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Capn_Fish
I'm looking to run Linux off of a USB drive (512MB). I would like to have:

-A 2.6.x kernel
-Hardware detection so I can use it on any machine
-The ability to uninstall whatever came with the distro
-GCC readily available
-Some space left over so I can actually use it as a USB drive

Any suggestions?
adf
QUOTE(Capn_Fish @ Mar 31 2007, 07:25 PM)
I'm looking to run Linux off of a USB drive (512MB). I would like to have:

-A 2.6.x kernel
-Hardware detection so I can use it on any machine
-The ability to uninstall whatever came with the distro
-GCC readily available
-Some space left over so I can actually use it as a USB drive

Any suggestions?
*

damn small linux not (DSL-n)? looks like it might suit
Capn_Fish
QUOTE(adf @ Mar 31 2007, 10:29 PM)
QUOTE(Capn_Fish @ Mar 31 2007, 07:25 PM)
I'm looking to run Linux off of a USB drive (512MB). I would like to have:

-A 2.6.x kernel
-Hardware detection so I can use it on any machine
-The ability to uninstall whatever came with the distro
-GCC readily available
-Some space left over so I can actually use it as a USB drive

Any suggestions?
*

damn small linux not (DSL-n)? looks like it might suit
*


Can you uninstall whatever you want? It looks good otherwise.
adf
QUOTE(Capn_Fish @ Apr 1 2007, 02:06 PM)
QUOTE(adf @ Mar 31 2007, 10:29 PM)
QUOTE(Capn_Fish @ Mar 31 2007, 07:25 PM)
I'm looking to run Linux off of a USB drive (512MB). I would like to have:

-A 2.6.x kernel
-Hardware detection so I can use it on any machine
-The ability to uninstall whatever came with the distro
-GCC readily available
-Some space left over so I can actually use it as a USB drive

Any suggestions?
*

damn small linux not (DSL-n)? looks like it might suit
*


Can you uninstall whatever you want? It looks good otherwise.
*


It is so small I never bothered, But I think there is a roll-your-own method (not sure, though)
Capn_Fish
I'll give it a try with Bochs and check it out...Any other suggestions are still welcome, though.
adf
QUOTE(Capn_Fish @ Apr 1 2007, 06:23 PM)
I'll give it a try with Bochs and check it out...Any other suggestions are still welcome, though.
*

ran into a recommendation for pclinuxos when I was checking to see if there was a dsl roll your own. No idea what it actually does. Might be worth a quick look, though
Capn_Fish
QUOTE(adf @ Apr 1 2007, 07:50 PM)
QUOTE(Capn_Fish @ Apr 1 2007, 06:23 PM)
I'll give it a try with Bochs and check it out...Any other suggestions are still welcome, though.
*

ran into a recommendation for pclinuxos when I was checking to see if there was a dsl roll your own. No idea what it actually does. Might be worth a quick look, though
*


PCLinuxOS seems to be a full distro (it says it needs 5GB of disk space)
adf
QUOTE(Capn_Fish @ Apr 2 2007, 02:08 AM)
QUOTE(adf @ Apr 1 2007, 07:50 PM)
QUOTE(Capn_Fish @ Apr 1 2007, 06:23 PM)
I'll give it a try with Bochs and check it out...Any other suggestions are still welcome, though.
*

ran into a recommendation for pclinuxos when I was checking to see if there was a dsl roll your own. No idea what it actually does. Might be worth a quick look, though
*


PCLinuxOS seems to be a full distro (it says it needs 5GB of disk space)
*


LMAO told you I didn't know what it did tongue.gif sorry.

If you are desperate you can do a knoppix remaster yourself.. just strip it out and put back the stuff you need. Might take more time (especially if you did addional compression), but it would certainly work
Capn_Fish
QUOTE(adf @ Apr 1 2007, 09:59 PM)
QUOTE(Capn_Fish @ Apr 2 2007, 02:08 AM)
QUOTE(adf @ Apr 1 2007, 07:50 PM)
QUOTE(Capn_Fish @ Apr 1 2007, 06:23 PM)
I'll give it a try with Bochs and check it out...Any other suggestions are still welcome, though.
*

ran into a recommendation for pclinuxos when I was checking to see if there was a dsl roll your own. No idea what it actually does. Might be worth a quick look, though
*


PCLinuxOS seems to be a full distro (it says it needs 5GB of disk space)
*


LMAO told you I didn't know what it did tongue.gif sorry.

