Booting Linux from a USB thumb drive

Barry Roberts blr at robertsr.us
Mon Oct 9 20:44:18 MDT 2006


I ran the dsl script to get a basic (syslinux) bootable usb stick
working.  Then I re-mastered knoppix so I didn't have to worry about
getting the initrd right.  It just detects all the hardware every time.

Takes forever to boot (these machines only have USB 1.1), but it was
pretty easy.

Barry Roberts

On Mon, 2006-10-09 at 16:38 -0600, Michael L Torrie wrote:
> On Mon, 2006-10-09 at 16:30 -0600, Sean Kirkby wrote:
> > Hello,
> >  
> > I am looking for suggestions re: what distro to use to install on a 2.0 GiB USB thumb drive.
> >  
> > In addition to support for booting from the thumb drive on machines with BIOS's that allow that, we also need to have a boot floppy that can boot into an environment in which "/" is on the thumb drive.
> >  
> > I have found lots of references to DSL and Knoppix, but the weak instructions I've been able to find haven't worked so far...
> 
> I was once going to work out a way to get my usb backup disk to be
> bootable over usb.  Never got it working.  But here's what you'd have to
> do on the linux side:
> 
> - make sure /etc/fstab points to the proper devices (ie /dev/hda1 is
> probably not correct)
> - make sure the initial ramdisk has the usb drivers in it so that the
> kernel can find the root file system
> - use mkbootdisk to make a bootable floppy drive
> 
> In the end I just made a special vmware player image that referred to
> the entire USB device (under windows) in raw mode, and then just made
> sure I had the scsi drivers in the initrd.  Grub is written to the boot
> sector of the usb disk and vmware makes it seem like it's a normal scsi
> disk.
> 
> >  
> > Any suggestions?
> >  
> > Thanks.
> >  
> > --sk.
> >  
> > ========================
> > Sean Kirkby
> > Concentrico, Inc.
> > P: (801) 221-7606 x204
> > W: www.Concentrico.net 
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> > 
> > 
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> 
> 
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