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Old 12-26-2004, 01:56 PM   #1
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Installing Linux to USB HDD


Is there a distro that will install onto a USB HDD and boot off it out of the box? If so what? If not, are there simple instructions on how to do this?

My Mobo is an nforce 3 mobo and can boot from USB devices.

Can I install LILO on the USB drive? I want to just change my boot drive from the BIOS rather than use a menu.

Old 12-27-2004, 12:45 AM   #2
Registered: Nov 2004
Location: Delaware
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Damn Small

not sure on lilo.

here is a good link.

I am actually working on the same thing. I think I wanna try Damn small, but I am leaning towards Slax.

Good Luck.

I googled "linux usb drive distro"
Old 12-27-2004, 04:35 AM   #3
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Thanks m8. I'm not trying to put it on a flash stick. It's a 80Gb Hard Disk Drive.
Old 12-27-2004, 07:05 AM   #4
Registered: Nov 2004
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I need to work on my reading comprehension.

If you are using one computer for this I would assume most distros would work.

I would partition it as normal, and configure lilo to boot from this drive.

Old 12-27-2004, 02:36 PM   #5
Registered: Apr 2004
Location: Sweden
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I run Fedora on an USB HD. The main problems are;
1. The installation program did not detect the drive. I installed on
a partition on another machine, tar-ed the entire root file system
and unpacked it on the USB HD. GRUB works fine, but has to
be installed manually.
2. The kernel tries to mount the root-file system before the USB
HD is ready. This is trickier. Use an initial ramdisk (initrd). Do
repeated mounts of the USB HD until it succeeds and then
do the "pivotroot" stuff. I make my own initrd, but it may be
easier to take an existing (Fedora always boot from initrd),
mount it with "loop" and modify it.
This is probably not for the newbie, but it it actually not that
hard and you will learn from it.
Regards, Lars Ekman


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