If you are desperate you can do a knoppix remaster yourself.. just strip it out and put back the stuff you need. Might take more time (especially if you did addional compression), but it would certainly work
*


Any chance of just installing some "regular" (eg not live-CD) distro onto USB instead of a hard disk? Would it work without hardware detection?
adf
never tried it. is this for multiple computers? how similar are they if so?

If it were me, I'd give a shot at dsl-n. If I couldn't make that do what I wanted, I'd strip down knoppix and do a remaster. If I thought that was going to take too much time, I'd have a quick peek at what I might do with Slax. If none of the above worked, I'd use my zaurus smile.gif
Antikx
QUOTE(Capn_Fish @ Apr 1 2007, 09:03 PM)
Any chance of just installing some "regular" (eg not live-CD) distro onto USB instead of a hard disk?

I've heard of people doing this but the concern is that some non-live distro's will do a lot of writes to the Flash and wear it.
craigtyson
Asked this before but. is it possable to boot a PC off of a Zaurus?

ie Zaurus in the USB port looking like a disk, turn PC on boot off of a live Linux distro on the Zs SD card.

Use the same files and I386 versions of apps used on the Z.

Turn off, walk off with the Z and all the days work in your pocket.

Possible?

Comments?

Cheers
Da_Blitz
yes to the PC off the zaurus thing, however itwill stuff up your Z's ability to read the 3rd drive partion, or if you dont want to share files between your Z and the PC then you can do it with a file backed block device

basically its a matter of playing with the modprobe cmdline args, then pulgging it in and setting it up like a regular usb distro

instead why not use PC-net and VNC or X11, run samba to copy the files from theZ such as an xserver or vnc viewer and then run the apps on the Z, not the best solution if you are running the stock firmware but if you are using pdaXrom or OZ it can be quite nice. then you dont have to worry about keeping you settings in sync. i relise there may be a HP issue there

as for turning a normal distro into a usb one, the teqnique is not that hard and the "lots of writes to flash" is simple to evercome, in fstab make /tmp a tmpfs, depending on if you want logs or not you can do it for /var as well (not recomended). the real flash wearer is syslog, so if you have /var as tmpfs you dont need to worry otherwise you might want te tell it to not flush the buffers to disk so results get cached for awhile, that and enable laptop mode which will delay it even futher

if it crashehs you dont get the logs but i rarley use syslog logs to fix a computer that crashehs at random, i normaly use it for setup and config problems, so tmpfs is probely all right

noatime is somthing you might want to add as well, if you are really brave you could hack the OS to be mainly RO, but this requires in depth knowlage of the file system hiracy and how the prgrams you run interact with the system, before i orget, /dev can be tmpfs because it only gets written at boot and its contents are dynamically rebuilt

that said some distros work better than others, debian and gentoo are probelly 2 of the best to convert (knoppix is bassed of debian) but YMMV

app selection is important, did you know zsh syncs on every command, i didnt at first and couldnt work out why my HD kept spining up when testing laptop mode on the Z

the other option you have is to load the FS into a tmpfs then piviot root, ifyou have home as a seperate partion then you can mount it to keep your settings however this can make things like program updates hard to do

if you want more info just post what you need
Capn_Fish
I'm thinking I'll burn DSL-N to a CD and give it a shot...Worst case I just manually remove all of the extra stuff I don't want.
Antikx
QUOTE(craigtyson @ Apr 2 2007, 05:48 AM)
Asked this before but.  is it possable to boot a PC off of a Zaurus?
ie Zaurus in the USB port looking like a disk, turn PC on boot off of a live Linux distro on the Zs SD card.
Use the same files and I386 versions of apps used on the Z.
Turn off, walk off with the Z and all the days work in your pocket.
Possible?
Comments?
Cheers
*

It is a great idea.
But just adding on to what Da_Blitz said... one other consideration is that it will be kinda poky because of the limited speed you get from the Zaurus's USB host mode. You will probably want to consider a light distro.
I have run windows apps off a usb 1.1 connection using MojoPac. Lets just say I remember how fund twiddling my thumbs was. wink.gif
Capn_Fish
As a follow-up, I finally found a good distro: Debian. It installs easily (through expert mode), is a "full" distro, and has large numbers of packages. A basic dev environment (X11, fuxbox, GCC/G++, and an editor) and Links2 fits very nicely on a 512MB USB key.

