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Juxjax 05-22-2012 11:17 PM

Slackware Live USB
I know there are several Slackware-based distributions that have been created for the purpose of acting as a live USB, but has any created an actual live USB from a full-blown Slackware itself? Any advice on how to do it?

Is there a way to install Slackware on a live USB just like we do on a hard drive with all the customizations, i.e. LVM, custom packages, applications, etc.?

Mark Pettit 05-23-2012 03:39 AM

Nothing would please me more than to see a "solved" answer to this question :-)

Well - OK - if someone transfers $$$millions into my bank account I'd be more pleased !

cmk77 05-23-2012 04:15 AM

Apparently porteus answered that.

ruario 05-23-2012 05:14 AM

Didier Spaier has previously written about how to install Slackware to an external USB disk. The only thing in addition you might want to do is to cut down the number of packages to get it to fit, if you are using a small disk like a pen drive. Though you can get a basic Xfce desktop setup within a couple of Gb.

Darth Vader 05-23-2012 06:06 AM

I believe that more interesting will be an official "out-of-box" USB installation kit. We remember, today slackware-current source tree generate (via AlienBOB's a "little" ISO, about 5571MB.

Why I should use an Double-Layer DVD when already I have an 8GB USB stick?

I known, there is some (un)official methods, but, I believe to be better a solution to create an USB installer even using Windows as host. Something like what GParted do. Extract the source tree in the target device and run one script to make it bootable.

ruario 05-23-2012 07:07 AM

@Darth Vader: USB install images are already provided:


Originally Posted by README_USB.TXT
The 'usbboot.img' file is a 25 MB small USB boot image that you can
use to boot into the Slackware setup program. The mini image does not
contain any installable Slackware package. In order to install Slackware
you will need a local NFS/HTTP/FTP server or another Slackware package
source like a prepared local harddisk partition. This small image file
works great, especially when you can't or don't want to use CDROM media
as the carrier for the Slackware packages.
The image is transfered to a USB stick in a matter of seconds. Even the
oldest and tiniest of USB drives is well suited for this purpose.

You will also find in that directory. It allows you to make a disk that better uses the available space. So you can include the packages on the same disk if you don't want to do a network install.

ottavio 05-23-2012 09:04 AM


Originally Posted by ruario (Post 4685540)
@Darth Vader: USB install images are already provided:

I believe he meant something more like the ARM miniroot:

Juxjax 05-23-2012 10:52 AM

Thank you everyone. Certainly, there are many attempts and proposals offered, but I haven't seen a one that literally takes the hard drive installation and slaps it on to the live USB. I would surely give Didier's instruction a try this weekend.

Nevertheless, since I had envisioned the live USB to be functional on the majority of systems, namely taking it from laptop to laptop, or even desktop to desktop, the kernel configurations must be somewhat more inclusive to handle various hardwares and modules, which unfortunately, would make it bloated.

I'm not aiming to load an infinite number of packages and applications; as a matter of fact, when it comes to to user/server programs, I tend to be minimalistic.

Moreover, I think one should also consider how the normal excessive "writes" to the USB done by the programs and kernel would effect the longevity of the device. On the other hand, I wouldn't mind using it only for 2 or 3 years and replacing it with a better performing USB afterwards.

TobiSGD 05-23-2012 11:10 AM

What hinders you to just make a normal Slackware installation to that device?
Of course you have to adapt /etc/fstab and your lilo configuration to use labels or UUIDs, but that is a no brainer.

Hannes Worst 05-23-2012 11:35 AM

I dont't know if Exton-Slack has everything you need?

NyteOwl 05-23-2012 11:42 AM

You might like to check these out:

Mark Pettit 05-23-2012 12:21 PM


Originally Posted by Hannes Worst (Post 4685711)
I dont't know if Exton-Slack has everything you need?

That looks very nice. I'm going to try a download this weekend. Thank you.

ottavio 05-24-2012 06:27 PM

I'm currently running Slackware 32 bit entirely from a 1G USB memory stick (yes, only 1 G !). I did a minimal installation and added packages one by one (a painful process). I have formatted the usb stick as ext2 to minimize writes, I have mounted some directories and files in ram:

bash-4.2$ cat /etc/fstab
/dev/sdb1        /                ext2        defaults,noatime 1  1
#/dev/cdrom      /mnt/cdrom      auto        noauto,owner,ro  0  0
#/dev/fd0        /mnt/floppy      auto        noauto,owner    0  0
devpts          /dev/pts        devpts      gid=5,mode=620  0  0
proc            /proc            proc        defaults        0  0
tmpfs            /dev/shm        tmpfs      defaults        0  0
tmpfs      /tmp        tmpfs  defaults,noatime,mode=1777    0  0

I have moved slackpkg cache files to /dev/shm amd modified Firefox to run entirely in memory.
This is the list of my packages:

Juxjax 05-25-2012 06:32 PM


Originally Posted by TobiSGD (Post 4685698)
What hinders you to just make a normal Slackware installation to that device?
Of course you have to adapt /etc/fstab and your lilo configuration to use labels or UUIDs, but that is a no brainer.

The reason I'm trying to have a Slackware USB Live is because this is a laptop that I do not have a permission to install another OS on its hard drive. Moreover, I would like to have a flexibility to just take this USB Live, and if the system provide a bootable option from the USB, and load it on most machines. I understand that reconfiguration for a new system might somehow defeat this purpose, but I could install as many functionalities into the kernel or load them as modules with this USB Live.

Juxjax 05-25-2012 06:33 PM

Alien's Windows and Linux installation to the USB scripts are sure useful here. Thank you.

I'm going to try both of them this weekend see if I can get it to work.

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