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-   -   making boot cd for mandrake on usb harddrive (

jensm 04-25-2004 06:22 PM

making boot cd for mandrake on usb harddrive
ive been following some threads on knoppix where it seems somebody managed with knoppix to make a bootable cd which mounts the /root partition from a usb storage device.

i cant post a link but its under knoppix forum - viewtopic.php?p=40359

this is ideal for a fully portable linux distro as i could carry a cd and have my full mandrake distro on my external harddrive.

problem is. i dont fully understand what this guy did and if its possible to emulate for other distros. id like to do the work but first i want to know if its possible for something like mandrake.

would i install everything on my usb (which mandrake 10 nicely shows me as an option for partioning)?

the problem then would only be to create this "magic cd". can somebody give me some hints on this.


zachman123 12-20-2004 09:23 AM

Having the same problem, I've tried making my own initrd to mount the usb drive and then set it as root but I can't get the modules to load.
Seems mandrake has a distro out called "Globetrotter", too bad I can't get the minicd from that.

shea1roh 12-20-2004 09:31 AM

If your system BIOS supports booting from USB, you shouldn't need a cd to boot from, just load your MDK system & bootloader on the USB drive.

zachman123 12-20-2004 09:36 AM

That's the thing, my computer doesn't (Dell Dimension 8250) support booting from usb so I need a bootcd that can load the kernel/initrd, and have the linuxrc script load the usb drivers. It's a shame, seems like it would be so easy for Dell to just put in usb booting...

shea1roh 12-20-2004 05:59 PM

Another possibility that I have used when I first started experimenting with Linux is load the bootloader onto a floppy. I wanted to dual boot with windows, & everything I tried gave me either windows worked or linux worked, so I did a normal install to the drive I wanted, & then when install asked where to but the bootloader, I told it floppy. Then if I wanted windows I booted from hd, if linux, I booted from the floppy. Not real elegent, but it worked.

zachman123 12-20-2004 07:20 PM

Well, I'm not "experimenting with linux", and the goal for me was to be able to have a portable and fully functional linux setup wherever I went.
So, I ended up emailing Mandrake saying I had lost the minicd (which boots their Globetrotter software that runs on an external hd if your computer can't boot from USB). They emailed me a link to the iso of it. At first it didn't work, but I realized for some reason "root" was set to "label=MDK-ROOT". I simply switched root to /dev/sda1, and now it all works :D

I'll be releasing a usb boot cd in the near future for anyone currently having this issue. In the meantime, email me at or aim zachman123 for instructions/help.

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