Just thought I'd let people know.
Capn_Fish
How do you enable compression on an ext2 filesystem? I've been looking, but I can't find an answer (I get the impression I'm searchingly challenged, though).

I'm looking to have room for a few more apps.
speculatrix
ext2 doesn't have compression, use cramfs or squashfs

try damnsmalllinux for a debian based mini linux that'll fit on a usb key


--edit-- missed off the fact there's a specific "how to" for fitting onto a USB key
adf
QUOTE(Capn_Fish @ Jun 6 2007, 10:24 PM)
How do you enable compression on an ext2 filesystem? I've been looking, but I can't find an answer (I get the impression I'm searchingly challenged, though).

I'm looking to have room for a few more apps.
*

You'll probably have to do a squashfs for some directory. Which means you'll have to screw around with your path and init a little, I suspect.
This is actually a good reason to use knoppix from usb-it is already compressed and set up to function. Moving it to USB is easy, as per the instructions at pendrivelinux, ansd sufficiently large usb keys are pretty cheap. I think I saw 2Gig usb keys for about 30-40 usd the other day.
Capn_Fish
QUOTE(adf @ Jun 6 2007, 07:43 PM)
QUOTE(Capn_Fish @ Jun 6 2007, 10:24 PM)
How do you enable compression on an ext2 filesystem? I've been looking, but I can't find an answer (I get the impression I'm searchingly challenged, though).

I'm looking to have room for a few more apps.
*

You'll probably have to do a squashfs for some directory. Which means you'll have to screw around with your path and init a little, I suspect.
This is actually a good reason to use knoppix from usb-it is already compressed and set up to function. Moving it to USB is easy, as per the instructions at pendrivelinux, ansd sufficiently large usb keys are pretty cheap. I think I saw 2Gig usb keys for about 30-40 usd the other day.
*


If I had a 1GB+ USB drive, I wouldn't have to worry about compression. wink.gif

So there's no way to enable filesystem compression?
adf
Fair enough.

what about something like UPX?

Could be a bit of a pain to get setup, but it might do what you want (and you'd have done something kinda cool, too)
Capn_Fish
I'll take a look at that...

Of course, if I had a good curses-based text editor, I wouldn't need X, which would free up a lot of space. Know of any? I'm using C++.
adf
Just good ol nano, which I suspect you're already familiar with.

Emacs works with curses I'm pretty sure. Maybe have a look into that?
Capn_Fish
Oops, I meant programming editor. Yes, I use Nano a LOT, but it's not very good at syntax highlighting wink.gif
ShiroiKuma
QUOTE(Capn_Fish @ May 21 2007, 09:27 PM)
As a follow-up, I finally found a good distro: Debian. It installs easily (through expert mode), is a "full" distro, and has large numbers of packages. A basic dev environment (X11, fuxbox, GCC/G++, and an editor) and Links2 fits very nicely on a 512MB USB key.
*

So how do you install debian to a USB stick from your desktop?
adf
QUOTE(ShiroiKuma @ Jun 7 2007, 02:46 AM)
QUOTE(Capn_Fish @ May 21 2007, 09:27 PM)
As a follow-up, I finally found a good distro: Debian. It installs easily (through expert mode), is a "full" distro, and has large numbers of packages. A basic dev environment (X11, fuxbox, GCC/G++, and an editor) and Links2 fits very nicely on a 512MB USB key.
*

So how do you install debian to a USB stick from your desktop?
*


I bet if you simply format the usb stick as bootable ext2, and stick to a 386 kernel you can simply install and it will work on most x86 machines (you'd have to have a bunch of modules on board that way, though)

I haven't done it-this was what I've been assuming, and now I'm curious to check my guess.
Capn_Fish
I basically stuck it in a computer with generic networking and integrated graphics, booted the Debian install CD in expert mode*, and chose the USB key as the install drive, formatting it as EXT2 to prevent excessive wear.

