OT: your desktop on a stick
linuxguy123 at gmail.com
Fri Dec 12 17:57:06 UTC 2008
On Fri, 2008-12-12 at 10:53 -0700, Phil Meyer wrote:
> Anne Wilson wrote:
> > Much has been said about the ability for a linux distro to be carried around
> > on a usb stick, making any computer into your familiar desktop. Does anyone
> > actually do this?
> > I ask because I installed F9 and Mandriva 2008 onto sticks for tests with my
> > EeePC. Today I put the Mandriva stick into the Acer netbook, and watched the
> > messages scroll on, as it detected and set up the webcam, then the mouse, then
> > I got to
> > "Marking TSC unstable due to: TSC halts in idle
> > Time: hpet clocksource has been installed.
> > Then a loonng pause, after which
> > Wait timeout. Will continue in the background. [FAILED}
> > Non-volatile memory driver v1.2
> > and it has been sitting there for 15 minutes.
> > I confess I have always wondered about such hardware changes. If this is
> > typical, then this is another dream that is far from reality :-(
> > Just to satisfy my curiosity, I'll try the F9 stick. I won't bother reporting
> > back if the result is very similar.
> > Anne
> Yes, done this a lot.
> Current best method is to roll a livecd will my favorite apps, a package
> containing my login (adds me to sudoers as well).
> Then convert the iso to a usb bootable livecd on a stick. During this,
> I add a system overlay, and a /home overlay.
> My current thumb drive is a 64GB DataTraveler.
> It has two partitions. The first is 20GB, and the remainder is in the
> Both partitions are formatted as ext3, thus allowing overlays greater
> than 2GB and also allowing me to use rsync to keep my music up to date
> on the larger slice.
> here is the command I used to make the first partition bootable:
> # /usr/bin/livecd-iso-to-disk --reset-mbr --overlay-size-mb 4000
> --home-size-mb 8000 --unencrypted-home Fedora_Developer.iso /dev/sdb1
> Fedora_Developer.iso is my custom roll of F10-x86_64.
> I made the label of the second partition "music" so it would always
> mount as media/music.
> Next, I booted from the thumb drive in text mode on my primary machine
> and logged into the console as root.
> # mount /dev/sda3 /mnt
> My home is on there.
> # cd /mnt/home/pmeyer
> # cp -a .ssh .tcshrc .login .mozilla .thunderbird .g* /home/pmeyer
> As an example, but very close to actual -- YMWV
> # ln -s /media/music .
> # init 0
> Remove the thumb drive. Its all done! (except I rsynced my music
> collection to the second partition)
> Now I can plug the thumb drive into virtually any system and have all my
> favorite stuff just how I like it!. The only differences between
> systems are video.
> The difference between running a live USB vs an installed USB are many.
> 1. Live CDs by nature have A LOT more modules installed into the
> initrd.img, thus allowing them to run on a variety of hardware.
> 2. Hardware setting are not saved.
> 3. Space! About 1/3 in my experience.
> The advent of persistent storage for the OS and for /home mean that you
> can make changes to startup scripts, config files, and whatnot, and your
> changes are preserved over reboots. All the benefits of Live CDs, with
> persistent storage! It can't be beat.
> The best part of all, is that its installable to disk, as well. What
> else could you ask for? :)
Great post. Thanks for sharing.
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