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Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?

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Old 01-02-2006, 09:45 AM   #1
spiffytech
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Registered: Dec 2005
Location: NC, USA
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Can Linux work from a USB HDD?


Work has given me a laptop (Dell Inspiron 6000) to use, but it has Windows XP on it. I don't want to use that at school, so I'm thinking about buying a USB 5GB HDD and installing Ubuntu on that, and using that at school. I know that my computer can boot to USB, but would running an entire OS from a USB HDD work tolerably? Are there any drawbacks or problems with doing this?
 
Old 01-02-2006, 10:17 AM   #2
sam_vde
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Registered: Mar 2005
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boot from USB

Yes, I am actually doing this myself. Make sure you have USB 2.0.

Also beware: you need an initrd to make this work, even with USB compiled straight into the kernel. I think the main reason was USB devices need some time to self register and of course this has to be done before mounting the root fs. I got my initrd from a rescue CD, it is busybox based and does the trick for me.


Regards
Sam
 
Old 01-02-2006, 10:26 AM   #3
slantoflight
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Your results will vary from computer. With USB 2.0, you will get tolerable read/write rates.

Depending on what drive you get you'll get around 30mb/s transfer rate.

Its about the same speed as an average internal harddrive. Actually thats twice as fast as my own internal laptop harddrive.(but mine is old anyway)

But other than that, things should be fine. Just don't drop your harddrive. Or lose it. Or get it stolen.

Keep a robust configuration.

Standard 1024x768 resolution
Mount your boot drive by GUID
prepare your drivers


you know, the usual stuff blah blah blah

Last edited by slantoflight; 01-02-2006 at 10:27 AM.
 
Old 01-07-2006, 04:44 AM   #4
crnchyfrog
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Registered: Oct 2004
Location: Shanghai
Distribution: Slackware 10.2
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hows it going guys?

I've got slackware 10.2 installed on a toshiba 2.5" drive. I just put the drive into an external enclosure and tried to boot. I get past lilo and such but get an error when I try to mount the file system.

The error is as follows:
Kernel Panic: VFS: Unable to mount root FS on 03:01.

What changes do I need to make in order to get it to boot off the external drive?

Thanks
 
Old 02-07-2006, 02:07 PM   #5
pgp_protector
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Registered: Feb 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sam_vde
Yes, I am actually doing this myself. Make sure you have USB 2.0.

Also beware: you need an initrd to make this work, even with USB compiled straight into the kernel. I think the main reason was USB devices need some time to self register and of course this has to be done before mounting the root fs. I got my initrd from a rescue CD, it is busybox based and does the trick for me.


Regards
Sam
Ok, Nube question, I'm also trying to get Linux to boot off a USB HD,

What's an "Initrd" ? and how do I make one ?

I've tried Mandriva, SuSE, Fedora, all with the same results. None will boot
 
  


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