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I need to make a bootable USB stick. Please somebody tell me:
1) How to format it with ext3
2) How to make a master boot record
3) How to create a files system
4) How to put syslinux, syslinux.cfg and a real kernel on the stick
There are basically two ways to make a flash drive. One is to use native linux tools such as what you want. Most newer distros have all the tools and they also usually have a gui made to do what you want. There is basically no difference between a usb flash and a hard drive to all the tools are the same. Consider using a distro that makes a flash drive install from the live cd maybe.
The other way is to use the flash with how to's shown at pendrivelinux.com. They in most pages have a way to take an ISO and simply make a flash drive either with or without persistence. I think one is the suse how to that is a different way.
Not all usb flash drives can be made to be bootable too. I have had to use HP tools on a few but all of mine have ended up working.