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#1 2007-01-26 20:14:26

borisb
Member
Registered: 2005-05-18
Posts: 11

Linux on a USB Stick

Ok, I really need to put Linux on my USB Stick for multiple reasons, and I've run in some trouble while following this guide:

http://rz-obrian.rz.uni-karlsruhe.de/knoppix-usb/

it worked all fine till I came to the cloop part:

[root@greyhound ~]# insmod cloop file=/mnt/KNOPPIX && mount -i iso9660 /dev/cloop/cdrom
insmod: can't read 'cloop': No such file or directory

So here I am desperate for help.

BTW, I checked pacman and the forums for cloop, and iI didn't find anything that I understood  sad  sad

What I would like to know is, did anyone do this under Archlinux yet and if how ?
And my other question is does anyone know an alternative way to get linux on a usb stick to run.

Help is appreciated, thx in advance.

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#2 2007-01-26 20:23:33

stingray
Member
From: Lima, Peru SA
Registered: 2006-03-24
Posts: 188

Re: Linux on a USB Stick

Might take a look at larch, I haven't tried it yet, I read through the larch pages last night and it looks like it might do what you want. It helps you build a live cd built on ArchLinux, also has an option to set it up for a live USB stick, and one should be able to run it from another distro, not just arch.

http://four.fsphost.com/gradgrind/

Another thing to try anyway.

Hope some of this helps.

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#3 2007-01-26 20:26:36

borisb
Member
Registered: 2005-05-18
Posts: 11

Re: Linux on a USB Stick

stingray wrote:

Might take a look at larch, I haven't tried it yet, I read through the larch pages last night and it looks like it might do what you want. It helps you build a live cd built on ArchLinux, also has an option to set it up for a live USB stick, and one should be able to run it from another distro, not just arch.

http://four.fsphost.com/gradgrind/

Another thing to try anyway.

Hope some of this helps.

Umm thx but does larch only run from other distros ? because what I need is a Linux which I can boot from a USB stick

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#4 2007-01-26 22:08:12

elasticdog
Member
From: Washington, USA
Registered: 2005-05-02
Posts: 995
Website

Re: Linux on a USB Stick

I found SLAX to be incredibly easy to get up and running (and to customize with my own set of packages).

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#5 2007-01-26 22:13:35

borisb
Member
Registered: 2005-05-18
Posts: 11

Re: Linux on a USB Stick

elasticdog wrote:

I found SLAX to be incredibly easy to get up and running (and to customize with my own set of packages).

is it possible to write on the usb stick while  using the linux on the stick (SLAX) ?

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#6 2007-01-26 22:39:42

colnago
Member
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2004-03-25
Posts: 438

Re: Linux on a USB Stick

Can't you just install arch to /dev/sda1 or whatever?  Maybe there is something I am missing.

I have a USB that I set up months ago with SLAX, it works quite well.  There are setup scripts in on the 5.1.8.1 CD.  They seem to be missing from the 6.0xx technology preview, so don't use it.

Also, the new Mepis advertizes USB installs.

Cheers.

Last edited by colnago (2007-01-30 07:09:57)

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#7 2007-01-26 23:31:05

rayjgu3
Member
From: Chicago IL usa
Registered: 2004-07-04
Posts: 695

Re: Linux on a USB Stick

Slax runs great from USB stick providing your pc will boot from USB but is rather large but more customizable than others

other good USB distros are
DSL (Damn Small Linux)
Feather
Insert
Puppy
<all these distros are small in size like under 60MB 
all allow writing to the USB stick
check this out

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#8 2007-01-27 02:36:33

noriko
Member
From: In My Mind
Registered: 2006-06-09
Posts: 535
Website

Re: Linux on a USB Stick

for slax ( as well as all there i assume ) need not a special script to set it up..

simply extract their iso to the usb device(stick,pen,..), and install a boot loader to it.. then configure the boot loader..

if u r looking for the easiest way...

then simply:

1:> format the usb device as fat32(or 16,whichever u prefer)
2:> mount the device (i.e /usb)
3:> extract the livecd iso to  /usb

4:> install syslinux to the device
5:> rename all iso* files to sys* (i.e isolinux.cfg >> syslinux.cfg)
if u feel the need to edit soem config / whatever...

u can extact the livesystem..
it's (always afaik) just a squashfs. so unsquashfs it to somwhere like ~/sq do ur thing and then squashfs it back.

also, slax*.mo files are just squash filesystems...


The.Revolution.Is.Coming - - To fight, To hunger, To Resist!

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#9 2007-01-27 04:59:45

Penguin of Wonder
Member
From: West Virginia
Registered: 2007-01-25
Posts: 16
Website

Re: Linux on a USB Stick

Try using Wolvix. It has an installer that comes with it that will install it on to your USB device for you. It will also make you feel better I'm sure to know that Wolvix is based off of Slax and is 100% compatible with all of the Slax modules and such.

www.wolvix.org


[http://steveno.wordpress.com/]My Blog[/url]

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#10 2007-01-27 17:13:16

sh__
Member
Registered: 2005-07-19
Posts: 271

Re: Linux on a USB Stick

There's also the more privacy-oriented Feraga project (Linux on a USB drive with encrypted root fs).
http://feraga.com/node/94

EDIT: pointer to a more recent link.

