live-snapshot - a simple script to ease persistence usage


live-snapshot [-c|—cow DIRECTORYs] [-d|—device DEVICE] [-e|—exclude-list FILE] [-o|—output FILE] [-t|—type TYPE]

live-snapshot [-r|—resync-string STRING]

live-snapshot [-h|—help]

live-snapshot [-u|—usage]

live-snapshot [-v|—version]


live-snapshot is a script which can be used to build the right types of persistent image files supported by live-initramfs(7). It is also used on exit by the live-initramfs init script to resync the boot-found snapshots devices.


-c, —cow DIRECTORY

specifies the input directory to be cloned in the image file. Its default value "/live/cow" should be right for most uses. However it could be handy to specify "/home" and type ext2 for the type to prepare an image file suited to be directly mounted by live-initramfs as home.

-d, —device DEVICE

sets the device where the media which the snapshot/persistence file/partition will be put. If it is not specified, a tmpfs will be used and linked to the user's desktop to move it where it is needed. If the device has no filesystem, an ext2 fs will be automatically created and labelled according to the values specified after the "—output" value or with a sane default.

-e, —exclude-list FILE

a file containing a list of filenames/paths that should not be saved. This exclude list will be remebered on the target snapshot media for reuse.

-o, —output FILE

the filename/label used for the output file/partition. If left blank, live-snapshot will search for a proper file on the device or use the whole partition.

-r, —resync-string STRING

internally used on resyncs.

-f, —refresh

try to do the same operation that should be done at reboot or halt, resyncing boot-time auto discovered snapshots. Useful to prevent a crash or surge power-off.

-t, —type TYPE

Type could be one of "cpio", "squashfs", "ext2", "ext3" or "jffs2".

-h, —help

display help and exit

-u, —usage

show usage and exit

-v, —version

output version information and exit



This optional file, if present changes the behaviour of live-snapshot, only files and directories listed there are included (integrally) in the snapshot. Beware, it is an experimental feature that only works for cpio targets now.

See also


This program is a part of live-initramfs.


Report bugs against live-initramfs


More information about the Debian Live project can be found at and


live-initramfs is maintained by Daniel Baumann <> for the Debian project. live-initramfs is a fork of casper. casper was originally written by Tollef Fog Heen <> and Matt Zimmerman <>.