I also added an entry to GRUB to allow for booting on computers with a SATA drive.

*I used expert so I could just do that minimal install, then add the packages I wanted later.
speculatrix
you'd wear out the usb stick less if you create a small partition on your hard drive which was very slightly smaller than the usb stick, installed linux into it then copied the partition to the usb stick. be sure to change fstab to mount as "noatime"
Cyril92
Does it answer to first question ? here
BluePanther
QUOTE(Capn_Fish @ Mar 31 2007, 03:25 PM)
I'm looking to run Linux off of a USB drive (512MB). I would like to have:

-A 2.6.x kernel
-Hardware detection so I can use it on any machine
-The ability to uninstall whatever came with the distro
-GCC readily available
-Some space left over so I can actually use it as a USB drive

Any suggestions?
*


I'm running slax off a 512 USB and have plenty of space left,
I'm not sure if gcc is there to start with, I put the windows install files on there so I could put it on other machnes with DJGCC.
Dromede
capn_fish, maybe www.puppylinux.com will suit your needs. it was my first linux experience and i think that it's a great and feature packed distro...
Capn_Fish
I tried Puppy, and it was pretty good, especially at hardware detection. A couple things annoyed me, though:

-The mount points in a USB install
-Can't remove packages without doing it manually or rolling your own distro, which failed for me.

So that drove me to look at other things...I'm not using my Linux-on-a-stick much ATM, though, so I may give other thins a shot.
Capn_Fish
Sadly, I only just got to try booting Debian off of a USB key on a different computer from the one I installed it on, only to discovver that networking doesn't work. I'm assuming that the card driver isn't being loaded. So my questions are:

-How do I tell what network card the computer has? (lspci? What package would that be in?)

-On the LCD, the edges of the screen both outside of and inside X are cut off. Why is that, and how do I fix it?

Thanks.
adf
QUOTE(Capn_Fish @ Jul 14 2007, 01:55 AM)
Sadly, I only just got to try booting Debian off of a USB key on a different computer from the one I installed it on, only to discovver that networking doesn't work. I'm assuming that the card driver isn't being loaded. So my questions are:

-How do I tell what network card the computer has? (lspci? What package would that be in?)

-On the LCD, the edges of the screen both outside of and inside X are cut off. Why is that, and how do I fix it?

Thanks.
*

Surely there are debtools? dpkg-reconfigure Xorg, maybe will help with the screen?
Capn_Fish
It has nothing to do with Xorg AFAICT, as it happens even in the console before starting X. It happened on a different computer with a different monitor as well (both LCD. CRTs work fine).
T3_slider
QUOTE(Capn_Fish)
It has nothing to do with Xorg AFAICT, as it happens even in the console before starting X. It happened on a different computer with a different monitor as well (both LCD. CRTs work fine).

Is a framebuffer being used for the console though? That could possibly mess things up -- there should be a way to boot it to the normal VGA console mode (maybe I don't know what I'm talking about here, but at least on Slackware you can boot to a normal VGA console or to a framebuffer console depending on LILO settings -- and I'm sure there must be a way to enable a console mode without LILO).

In any event, if the console is running a framebuffer and you can't get it to work in normal VGA mode, playing with xorg.conf MAY have an effect anyway in X sessions since its configuration would override that of the framebuffer.

If a penguin appears upon booting up, you're probably in a framebuffer console -- try playing with xorg.conf anyway (make a backup just in case). I'm not entirely sure if Debian includes xorgsetup/xorgconfig/xorgcfg or a similar tool, but manually editing the xorg.conf file should work anyway.

