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Old 02-09-2011, 01:23 PM   #1
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How best to write Ubuntu 10.04LTS ISO to USB mounted CF card?

Note: it was hard for me to choose the best LQ forum, due to fact this question involves at least 2 different forums, but here's a shot.

I am setting up an embedded system (EBX form factor, Advantech PCM-9562D, a nice ATOM based 5.75"x8" SBC) to run Ubuntu 10.04LTS. The PCM-9562D is BIOS enabled to boot from a CF card.

I have now:
-- I'm initially working on a PC running WinXP Pro running Ubuntu 10.04LTS, as a VMWare Player guest OS instance. My first goal is simply to put an existing Ubuntu ISO directly on this CF card, then put this CF card in the PCM-9562D, and try to boot from that.. but I'm not certain what the best sequence of steps is to do that.
-- I started with a 16Gb blank CF card (shipped with FAT32) mounted via a SanDisk USB adaptor, which mounts fine under Ubuntu.
-- Note: On the host PC, I currently don't have my Ubuntu VM guest on the network, but after an initial try and failure using a bridged network connection via my inside-the-office 10.0.0.x LAN, I've put that off as a separate issue for now.
-- I have a Ubuntu 10.04LTS ISO file available on a filesystem visible from my Ubuntu VMware guest session.
-- Within Ubuntu, I used the Disk Utility to delete the CF card's shipped FAT32, and (a) created a 2Gb swap partition, then (b) created a 1 Gb boot partition, and (c) created a ext3 (root)partition using the rest of the 13Gb. I do suspect I may be doing this in the wrong order. I'll be a bit spoiled by working on earlier embedded systems that already came with Linux on the boot media )

--I now have the CF card mounted and visible under the PC's VMware Ubuntu session, mounted as /media/root like this:
/dev/sdb3 /media/root

Is the best way to copy the Ubuntu ISO I have (on an Ubuntu mounted filesystem /wrk/, to use dd something like this:

dd ibs=10240 obs=10240 if=/wrk/Ubuntu-10.04.1-desktop-i386.iso of=/dev/sdb3

My plan would then be to unmount CF card from the PC's Ubuntu session, mount it in the embedded PCM-9562D single board computers CF slot, reboot the SBC into the Ubuntu install mode, and then try to re-configure it to install on the (same) CF card..

Any tips on if this is right or if there is a better way would be welcome. TIA.
Old 02-09-2011, 02:00 PM   #2
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While I have installed Linux operating systems on USB Pendrives, SD Flash Drives, and 8 Gig micro drives (CF style pin connection). My 8gig micro drive install required a IDE to CF adapter so I could plug into IDE harness for hardrive connector on Laptop.

Now. I had no need for /swap partition. No need for /boot partition. I don't run Windows with Linux either but only Linux by itself. If Windows is needed. I run Windows in VM in Linux. Opposite of what you are doing.

You say you want to use dd command for imaging Ubuntu Iso to CF card. If the Ubuntu Iso is a hybrid iso then this will work. But it will automatically format the whole drive and install bootloader automatically and run as a live Ubuntu session incapable of saving changes I think.

That is about all I know about that. Seems a pretty convulsed way to go about a Ubuntu install. I would just
run the Ubuntu installer off of pendrive or CD. Then point the install to the CF card. Install Ubuntu and Grub to MBR on CF card (being careful to point everything to the right /dev/sd?=CF card). Being a CF card. I would Use Ext2 file system also. But that is just me. I run Ext2 File system on all my Linux Solid State Drives whether USB or SD Flash with persistence. I use bios to change what boots.

I won't have any more info to give on this subject (because some of what you are trying to do goes over my head). But good luck with this any ways.

Last edited by rokytnji; 02-09-2011 at 02:02 PM.
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 02-09-2011, 04:07 PM   #3
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Thanks very much for your quick and helpful response.

Once I finished installing some USB pigtails on the USB headers on the PCM-9562D single board computer, I attached a USB slimstyle DVD containing the Ubuntu install media as you suggested. It fired it right up, and the normal install sequence went very well. I should have thought about bootstrapping the OS install off a DVD as per normal practice!
I did select "Manual" for the steps that involved mapping partitions, and nicely matched up my pre-existing swap, and ext3 boot, and root partitions that I'd earlier defined on the CF card. You're right about not necessarily needing swap (and separate /boot) partitions, but I guess old habits die hard; I have a separate /boot for flexibility later, in case I want to swap out kernels but leave all the rest of the filesystems intact.
Anyway, thanks again!!


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