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kushalkoolwal 08-25-2006 01:55 PM

Debian Install question on USB
 
What is the best method to install my Debian System(Sarge/Etch) on a USB hard drive or a USB Jump drive?

I already have a debian system installed on my Hard drive but I would like to install it(fresh new system or the one already installed on my Hard Drive) on my USB device.

Is there any guide?
EDIT: Update: Here is the guide.

Thanks

kushalkoolwal 08-26-2006 09:12 PM

any one????

wonker 08-27-2006 12:55 PM

I'm only a bigginer but this is where I would start looking :

When you have your USB key plugged in when you install debian it asks about partitions and where to install debian, I guess you just choose your usb key instead of the hard drive...

The only problem I see here is the boot, and of course the speed your usb key being slow. I guess that if you install a new debian on your PC hardrive you'll have to have your uSB key pluged in so you do not loose your usb menu in your boot manager...

kushalkoolwal 08-27-2006 04:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wonker
I'm only a bigginer but this is where I would start looking :

When you have your USB key plugged in when you install debian it asks about partitions and where to install debian, I guess you just choose your usb key instead of the hard drive...

The only problem I see here is the boot, and of course the speed your usb key being slow. I guess that if you install a new debian on your PC hardrive you'll have to have your uSB key pluged in so you do not loose your usb menu in your boot manager...

From what I have come to known is we can copy the file system from any existing Debian system to our USB jump drive. But the problem comes when you have to install the boot loder. I think syslinux does that job but it requires FAT16 or FAT32 partition in order to install the boot loader on the USB jump drive. That means I think we need two partitions: one is ext3 to have the filesystem and a FAT partition to have boot loader.

But I am hoping if someone who already has an experience with this can guide me or give his/her valuable suggestion.

kushalkoolwal 08-28-2006 04:21 PM

anyone??? :scratch:

bdp 08-28-2006 10:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kushalkoolwal
anyone??? :scratch:

here's a very basic discussion which may be useful:
http://www-128.ibm.com/developerwork...-fireboot.html

although i haven't tried it yet, my strategy will be to take a stock install of the business-card-sized-sarge on an IDE drive and try to get it to boot after relocation to a USB housing. this will surely require some messing with grub from a chrooted boot CD such as knoppix and probably also the inclusion of whatever modules are required for boot (from the USB device) such as the USB modules, the SCSI modules, etc in /etc/modules as per the following man page :

The /etc/modules file contains the names of kernel modules that are to be loaded at boot time, one per line.

once i get this working on a USB drive (someday) i'd try to dd it to a USB thumbdrive which obviously is slower for experimental purposes.

let me know if you get it going, would like to hear an optimized strategy if you find one.

thx,
-b

bdp 08-28-2006 10:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kushalkoolwal
From what I have come to known is we can copy the file system from any existing Debian system to our USB jump drive. But the problem comes when you have to install the boot loder. I think syslinux does that job but it requires FAT16 or FAT32 partition in order to install the boot loader on the USB jump drive. That means I think we need two partitions: one is ext3 to have the filesystem and a FAT partition to have boot loader.

But I am hoping if someone who already has an experience with this can guide me or give his/her valuable suggestion.

regarding the boot loader, one quote from the article above which may provide some insight is "One word of caution, however: care needs to be taken when deciding on where to install the boot loader (usually GRUB or LILO) -- I would recommend not installing it in the Master Boot Record (MBR) (which is usually the default). Rather, it should be installed in the root partition (or boot partition, if you use a separate one) of the external drive."

further, i don't follow why any FAT partitions are required, can't you just make an EXT3 boot partition and use the grub installer to fix things up correctly?

GoJian 01-03-2007 10:53 PM

http://feraga.com/node/30

- a nice guide targeting at USB flash drive. I guess it works the same for a portable external USB hard drive.

ironwalker 01-05-2007 09:46 PM

Could install cpx-mini...than downgrade or switch to total debian via sources.list.
http://www2.informatik.hu-berlin.de/~bading/cpx-mini/

By the way,the new version based on sidux will be more geared toward,if not,pure debian unstable.
Stil can downgrade to testing or stable via sources.list with either kanotix or sidux.

kushalkoolwal 01-26-2009 08:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bdp (Post 2399671)
further, i don't follow why any FAT partitions are required, can't you just make an EXT3 boot partition and use the grub installer to fix things up correctly?

I completely agree with you regarding that. Why create all this fuss regarding FAT and also using squashfs and all that complex thing.

kushalkoolwal 02-26-2009 01:46 PM

It's been more than two and half years since I posted the question. Few months back I got inspired and I wrote a series of article. Hope it helps somebody...


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