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-   -   Combination bootable Linux USB key and QEMU launch? (

davidengel 02-18-2008 04:52 PM

Combination bootable Linux USB key and QEMU launch?
I am looking for a distribution/setup, or more specifically a 'how-to,' that I can use on USB key that will:
  • allow me to boot off the USB pen drive to a Linux system
  • allow me to access the Linux system from Windows (using Qemu, etc.) without rebooting if the computer is already running.

I have taken a look at DSL, Puppy, and some other systems, but I am having problems figuring out how to make $HOME (or some directory) readable by both setups.

Anyone with an idea out there on how to do this? Encryption would be nice but is not a priority.


budword 02-18-2008 06:27 PM

I'm sure there are more elegant ways to solve this, but a quick and dirty solution might be put puppy on a usb drive, then use vmware or virtualbox to open it as an iso, when you need to use it from within windows. In the "guest settings" change the "cdrom" to an iso image, located on the usb drive. I haven't tested it, but it should work. I prefer virtualbox, which does have a windows version, but I think you have to use the closed source version (but still free as in beer, I think) to have usb support, but maybe not. This I can test quick....I think the closed source version supports usb for the guest, I think you can use an iso image on a usb drive from the host with either version. I'll test it out quick and get back to you here.


OK, I just did my little test, and virtualbox, the free GPL version, boots up with no "hard drive", just an iso image located on a usb thumb drive. Now, you just need to make sure that the iso image located on a thumb drive will boot up without virtualbox or vmware or whatever looking after it. I did also find another post about just this sort of thing.

davidengel 06-16-2009 01:50 PM

Combination bootable Linux USB key and QEMU launch - SOLVED
I found this solution:

linus72 06-16-2009 02:56 PM

mmmm...yeah, but does pendrive play on Linux too?
and with mine you can play the qemu even in a linux livecd/usb too
I got lots of different ones, some not listed
wanna try new 6 partition vhd Portable-MultiDistro-0.10?
It's a 1.6GB vhd with
1-tinycore-2.0 with lots of apps
2-WebServerPuppy1 HD install
3-DSL-4.4.10 HD Install
4-Puplet Netbook904 Frugal Install
5-MyDSL-4.4.10 Frugal-MyDSL Install
6 swap

all distro's run and play just like real linux too.
I got some here too
( )
screenshots are of tinycore-2.0 portable/lappy install and dsl portable
( )
( )
Portabel-qemu has both scripts for making vhd's and installing/running.
not all distro's work.
You want link for multidistro-portable above hit me up

kickuindajunk 12-04-2011 03:45 PM

Solution: Boot Usb drive in QEMU

Came across this post and many other list this which did not provide an easy solution.

Here is my solution to boot a usb drive in QEMU

1) open terminal
2) $ lsusb
3) find the bus and device number for the usb to boot: "Bus 002 Device 008: ID 13fe:3600 Kingston Technology Company Inc."
4) run qemu with command args: sudo qemu-system-x86_64 -m 512 -enable-kvm -usb -device usb-host,hostbus=2,hostaddr=8
where hostbus and hostaddr come from the lsusb output

Hope this helps as it is an easy solution, no more rebooting to test usb devices.

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