[Linux-ham] Linux on a Flash Drive

Mark Turner markt at siteseers.net
Mon Jul 16 17:23:25 EDT 2007

Not all BIOSes recognize USB drives. However ... some DO boot ZIP
drives. You can make your USB drive look like a ZIP drive by
partitioning the USB drive as /dev/sda4 and putting your OS there. I've
used this trick before on server motherboards, circa 2001 or so. Easy to

For my kids' PC I'm building, I bought a CompactFlash to IDE adapter and
loaded Edubuntu's liveCD version on a 2G CF card. It works great! Its
completely silent and I don't have to worry about viruses (mostly,
anyway) or hard drive crashes.

All I have to do now is make Ubuntu NFS mount my kids' home directories
so they can save their work.

Mark N4JMT

donroden at hiwaay.net wrote:
> I have an 8Gb thumb drive, so I tried loading Ubuntu ( full version )
> and it works as a "first boot" on some older computers, but two of my DELLS 
> just try to access the USB and then report "No Operating System". 
> I'm sure it's a Dell problem, cause I can set up the boot sequence on an older 
> no-name brand, and it comes up just fine.
> Really aggrivating that the Dell can't see the Ubuntu.
> Don WA4NPL
> Quoting Norman Young <normany27597 at bellsouth.net>:
>> Hey, Rob and Don!
>> Just so happens I spent all of yesterday afternoon setting up Knoppix on
>> a 1 gig flash drive and DSL on a 128 Mb flash.  I tried to do both as
>> bootable drives per instructions I found online, but I could not get
>> them to boot.  I finally settled for copying the ISOs to each drive and
>> using the "bootfrom" cheatcodes for each.  Not sure what I was doing
>> wrong.   I still have to begin the boot from a CD, but as soon as it
>> finds the ISO on the flash, I can remove the CD.  
>> I also set up DSL to run within Windows using QEMU,and that worksa
>> little slow, but otherwise well.  If I could just get up the nerve to
>> partition a portion of my HD for storage, I'd be in business...
>> However,I have an older computer that is a really good candidate for an
>> attempt at a DSL install, but it doesn't have a network card.  What kind
>> of problems would I have downloading some of the MyDSL or Debian
>> packages onto a CD in Windows and then uploading it onto the offline DSL
>> machine?  
>> Oh, and the net sounds like a great idea!
>> 73,
>> Norman
>> ------------------------------
>> Message: 3
>> Date: Wed, 23 May 2007 09:05:33 -0400
>> From: Rob Rousseau <ki4bke at nc.rr.com>
>> Subject: Re: [Linux-ham] Questions !!
>> To: Amateur Radio meets Linux <linux-ham at trilug.org>,
>> donroden at hiwaay.net
>> Message-ID: <46543C1D.2020104 at nc.rr.com>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
>> You can try running RUNT on it. It is a homebrewed linux distro created
>> right here in Raleigh.
>> http://runt.mybox.org/
>> It works very well.
>> -Rob, KI4BKE
>> donroden at hiwaay.net wrote:
>>> Hello All,
>>> I just bought a USB Flash Drive and would like to use it as the drive
>> where I
>>> store the Linux OS and all the ham progrms that use linux. I think
>> this way,
>>> if I have the drive plugged into the USB, the bootup will be linux,
>> and if I
>>> don't plug it in , I will get a normal boot. What flavor linux does
>> everyone
>>> prefer? I'm starting from scratch, and would like to "get it right".
>>> Thanks
>>> Don WA4NPL
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Linux-ham mailing list
>>> Linux-ham at trilug.org
>>> http://www.trilug.org/mailman/listinfo/linux-ham
>> ------------------------------
>> Wrong is wrong even if everybody is doing it, and right is right even if
>> nobody
>> is doing it. - Augustine
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