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Old 07-11-2012, 07:11 PM   #1
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Registered: Jul 2012
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Chainloading Syslinux on a USB drive with multiple partitions

Hello everyone! my questions are very basic, but first, here is what I am trying to do:

I have a 8gb usb flash drive that I want to be able to use normally carry files from home to school when convenient, but also be able to boot a persistant (not live) install of linux (Wary Puppy 5.2.2 right) from it.

I started by partitioning the flash drive into a ~7gb FAT32 partition for storing files that can be accessed from both windows computers at school and my linux machine at home. This has to be the first partition because as far as I know windows will only recognize the first partition of removable media.

The second partition I made ~700mb Ext4 to hold my install of linux. Right now that is Wary Puppy 5.2.2 and I can boot it from the bootloader on my home machine (which is Grub Legacy), so I know that it works and everything.

Since I want to make the flash drive bootable, I installed Syslinux 4.04 on the first partition for the flash drive and tried to get it to load the kernel on the second partition. I soon realized that Syslinux can't load kernels on other partitions, so that was a bust.

My options are now:
Use Grub Legacy instead, because I'm 90% sure that will work fine,
put Syslinux on the second partition of the flash drive and chain load it from the one on the first partition.

I'm not sure which of these options is better, but I don't know anything about chain loading and it would be good to learn about it.

Should I set this up some other way?
edit: I am trying to install extlinux on the second partition so that it can be chainloaded by syslinux on the first partition, but I am getting an error:
$ extlinux --install /mnt/lgh/boot/syslinux
/mnt/lgh/boot/syslinux is device /dev/sdb2
extlinux: cannot open device /dev/sdb2
I seem to be at a dead end.

edit2: well, I never did get extlinux to work, but I just installed grub legacy and the whole thing works fine. I now have a bootable flash drive that can also be used just like a normal one.

Last edited by snak; 07-12-2012 at 02:30 AM. Reason: partially resolved


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