Good luck!
Capn_Fish
QUOTE(T3_slider @ Jul 14 2007, 09:07 PM)
QUOTE(Capn_Fish)
It has nothing to do with Xorg AFAICT, as it happens even in the console before starting X. It happened on a different computer with a different monitor as well (both LCD. CRTs work fine).

Is a framebuffer being used for the console though? That could possibly mess things up -- there should be a way to boot it to the normal VGA console mode (maybe I don't know what I'm talking about here, but at least on Slackware you can boot to a normal VGA console or to a framebuffer console depending on LILO settings -- and I'm sure there must be a way to enable a console mode without LILO).

In any event, if the console is running a framebuffer and you can't get it to work in normal VGA mode, playing with xorg.conf MAY have an effect anyway in X sessions since its configuration would override that of the framebuffer.

If a penguin appears upon booting up, you're probably in a framebuffer console -- try playing with xorg.conf anyway (make a backup just in case). I'm not entirely sure if Debian includes xorgsetup/xorgconfig/xorgcfg or a similar tool, but manually editing the xorg.conf file should work anyway.

Good luck!
*


No framebuffer, and the xorg.conf file looks fine to me, but I've only done minimal work with it, so I may be off. Nobody else has this issue?
T3_slider
I would try it out, but I don't have any LCD screens (I'm just using old-school CRT monitors for now). Slax seems to work fine on my CRT (haven't tried the Debian LiveCD though).
Capn_Fish
QUOTE(T3_slider @ Jul 15 2007, 10:36 PM)
I would try it out, but I don't have any LCD screens (I'm just using old-school CRT monitors for now). Slax seems to work fine on my CRT (haven't tried the Debian LiveCD though).
*

That's the funny thing...It works fine on CRTs, so I don't know what gives. It's probably some little thing that I haven' changed.
Capn_Fish
On a slightly different topic (No need to start a new thread, even if this is the off-topic section), XUbuntu is freezing when trying to shut down or suspend on my laptop sometimes (not all the time). It gives a black screen and hangs (no disk activity or LCD backlight). So what distro do people recommend trying? I'd like something that does at least some hardware detection/setup (eg, so I don't need to edit EVERYTHING) and is lightweight/fast booting. Distros I've tried:

-Vector (I found it too complicated/cluttered)
-Debian (My fallback, some packages are too old for my taste, about my convenience limit for needing tweaking)
-Gentoo (Stuff got broken/didn't work, otherwise nice, lousy initial setup)
-Slackware (Never did get a working install)
-(Xu|Ku|U)buntu (Now freezing while shutting down ( mad.gif ), non-Xubuntu *buntus are too heavy for my taste)

Any ideas? So far I've been prefering .deb systems, but I haven't tried an RPM system in a year or two.

Thanks.
adf
QUOTE(Capn_Fish @ Dec 6 2007, 06:42 PM) *
On a slightly different topic (No need to start a new thread, even if this is the off-topic section), XUbuntu is freezing when trying to shut down or suspend on my laptop sometimes (not all the time). It gives a black screen and hangs (no disk activity or LCD backlight). So what distro do people recommend trying? I'd like something that does at least some hardware detection/setup (eg, so I don't need to edit EVERYTHING) and is lightweight/fast booting. Distros I've tried:

-Vector (I found it too complicated/cluttered)
-Debian (My fallback, some packages are too old for my taste, about my convenience limit for needing tweaking)
-Gentoo (Stuff got broken/didn't work, otherwise nice, lousy initial setup)
-Slackware (Never did get a working install)
-(Xu|Ku|U)buntu (Now freezing while shutting down ( mad.gif ), non-Xubuntu *buntus are too heavy for my taste)

Any ideas? So far I've been prefering .deb systems, but I haven't tried an RPM system in a year or two.

Thanks.

Those would have been my ideas. You could try fedora (haven't used it in a while, but had issues with it- won't use again if I can avoid it) or one of the rhel clones like enterprise or centos....

Or some other deb derivate?
Capn_Fish
Thanks. I didn't feel like going all the way to RPMs yet, so I tried Mepis, didn't like it, and went back to Debian. I decided to try Testing, and it's awesome. Up-to-date, stable (so far), and lightweight (fewer daemons than the *buntus).
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