink:

I think I heard or read somewhere @q5sys has some extensive experience with PuppyLinux, maybe TrueOS could incorporate some of the benefits of that approach and make something like “TrueOS Puppy” perhaps?


I am running Puppy Slacko64 with f2fs on a home server. It will boot faster than TrueOS but, IMHO, ZFS works better than f2fs on USB sticks:

  • disk block checksum

  • the possibility of two USB stick in mirror

  • secondary cache and write log if needed

Suppose you have a laptop with a SSD but you don’t like to put TrueOS on it (like me).
You can install TrueOS on an USB stick and use 1 GB of your precious SSD space as write log for the USB pool, this speed up writes.
TrueOS already use RAM as ARC to speed up disk read, but you can use some GB of SSD space as secondary cache (L2ARC) for the USB pool.
Thumb USB stick do not have SMART on it but, for safe, you can mirror the USB pool with a second USB stick: if one fails you can replace it with a new one and the read speed is doubled.


That sounds like my dream os :smiley:


That would be correct. I was one of the Puppylinux developers for many years. For those curious, here is one of the talks I gave on it at Southeast Linuxfest in the past.

As for making a TruePuppy, that was one of the first things I looked into when I came over to FreeBSD. Sadly though, FreeBSD does not have AUFS, so making a Puppy type version would be very difficult.
You could make TrueOS to run in RAM, but being able to save your session changes would be the problem.


This is an option I would love to see, (a liveusb trueos version). I travel a lot, and often I find I really would like to have a liveusb on an OS that I trust. But I am concerned about the UEFI secureboot issues too. How would that work with regards to the LiveUSB?


Could you give a quick summary of how you did this?

I have tried to install to a USB from VirtualBox using the installer ISO but that cannot see my USB.
If I create a virtual TrueOS installation, I can see the USB using /usr/sbin/bsdinstall. Would that work? That looks like it might be a vanilla FreeBSD installation.


#13 , look at the handbook. there is a section for running within VirtualBox, I believe.

  1. Prepare the TrueOS installation media: USB or DVD.
  2. Boot your PC from the installation media, with an new USB stick connected and install TrueOS on this USB stick.
  3. Turn off the PC, remove the installation media and reboot the PC from the new USB stick.

You don’t need Virtual Box at all.


Haha given my own experience I was anticipating something a little more involved. Thanks for the fast reply.
I only have 1 USB stick and no DVD drive so going forward with VirtualBox. For some reason, my second attempt was able to see the USB drive so I’m giving it a go!


I have tried that path and after about 45minutes of copying files to 32Gb USB key I gave up… It takes ages to install, so I guess it would be pain to use it as-well.

There has been some mention of another related project I tested recently: NomadBSD. It does not have Lumina out of the box, but I suppose you could install it via pkg since it is based on 11.1-RELEASE (have not tested, so I might be wrong).



what issue are you having?


I was installing from TrueOS USB image, to destination that is also USB key, and it is probably expected to take this long. It is just not acceptable for me to wait that long for installer to finish. NomadBSD is dd-ed to USB and takes about 10mins with some additional first-time setup.


i always use the bs=4M, and works “ok”

Thanks Project Trident devs

There is very little time difference between bs=1M or 4M

# dd if=TrueOS-Desktop-18.03-x64-USB.img of=/dev/da0 bs=1M
2680+1 records in
2680+1 records out
2811118080 bytes transferred in 624.794978 secs (4499265 bytes/sec)

# dd if=TrueOS-Desktop-18.03-x64-USB.img of=/dev/da0 bs=4M
670+1 records in
670+1 records out
2811118080 bytes transferred in 621.549976 secs (4522755 bytes/sec)