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-   -   Dual boot to flash drive (http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/slackware-14/dual-boot-to-flash-drive-4175451458/)

waddles 02-23-2013 08:41 PM

Dual boot to flash drive
 
I had a flash drive at one point in my dim past but cannot recall if I had put Slack on it or Windoz. Anyway I would like to create a test bed for Linuxes on a flash drive and be able to dual boot to it. My question is is it possible to create partitions on the flash drive and treat it as another hard drive and then install Slackware/Fedora/Zenwalk/whatever on it and then dual boot to it using lilo? I have dual booted using lilo with Slackware and Windoz and to other Linuxes.

MS3FGX 02-23-2013 09:53 PM

A USB flash drive, at least on modern hardware, is more or less indistinguishable from a traditional HDD. If your BIOS can see it as a bootable device, then you can partition it and setup the bootloader on it however you like.

allend 02-23-2013 09:56 PM

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...how-to-919708/

PS - I lack religion but Matthew 7:7 springs to mind.

waddles 02-23-2013 10:25 PM

I have Slackware installed on my hard drive so I am wondering if it is necessary that the BIOS needs to have provision to boot to a USB since Lilo will be interceding? If so is there a work around as my desktop does not have USB boot capability?

waddles 02-23-2013 10:43 PM

If my bios does not have a USB boot option am I dead in the water for trying to install Linuxes in the partitions and for dual booting? Is there a work around that substitutes cdrom/floppy/etc. for a USB boot?
Sorry for the duplication of the query. The original did not show up as usual and I had slid off to check my LQ.

Didier Spaier 02-24-2013 12:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by allend (Post 4898459)
http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...how-to-919708/

PS - I lack religion but Matthew 7:7 springs to mind.

I have absolutely no religion but Matthew (Matthieu en Franšais) happens to be the first name of my second son. ;)

Now you made me rethink, I am probably missing "mount -o bind" the /proc partition before chroot, that may be why I had warnings running lilo? I'll try that again to check.

Didier Spaier 02-24-2013 12:51 AM

@waddles: Your BIOS doesn't need to have USB boot enabled to install lilo on the flash drive, but of course that will be necessary for the target computer to boot the USB key.

gnashley 02-24-2013 03:04 AM

You can boot to a root on USB without any problems as long as the kernel (and initrd, if any) are copied to the hard drive. This is especially easy if you have a small separate partition for /boot. Just copy kernel to /boot, create an entry in lilo.conf for the installation, run lilo and you're done.

dwblas 02-24-2013 02:50 PM

If you want to just boot from the USB drive, i.e. not from the MBR to the usb drive, burn PLOP to a CD and boot from the CD. PLOP will then allow you to boot from any device on/in the computer. We have one old Del with old BIOS and if anything goes wrong I use PLOP to boot a rescue USB.

schneidz 02-24-2013 03:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MS3FGX (Post 4898455)
A USB flash drive, at least on modern hardware, is more or less indistinguishable from a traditional HDD. If your BIOS can see it as a bootable device, then you can partition it and setup the bootloader on it however you like.

keep in mind that installing to a hard drive (including usb drives) will not function like a live distribution. if you try to boot it up on a totally different pc it probably wont detect the hardware correctly.


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