Vehicle For Dissertation - Tech Edition

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Thursday, February 10, 2005

Creating a bootable Linux USB flash drive

It's project time in my Linux class. My part (or part of my part) is making a bootable flash drive that will run Linux. I was originally going to use SLAX (and may still) but the Lexar JumpDrive I had available (I'm to cheap to buy one at this point. Even if they are cheap) was a 256MB model. That would actually be alright except that my classmate I borrowed it from had partitioned it half "public" and half "secure". Somehow when he formatted it we lost access to the secure section. It just didn't seem to be there.

I know there are ways to hack the "secure" jump drive. But I hadn't tried before and didn't want to get into that as it seemed a distraction from the project. So I began looking for another smaller Linux distro and found Feather Linux. There were others but I decided to go with Feather. They have a specialized download for use on USB drives besides the normal CD .iso image.

To summarize for the moment. I got it downloaded (111MB) and extracted to the drive. I ran syslinux on it to make it bootable but it seems the version of syslinux that RedHat 9 has is 2.00. Feather Linux states that it needs at least version 2.11. So that is still to be done. I did try it after running syslinux and it did not work. So the project shall continue...

I found out that SLAX runs pretty slow (it's a live CD) when you have a 111MB file saved to the desktop. The system I was using had 512MB of RAM (I think. It may be the computers in the other lab that have 512MB) but with the OS to run and files taking up space it was slowing down quite a bit. It's is currently my pet live CD though...


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