My trials and tribulations with Fedora live USB installation

I spent the past three days working on installing Linux live on a USB stick. The reason I got started on this senseless waste of time is because I now have a laptop to use for part of the time I’ll be in New Zealand. The only problem is that I don’t have admin access so I can’t install anything, not even my VPN configuration. I finally came up with the idea of installing Linux on one of the two USB sticks I brought with me.

There are several windows utilities that,all in one operation, allow you to download and create a bootable USB stick with a live version of Fedora linux. I couldn’t run them without administrative access on the PC though. Luckily I had a blank DVD and was able to burn the iso on that. A DVD is pretty unsatisfactory for a live OS though. In case you don’t know, a live OS is one that you can run from CD/DVD or USB on any machine that it can boot from. It doesn’t touch or jeopardize anything on any of the drives of that machine. But launching from the DVD is extremely slow! Installing on a USB makes a much quicker system. Luckily I have a 4GB and a 16GB USB with me.
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Since I don’t have admin access to windows on the laptop my only option for creating the disk was to do it from my live Fedora Linux installation. I managed to do this the first time without too much problem but then I started to dwell on the other deficiencies of the system. The good news was that boot-up compared to DVD was very fast–maybe a minute or so. The big deficiency is that none of your configuration changes, including authenticating with the wi-fi, get saved, so you have to do it over every time you boot. I guess I was still reading documentation about installing Fedora to a USB and I noticed that you can install it with what they call data persistence. In it doing so, any changes made will be saved. So I decided to create such an installation but it was at this point that I really began having a rough time trying to accomplish my goal.
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There is a tool for Fedora called liveusb-creator that is very easy to use and it is what I used to create my first successful USB installation. There are two installation options, destructive or non-destructive. When I used the non-destructive method, everything seemed to work until I tried to boot from the USB. It wouldn’t boot! On the other hand, the destructive method yielded a bootable installation but the data persistence part didn’t work. I finally realized that data persistence with liveusb-creator only works if you chose the non-destructive method, the one that always resulted in a non-bootable stick.
I finally gave up on that tool and started playing with a tool called livecd-iso-to-disk-format. After three days of fooling around with various tools I was finally able to create the live USB with data persistence. It works quite well but one problem is that, although there is quite a bit of extra room on the 16GB stick, once you install something or copy it to the USB, even if you uninstall or delete, you never recover the space you originally used!
I discovered a third option that helps with this. With the livecd-tools (the package that contains livecd-iso-to-disk-format) you can also reserve space for a home directory. Anything that gets saved to the home directory can be deleted and you recover the space that was used. I re-installed my 16 GB stick in this configuration painlessly now that I had ironed out the problems of previous attempts.it I spent the past three days working on installing Linux live on a USB stick. The reason I got started on this senseless waste of time is because I now have a laptop to use for part of the time I’ll be in New Zealand. The only problem is that I don’t have admin access so I can’t install anything, not even my VPN configuration. I finally came up with the idea of installing Linux on one of the two USB sticks I brought with me.
OK. Next problem–one of the main reasons that I came up with the plan of running Linux to begin with was that not having admin privileges on the laptop kept me from being able to configure VPN. Now that I had finally managed to get the USB configuration that I wanted, I thought it should be a snap to configure VPN. But in looking for documentation from TorGuard, my VPN service, I only saw documentation for ubuntu Linux. Darn! Well to make a long story short I managed to install Ubuntu Linux with data persistence but with no option for a home directory. I was also able to configure VPN pretty easily, at which point, I realized the procedure to configure it on Fedora should be identical. I guess I created the Ubuntu disk for nothing because the VPN works fine on Fedora!
 I spent the past three days working on installing Linux live on a USB stick. The reason I got started on this senseless waste of time is because I now have a laptop to use for part of the time I’ll be in New Zealand. The only problem is that I don’t have admin access so I can’t install anything, not even my VPN configuration. I finally came up with the idea of installing Linux on one of the two USB sticks I brought with me.
I know this is all very boring and seems like a colossal waste of time, which is probably true but it’s the kind of thing I really enjoy doing, as long as I can succeed in a reasonable amount of time. Four days seems reasonable to me but it was exhausting and frustrating work.
This is a screenshot of my live fedora 21 desktop

Tui’s HQ trials

We are at DoiTung on Niemanheiman Road. We had to deal with an order that Tui made to HQ which Pom picked up yesterday. The online order that Tui tried to transact a couple of days ago failed but they notified Pom that the order was ready anyway. He very kindly picked it up yesterday and paid the unpaid bill. He brought it over this morning and then gave us a ride to the southwest corner of the old city.

From there we walked to HQ paper which is very near Wat Pra Singh. Tui did some more shopping and dealt with the bill while I waited outside studying the maps on the free brochures available there. It’s a pretty pleasant place sit because HQ is down a little side alley which is pretty quiet. HQ is very clean and there are two chairs outside the store with a little round table with the brochures.

I studied maps and I studied my Thai phrase book. Then I studied maps again…then I started weeding photos from the iPad since there is almost no space left on same. After a while one of the store workers brought me out a VAT form to sign…then I looked at maps…looked at the phrase book…weeded photos.

Tui entered the store at 10am. She finally came out at 12:45! She took so long because there was a screw up with her bill and they had to re-do the whole thing and not very efficiently apparently!

