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Hey! I seem to be having trouble with putting Arch linux on my USB drive, now to the point where I'm looking for other options. I mostly just need to ...
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  1. #1
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    Linux on a stick


    Hey! I seem to be having trouble with putting Arch linux on my USB drive, now to the point where I'm looking for other options. I mostly just need to be able to run Netbeans in my own environment --Netbeans is the 'recommended' environment for my Java class, but there are so many frekkin' limitations on the school computers that I have lost my patience with them.

    As for what I have tried, essentially I have gone through Arch's liveCD install with a cutsom disk layout (just one giant ext2 on the flash, mounted to /mnt). I told it I will be booting from usb and whilst editing Grub's menu.lst I made root point to UUID=<some big hex humber>. I was changing in fstab at first as well, but of late I have just been editing grub's params just to make sure it can get past that point.

    So, if you see any errors in my trying to install Arch to USB I would love to hear them. But my actual reason for posting is to see who has successfully made their own Linux-on-a-stick and what they did to do it.

  2. #2
    Linux Guru jmadero's Avatar
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    I have installed several distros on USB, here are some instructions specific for Arch.

    ArchWiki :: Install from USB stick - ArchWiki

    With Ubuntu it's a bit easier because you can just install it with a GUI that comes easy to install or with an easy command (or two). Arch is a bit harder but by no means impossible. Good luck
    Bodhi 1.3 & Bodhi 1.4 using E17
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    "The beauty in life can only be found by moving past the materialism which defines human nature and into the higher realm of thought and knowledge"

  3. #3
    Linux Newbie Charles4809's Avatar
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    May be this thread can help you out:

    http://www.linuxforums.org/forum/mis...sb-drives.html

    It's about bootable usb sticks, but not Arch specific
    Charles
    ASUS EEE Box B202, Atom 270 1,6GHz, 1 GB, HDD 80GB, XP-SP3 / PinguyOS
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  5. #4
    Linux Guru Jonathan183's Avatar
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    I assume you have installed Arch to the USB ... I did a similar thing and have mounted the usb stick on another PC to list a few things which may or may not help you ...
    Code:
    Disk /dev/sdc: 4076 MB, 4076863488 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 495 cylinders
    Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0xc3072e18
    
       Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
    /dev/sdc1               1          13      104391    b  W95 FAT32
    /dev/sdc2   *          14         396     3076447+  83  Linux
    /dev/sdc3             397         429      265072+  82  Linux swap / Solaris
    /dev/sdc4             430         495      530145    7  HPFS/NTFS
    fstab
    Code:
    # 
    # /etc/fstab: static file system information
    #
    # <file system>        <dir>         <type>    <options>          <dump> <pass>
    none                   /dev/pts      devpts    defaults            0      0
    none                   /dev/shm      tmpfs     defaults            0      0
    
    
    /dev/cdrom /media/cdrom   auto    ro,user,noauto,unhide   0      0
    /dev/dvd /media/dvd   auto    ro,user,noauto,unhide   0      0
    /dev/sdb2 / ext3 defaults 0 1
    /dev/sdb3 swap swap 0 0
    grub menu.lst
    Code:
    # (0) Arch Linux
    title  Arch Linux root (hd1,1)
    root   (hd1,1)
    kernel /boot/vmlinuz26 root=/dev/sdb2 ro
    initrd /boot/kernel26.img
    I struggled for a while to get an ISO image to boot from USB ... but don't remember getting the Arch install to boot a problem ... may just be old age

    The bit I did not understand about your explaination was the mounting to /mnt ... do you mean you have one partition as root and another partition mounted to /mnt on the same drive?