Last edited by sh__ (2007-01-29 22:34:13)

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#11 2007-01-29 14:49:47

drynish
Member
Registered: 2003-10-01
Posts: 36

Re: Linux on a USB Stick

You can look at this page:

http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Ins … _a_USB_key

Also, someone told me that it might be a bit risky and at the long term, it was not a good idea simply because if there's a lot of write process to the usb key, it might reduce its lifetime.

Oh btw, I suggest using larch live cd, it's easy and you need only a -u to install on usb.

Michel

Last edited by drynish (2007-01-29 15:14:08)

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#12 2007-01-29 15:46:00

Shagbag
Member
Registered: 2006-10-25
Posts: 259

Re: Linux on a USB Stick

drynish wrote:

Also, someone told me that it might be a bit risky and at the long term, it was not a good idea simply because if there's a lot of write process to the usb key, it might reduce its lifetime.

All Flash memory has a lifetime limited by the number of writes to it.  This is because each 'write' erodes the oxide layer coating of the memory.  This from the Kingston web site:

According to Toshiba, the inventor of Flash memory: "the 10,000 cycles of MLC NAND is
more than sufficient for a wide range of consumer applications, from storing documents to
digital photos. For example, if a 256-MB MLC NAND Flash-based card can typically store
250 pictures from a 4-megapixel camera (a conservative estimate), its 10,000 write/erase
cycles, combined with wear-leveling algorithms in the controller, will enable the user to
store and/or view approximately 2.5 million pictures within the expected useful life of
the card."1
For USB Flash drives, Toshiba calculated that a 10,000 write cycle endurance would enable
customers to "completely write and erase the entire contents once per day for 27 years,
well beyond the life of the hardware."

Just be mindful of swap/beagle/log writes to a flash drive might shorten the life considerably.

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#13 2007-01-29 18:35:50

drynish
Member
Registered: 2003-10-01
Posts: 36

Re: Linux on a USB Stick

Just be mindful of swap/beagle/log writes to a flash drive might shorten the life considerably.

So if we don't run those services (beagle and log), swap is necessary for the kernel but since most of the different system has more than 512 megs ram, should it be ok to use it that way?

Michel

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#14 2007-01-29 22:09:13

Shagbag
Member
Registered: 2006-10-25
Posts: 259

Re: Linux on a USB Stick

Well, yes.

But it really depends what you intend to do with your USB install.  If you want to run mission critical apps on it, I wouldn't recommend it.  If you want to use it as a 'rescue' device or use it occasionally, then go for it.  While flash memory has a limited life, it's more likely that you'll reach the memory capacity barrier before you reach its physical limitations.  Let's face it, you'll probably upgrade your USB stick within the next 3 years - way before you reach its physical limitations.  You should be safe running a swap partition and log files on it - just be mindful of their effect, that's all.

I have Puppy Linux 2.13 installed on a 1GB Kingston Data Traveler and I only use it as a 'backup' distro for rescue or when I travel.  It's neat.  I intend to look into puting either Arch or Gentoo on it in the future but that's another project (in a long list of projects yet to be started).

One thing you should also be mindful of is booting from USB.  If you download the syslinux package from the syslinux web site, there's a README text file which goes into the importance of filesystems and drive geometry when setting up a bootable USB device.  I'd recommend you read  as it may avoid some headaches you could have in the future (I spent hours trying to figure out why my VIA EPIA N10000 would only boot from a FAT filesystem on my USB and not ext3 - it had to do with the 'USB-ZIP' option in my BIOS).

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#15 2007-01-30 13:13:47

spookshow
Member
From: abbotsford, bc
Registered: 2006-11-15
Posts: 95
Website

Re: Linux on a USB Stick

i use dsl on my 2gb usb stick, run it as a full dstro for when i have a chance to boot from usb, and i have it to run under qemu for running on a windows machine, no need to reboot. great fun.

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#16 2007-01-30 14:09:13

Mr Green
Forum Fellow
From: U.K.
Registered: 2003-12-21
Posts: 5,883
Website

Re: Linux on a USB Stick

http://www.knoppix.net/wiki/Bootable_USB_Key

HTH

Last edited by Mr Green (2007-01-30 14:09:48)


Mr Green

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#17 2007-01-31 12:50:01

drynish
Member
Registered: 2003-10-01
Posts: 36

Re: Linux on a USB Stick

Shagbag wrote:

One thing you should also be mindful of is booting from USB.  If you download the syslinux package from the syslinux web site, there's a README text file which goes into the importance of filesystems and drive geometry when setting up a bootable USB device.  I'd recommend you read  as it may avoid some headaches you could have in the future (I spent hours trying to figure out why my VIA EPIA N10000 would only boot from a FAT filesystem on my USB and not ext3 - it had to do with the 'USB-ZIP' option in my BIOS).

I was able to install Arch Linux really easily and with the mkinitcpio, I was able to add "usb" as an hook, so everything was working fine. The only thing that I don't like regarding larch (which is really a wonderfull tool) is that the base system is installed once, after modification are on subsequent files. So I'm wondering at the long term if this is good, or not. Also, it uses squashfs and unionrfs so that it uses less space on the usb key for the same tool. However, everything is mounted ro and you "work" in ram. I will be using that to travel between my new house and my job in a couple of months so that I can "work" on my projects in between. I will try to do a sync backup when I'm back home.

Ok now I'm tired. I must choose... Do I prefer to use a non upgradable system or an upgradable one ?

Michel

Last edited by drynish (2007-01-31 12:50:47)

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