Linux Format 116 Free Download

James Ewing Cottrell 3rd JECottrell3 at Comcast.NET
Fri May 15 05:05:21 BST 2009

A USB Flash Drive is just another form of a disk. What's the big deal?

In theory, nothing. And indeed, CentOS 5.2 (and other suitably modern 
distros) will indeed install and run exactly as as any other disk, 
assuming that your computer can boot a USB disk.

However, up until recently, you had to make a few tweaks. The basic idea 
is that the initrd has to load the drivers. What was needed (as recently 
as CentOS 5.0) was after doing the install (which needed the "expert" 
flag added to the boot: prompt), you had to boot the install system in 
Rescue Mode, and rebuild the initrd.

The easiest way was to figure out which drivers you needed (try 
usb-storage and things with sd in them) to add and mark them a 
scsi-controller in /etc/modprobe.conf and do another mkinitrd.

More difficult is adding an option switch for each desired module. 
Harder still is picking the initrd apart via gunzip and cpio and 
reassembling in after modifying the "filesystem".

Note that I am glossing over details, mostly because you needn't do most 
or indeed any of this stuff just works because the distro 
builders are putting more stuff in the installers because more people 
are using systems that way.

Guess what? With the advent of Flash Drives....

LIVE CDS ARE DEAD. Well, not dead, but unnecessary.

You heard it here first.


Robert Eisenzopf wrote:
> Likewise at the same site a topic just covered,
> "How to Install a Linux Distro to a USB Flashdrive" 
> using either Ubuntu orFedora
> Chuck Frain <chuckfrain at>
>> In case you did not see it advertised, Linux Format is
>> offering their
>> current issue, 116, in PDF for free via torrent at the
>> tuxradar site. Offer
>> ends 11:59 GMT March 4 so get it now!
>> -- 
>> Chuck Frain
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