New Project: The Ultimate Thumb Drive
Hey all. I got a fun little project I got going and wanted to share and get some input
It started with my old 512mb thumb drive going out. I got the sucker almost 7 years ago so I was expecting it. Needed another one so I checked out sales on amazon and found a decent thumb drive....16 FREAKING GIGS :shock: These things snuck up on me. I think I paid three times as much when I bought the 512mb.
Now my 512 held DSL, a few windows diagnostic apps and important files. All I needed. But what could I do with 16Gigs? Well I started checking out portable applications. Then I went to town with diagnostic tools and linux distros from USB. I got an idea to create a USB that could boot some of the most used diagnostic tools I use, thus removing the need for a slow and easily scratched CD: Gparted, Avira, DSL (or other small variant) and UBCD. Thinking I could put all those on a lilo or grub bootloader and select whichever I need for the job. Hell, I would STILL have space left on the drive (thinking about 7-8 gigs worth) for storage.
Now I have never done anything like this before so I am doing my research now. I got LiLi (LinuxLive) USB Creator installed on my gaming rig and that gets the image on the drive but I can not use it to put multiple images on the drive. I am sure google will provide.
Well, that's the plan. Feel free to throw in your two cents or call me an idiot (I get that too).
Cheap 16G USB stick with bootable linux - update
I'll post here to see if anyone is still following this thread:
OK. I did it. My $10 16G thumbdrive boots, but...
Here's the issue:
My lilo.conf says to boot from sda1. That's all fine _IF_ the drive is actually sda1 which it is on the box I created it with. I want it to boot off any box with USB boot.
On a different box it comes up as sdb1 because it has a SATA drive so I get "Kernel Panic try passing init= blah blah blah".
And on my own laptop it shows up as sdc1 or sdd1 depending on how much crap I have plugged into the hub.
Anyone know how to do this manually without using syslinux/automagic? I like to do things manually so I learn. I've been googling around to no real avail. I've now tried many different permutations of lilo.conf on the stick. UUIDs, LABELs, etc. chroot/lilo -v works fine, no complaints. Maybe it's a initrd issue?
I'm pretty sure it's trying to access the wrong disk.
Red Hat nash version 3.5.10-mdk starting
Loading jbd.ko module
Loading ext3.ko module
Mounting /proc filesystem
Creating device files
Creating root device
Mounting root device with flags noatime
mount: error 6 mounting ext3 flags noatime
well, retrying without the option flags
mount: error 6 mounting ext3
well, retrying read-only without any flag
mount: error 6 mounting ext3
pivotroot: pivot_root(/sysroot./sysroot/initrd) failed: 2
Remounting devfs at correct place if necessary
Mounting devfs on /dev
Freeing unused kernel memory: 272k freed
Kernel panic: no init found. Try passing init= option to kernel.
I guess this is a nice tribute to my linux installs that I haven't had to mess with lilo.conf in about 7 years.
append="root=UUID=e64a3e60-3b3e-11e2-98fb-92d1aa445965 devfs=mount acpi=ht splash=silent"
Has anyone pulled this off with a regular install cd? (Mandrake10 in my case, all my boxes are kinda old) It sure looks like it wants to work.
Cheap USB stick may have bad MBR and other issues...
Well, after multiple runs of lilo -v and some tweaking of initrd to load the usb modules properly, all of a sudden the USB stick wants to mount read-only, and when I try to boot it I get
L 9A 9A 9A...
Well, I know damn well what that means. It means lilo can't find anything. fsck is reporting illegal blocks and spewing all kinds of nasty stuff to the point I have to use the -y switch to clear it all. In the time it took me to write this post, fsck is still barfing errors, and now it decided to restart from the beginning. Whoops, now it's starting over again.
********** WARNING: Filesystem still has errors **********
Ah, lovely. Lucky I don't have anything valuable on it. Now it's gone from ext3 to ext2. WTF? How does that happen?
Ooh, this is really ugly. lost+found is loaded. Ugh.
BTW, it's a JetFlash Transcend 16G, black case with green slider button, TS16GJF500, in case you want to avoid them. Maybe they go on sale in your neighborhood too. I hope I can find the receipt...