  6. #5
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    Thanks for the replies!
    I'll go ahead and respond as much as I can although I haven't had time to actually play with the project any more.
    jmadero: I found a thing called Crunchbang that I am tempted to try, and probably will after giving up on Arch (which may take a while --I likes mi Arch). It's Ubuntu-based and also has a focus on USB. As for the ArchWiki link, what you provided is for putting the install image onto a USB drive. There is also a link for putting Arch on a USB drive (which is where I got the idea for the UUID from), but that's pretty much where I get stuck. Actually, the next-to-last thing I'm going to try with Arch is to install the installer image and try to customize it from there. Mostly now I'm trying to succeed where I have failed rather than find alternative solutions.
    Charles4809: The forum link doesn't help me much but I have bookmarked the links thereof for some future reading (specifically the Mayhofer one). Thanks again ^,^
    jonathan183: One thing that has my attention on your configurations is in the menu.lst --you have the drive marked as (hd1,1), which of course means second drive second partition. Why this catches my attention is that the ArchWiki on this indicates that it should always be (hd0,0), since it is relatively the first drive. I will play with that configuration more, but the scary part is this --I have about 10 drives of sorts connected to my computer. BIOS even lets me choose their order so I can dual boot without messing with Window's' stuff. But this leads to varying (hdN,N)s. And this is not to mention the different computers I willl be using. How might you circumvent this?

  7. #6
    Linux Guru Jonathan183's Avatar
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    I just tried booting the system on the USB drive ... and it no longer boots I'm sure it was working ... maybe I played with partitions since. I seem to remember there was something odd about the way BIOS recognised the USB drive. I'm going to do a fresh install to USB ... I'll let you know how it goes.

  8. #7
    Linux Guru Jonathan183's Avatar
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    Sequence I just followed (from Arch x86_64-2008.03-1 CD) ...

    Boot from CDROM - even though system is set to boot from CDROM/USB/hard drive the USB pen drive is listed as sdb.

    Formated the drive, created two partitions
    sdb1 (102MB) boot partition
    sdb2 (rest of thumb drive) root

    Installed base package, plus links and sudo (base would do but I like to setup sudo before I connect to the net and have links incase I need help).

    Select boot from usb and firewire as part of system config. Install grub to sdb.

    Finish install and reboot system. Get grub error 15 - file not found.
    Change default grub from
    Code:
    root (hd1,0)
    kernel /vmlinuz26 root=/dev/sdb2 ro
    to
    Code:
    root (hd0,0)
    kernel /vmlinuz26 root=/dev/sdb2 ro
    System now boots from USB ...

  9. #8
    Linux Guru Jonathan183's Avatar
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    using uuid for Arch boot on USB pendrive

    Quote Originally Posted by ryokimball View Post
    BIOS even lets me choose their order so I can dual boot without messing with Window's' stuff. But this leads to varying (hdN,N)s. And this is not to mention the different computers I willl be using. How might you circumvent this?
    For uuid entries you need something like below
    Code:
    title Arch with uuid
    uuid 1243....
    kernel /vmlinuz26 root=/dev/disk/by-uuid/4321...
    initrd /kernel26.img
    Note uuid 1234... is your boot partition, uuid=4321... is your root partition.
    Last edited by Jonathan183; 01-28-2009 at 12:27 AM. Reason: correct kernel parameter info

  10. #9
    Linux Guru jmadero's Avatar
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    For my computer I have to put the USB in after the bios is almost done loading. If I just boot the computer on with a USB in it doesn't recognize it and doesn't boot from it.
    Bodhi 1.3 & Bodhi 1.4 using E17
    Dell Studio 17, Intel Graphics card, 4 gigs of RAM, E17

    "The beauty in life can only be found by moving past the materialism which defines human nature and into the higher realm of thought and knowledge"

  11. #10
    Linux Newbie Charles4809's Avatar
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    The BIOS in my computer states that any storage device above 512 MB will be considered a HDD, no matter if it's USB or PATA or SATA connected.
    Therefore if i want to boot from a 1 Gig USB i have to change the priority of my HDD's, rather than telling to boot from USB.
    Charles
    ASUS EEE Box B202, Atom 270 1,6GHz, 1 GB, HDD 80GB, XP-SP3 / PinguyOS
    Asus EEE PC 901 with Bodhi-Linux

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