We were both dead hungry so we caught a red songthaew to Niemanheiman Soi 11 and walked to Pai’s noodle shop, Zia, where we wolfed down 5 bowls of noodles between us. From there we walked back down the street toward sirimaenkalongjon to the chicken place, Wichean, and bought one grilled chicken. Wichean has the reputation for having the best grilled chicken in the area. You can buy it to go and also eat there. They serve a few other items to go with it.

After that we walked here, to DoiTung.

Lamphun

Yesterday we went to the Arcade bus station and took a green bus to Lamphun. We were going to go to Lamphang first which is about three times the distance but we both didn’t sleep well and got up late.

Getting to Arcade bus station from Hang Dong is not that easy. First you have to take a yellow bus somewhere downtown. Then you have to stop a red bus and take that the rest of the way. Last time we took the yellow bus to Chang Puak bus station which is on Thanon Chang Puak. This road runs north from about the middle of the north city wall. Not far north of the bus station, you will find the Thanin market. It seems like it should be easy to find transportation from this bus station to the other one, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

But this time we were in luck. Before we boarded the bus in Hang Dong, Tui asked the driver where to catch the bus to Arcade. She found out that this yellow bus went all the way to Warowot market and that was the best place to get a red bus to Arcade. We found that this yellow bus went almost all the way to Warowot but we had to transfer to another yellow bus (no charge) to go the full distance. And sure enough, we had no problem getting a red bus to Arcade from there.

When we got to Arcade bus station, Tui wanted to check out the green line before we crossed the street to where the Nakhonchai Air company is. She had learned that this is the best bus company. But when she talked to one of the Green Bus agents, she found that it was cheaper so we got a couple of tickets from them for ฿32 each and only had to wait about 15 minutes before departure at 10am.

The trip down to Lamphun was very quick and there wasn’t much interesting to see. And by the way, although we didn’t take the best Green Bus, the VIP, it was called VX and had the great advantage of NOT showing a horrible movie! This bus takes route 11 to near the center of Lamphun, then takes 114 the rest of the way in.

Tui wanted to see the main temple in town, Wat Phra That Hariphunchai. We were told that we could get a purple bus there which wasn’t far away. Unfortunately, the bus turned out to be a van which was mostly white with a purple wavy pattern near the bottom so we missed one before we found out.

It only took about 5 minutes to get to the back of the temple where we were dropped off. I wasn’t very impressed with the temple at first until I learned that there is a lot to it. Some of it looks cheap, almost cartoonish, but there are some very nice parts to it and the whole thing has a pretty open plan with a large temple and a huge gold, gold chedi in the middle.

The huge gold chedi

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People burn candles then walk around the chedi on a rubber mat, while waiing with the hands

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Two studies in gold, first by Tui then by Tubby



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Golden umbrella with golden chedi behind

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People burned candles and then walked around the chedi while waiing. I never found out why.

There is an OPOP market across the street from the wat entrance that has some very nice goods, mostly women’s clothing.

After visiting the wat we found a noodle shop nearby that had pretty good noodles. We walked along the river to get there which was very nice and pleasant but needed some maintenance, mostly in the form of old plastic bag renewal.

Here is a scene on the river

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We were told that we could catch a bus back to Chiang Mai from behind the temple where we were dropped off. We did that and caught a local bus. The trip was much more interesting than the trip down. There are hundreds of 200 year old trees lining much of the way. They are very large and very, very close to the road making a very impressive site. Unfortunately I didn’t get a photo.

Nakhonchai Air
Tel: 02 936 0009
http://www.nca.co.th

Finally a little progress developing this site

It’s been a struggle making changes this afternoon, trying to develop using the iPod. But now I’ve made a tiny bit of progress. I was having problems getting my blogs to show up on the page I created, titled blog. I finally reverted to the default 2012 theme and my blogs did appear when I chose blog from the menu. I switched back to responsive and it still didn’t show up when choosing blog from the menu.

Finally I got smart and did a search for “create static front page with responsive theme.” My first hit had the answer.

With this theme the procedure is a little different from a standard wp theme. First in the reading setting, after selecting static page, you must choose the static page but leave the blog page blank. Second, on the page configuration, choose one of the blog themes, not the default theme that your instructed to select for a standard wp theme. I did both of those thing and the problem was fixed.

Working on web site at Kad Farang

I’m sitting in the little western style cafe called California Wraps. The Internet service to our room at Taraburi hasn’t been working for nearly a week. I’ve used the wifi in the reception area several times but even that is almost useless!

So here I am at the café on my iPod using Rosewood’s wifi. There network service is pretty good but connecting to my Blue Host site from half way around the world can be very slow anyway.

Taraburi and Baan Mae Kampong

We have now been staying here at Taraburi for several weeks but we just returned from three days stay at a little mountain village about 50 Km from Chiang Mai called Baan Mae Kampong. The village of Baan Mae Kampong is part of a network called CBT (Community Based Tourism). The CBT locations provide homestay for tourists who come to learn about the local culture and also be able to participate in some local activities if desired. For our stay at Mae Kampong we stayed with a family and were provided with a guide daily who showed us various points of interest in the community.

Baan Mae Kampong is located east of Chiang Mai in the mountains at an elevation of about 1300 meters. They have been cultivating, harvesting and producing tea and tea products for generations. More recently they have begun cultivating, harvesting and processing coffee.

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