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Old 07-16-2008, 12:48 AM   #1
ghostmachine
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Question Need help choosing a persistent operating system to be installed on flash drive


I apologize if the subject was not specific enough. I will give as many details as possible. I have a Gateway 7322 laptop. It has 1 gig of ram, a 2.8Ghz P4 processor integrated video internal wireless, and a dvd rom drive. I could be more specific, but any further and I don't really think it makes much of a difference. The reason I'm not posting this in the laptop forum is that it isn't laptop specific. My problem is this. The Primary IDE controller is flaky. That is the best I can describe it. If there is a hard drive connected to it, the laptop won't boot. That's it. This machine isn't old enough to say forget it and buy a new one, so I am basically left with two options. I can boot off a CD until the end of time. That would work, except the battery doesn't hold a charge. A machine tethered to the wall without an optical drive or hard drive has very limited uses. Web browsing or email maybe light office stuff at the most. My other option is a flash drive distro. Right I have knoppix on a flash drive. This both my solution and my problem. I really like it, it works great. The problem is that I need it retain my previous installation when shut down. Basically, what I would really like to do is have a full linux distro, preferably Debian based, which has the hardware detection capabilities of knoppix, with the ability to retain everything on shutdown. Basically, adaptable linux on a stick. I can do without the ability to move it from that laptop to say a brand new quad core or something, but I would like to use it for troubleshooting and maybe a portable OS as well since I can't take the machine with me. For example, desktop shortcuts, installed programs and updates, music, documents, etc. Hardware isn't a problem, I have as many flash drives and computers as could possibly be needed for preparation, and as much time as it takes to do it. I am not a "newbie" but I am not a linux pro either. I can get around pretty well and I have a fully functional ubuntu server running my backups and other assorted things, but I can only go so far by myself. I apologize if this seems like an odd question or something that cannot/should not be done or if it is a dumb idea, but hopefully something can be worked out.
If you've gotten this far thank you for at least noting my ramblings.
ghostmachine
 
Old 07-16-2008, 02:10 AM   #2
indeliblestamp
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Its not a dumb question, I personaly love live USBs. The only one I've tried is Slax (its based on Slackware), and it should fit your primary requirement.
Slax uses modules for installing apps. The nice part is, changes you make to the desktop and your home folder are compressed and saved to a module during shutdown, and the same module is untarred and loaded back at startup. So you have a persistent environment with all your songs/documents/etc, unlike a live CD.
About the hardware detection, I guess you'd just have to try it out and see.
 
Old 07-16-2008, 02:17 AM   #3
linuxlover.chaitanya
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A DSL or Puppy can also be a good choice given that you need to boot from usb stick.
I tried it with Ubuntu Gutsy and it did well as well. But still think a smaller distro like Puppy or DSL can make a good choice.
 
Old 07-16-2008, 02:20 AM   #4
lazlow
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Fedora 9 has a persistent usb version. They (finally) seem to have the release bugs fixed.

I wonder if the battery and the hard drive problems are related. When drives first start they draw a ton of power. If it is drawing more than the battery can provide it would not allow the machine to boot. Some laptops always run the power from the battery even when plugged in.
 
Old 07-16-2008, 02:25 AM   #5
linuxlover.chaitanya
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I do not know if others did face this problem but I tried fedora 9 and had problems with my ethernet card which was realtek. I had two cards, one onboard and other a pci card.
Also, the system had problems with shutting down properly. It always hanged in while rebooting or shutting down though I did not use it on laptop but was a Dell Optiplex desktop system.
This has stopped me from using fedora 9.
 
Old 07-16-2008, 02:37 AM   #6
lazlow
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Yeah the first month or so with F9 was pretty rough with F9, but things have seemed to have stabilized now.
 
Old 07-16-2008, 02:45 AM   #7
linuxlover.chaitanya
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That is a good reason to try fedora 9 then though I personally like Fedora 7 more than 8 and 9
 
Old 08-30-2008, 09:31 AM   #8
jaesiff
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TooLate?

Its probably too late to answer this one, but I have been using DSL without problems.
 
  


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