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Old 12-10-2006, 06:02 PM   #1
kboy
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Linux on pen drive


Hi. I was wondering if it's possible to run Linux from a pen drive (like DSL or SLAX) and have my '/' partition on, let's say, an external USB HDD. I'm asking just considering if I'm on the road, and I don't have my external HDD with me, I can still choose to boot into Linux. Also, will kernel configs, X11 configs, and such be saved onto my pen drive instead of my external HDD? The purpose of my external HDD is to save documents, big files, store my music, and run applications. I just want the heart of the OS in my pen drive. I hope this makes sense. If it sounds confusing, please let me know. I'll try to fix it.
 
Old 12-10-2006, 06:13 PM   #2
Brian1
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No problem running linux off a USB pen drive. If the USB Boot is not supportted by the machine you can use a floppy from here to do that. http://featherlinux.berlios.de/download.htm

Brian
 
Old 12-10-2006, 08:00 PM   #3
craigevil
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Puppy, Feather, Slax and DSL will all work from a USB key.
 
Old 12-11-2006, 03:04 PM   #4
Brian1
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Depnding on setup more than likely the configs will be on the pen. For things like X-server I would go simple and use Vesa. A bit slow but 90% of all video cards are vesa compatiable. Also keep resolutions down to say 800 x 600. If you know the monitor you can increase if monitor and video card support it. Keep fstab simply. Keep partitions simply a main one and some swap if you wish. Maybe a fat32 one might be nice and maybe a small /boot. A /home if you wish but will be running out of room quickly.

Brian
 
Old 12-11-2006, 03:22 PM   #5
arochester
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See Pendrive Linux at http://www.pendrivelinux.com/
 
Old 12-11-2006, 03:46 PM   #6
kboy
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i tried installing damn small linux to my usb pen drive (Dell 128 MB). once i press enter at the boot prompt, my computer hangs at a black screen and my caps lock and scroll lock lights are turned on, but i can't turn them off.

i formatted my drive with the HP tool, then i extracted the zip files onto my pen drive, then i ran syslinux.exe -f G:, and rebooted. what did i do wrong?
 
Old 12-11-2006, 04:25 PM   #7
matuk_444
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Go to www.mandriva.com/ They have bought out a 2GB USB stick with a special flash version of mandriva 2007 on.

Mat
 
Old 12-11-2006, 05:31 PM   #8
lymae
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kboy
once i press enter at the boot prompt, my computer hangs at a black screen and my caps lock and scroll lock lights are turned on, but i can't turn them off.
If you call "boot prompt" the screen with a brownish logo image and some text at the bottom (press f2, f1, blablabla) that means that the kernel has taken over. After pressing enter to proceed, by default DSL (and all other knoppix offshoots) switches to a 1024x768 or 800x600 video mode (with a small tux icon in the upper left corner and coming text is colored) before loading the rest of the packages. If you can't make it this far then try changing the default parameters by pressing F1 or F2 at the boot prompt (i don't know the keys, but you have a choice to override the defaults, I'm sure about that)like screen=640x480 color=8, make sure it uses vesa and not the frame buffer, or switch to text mode and see if that works.

Anyway that's what I would do.. or try...
And if it won't work anyways? Try PClinuxOS (www.pendrivelinux.com), it's not a knoppix offshoot, so it just might work...
May this be of some help
 
Old 12-11-2006, 06:43 PM   #9
pegazuz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craigevil
Puppy, Feather, Slax and DSL will all work from a USB key.

I have tried all of the above on two different USB 256 MB Flash Drives and Puppy was only one to finish booting and run on my Acer Laptop which is three months old. All started to boot but the last three could not finish booting up.
 
Old 12-11-2006, 06:53 PM   #10
kboy
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Thanks for the responses. I am currently running SLAX from my pen drive. My next question is: how can I preserve my settings? is a 128 MB pen drive enough? in other words, i'd like to have system settings and such on just this pen drive and use an external USB HDD to store my music, huge files and documents, etc. etc. i'm mainly concerned with getting my soundcard working (an audigy 2 zs notebook) and dual-monitor setup. so, can i have like my /home/ folder in my external HDD while keeping the OS stuff like /etc/, /usr/, etc. on the pen drive?
 
Old 12-11-2006, 08:27 PM   #11
kboy
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I guess what I'm shooting for is not a "LiveUSB"-style distro, but a permanent install on a flash/pen drive. Would I just go about a normal install of any distro, but choose the minimal or custom install option so it can fit on my pen drive?
 
Old 12-12-2006, 02:57 AM   #12
lymae
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kboy
I guess what I'm shooting for is not a "LiveUSB"-style distro, but a permanent install on a flash/pen drive. Would I just go about a normal install of any distro, but choose the minimal or custom install option so it can fit on my pen drive?
If you find the answer let me know, too. I've been struggling with this problem for ages
I tried it with FreeBSD and it froze during boot. I tried FlashLinux and it froze, too...
 
Old 12-13-2006, 09:24 AM   #13
pegazuz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kboy
I guess what I'm shooting for is not a "LiveUSB"-style distro, but a permanent install on a flash/pen drive. Would I just go about a normal install of any distro, but choose the minimal or custom install option so it can fit on my pen drive?
What would be the difference on a Flash drive? I can run Puppy from a USB Flash drive. It saves my bookmarks and configuration and boots up quickly but runs entirely in RAM. I think it runs quicker that way. From what I read I get the impression a flash drive would not last more than a few hours or days if the linux was actually running from the Flash drive like it runs from a hard drive.

I want to try get some linux running from my external hard drive but can't find anything that I can get installed that will boot up my laptop.
 
Old 12-20-2006, 04:46 PM   #14
natv
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Linux on USB thumbdrive/pen drive

Hi guys,

Yeah I'm wondering about this too.

I'm about to try this on my 4GB USB thumbdrive and not sure about something...

I went to pendrivelinux dot com and they have great tutorials. But I guess that is using a 'live' install right? Is that why we would have to set up a 'persistant home directory' in order to save settings?


I want to just install Linux as a normal install on my USB drive, so I can just boot up from it.

What is the reason for using a live version vs. a regular install?

Would a regular install work like any other hard drive? This is what I want to do, so I can customize my settings, make changes, etc.. and have it all available next time I boot from the USB drive.


Any suggestions or advice on the Live vs. regular install?


Thanks
Natv
 
  


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