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New to the Linux thing, need answers

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November 3, 2003 2:55:18 PM

I haven't played with the Linux thing too much, but I plan on getting into an open source environment shortly. Could Linux (for instance, Redhat) be installed to a pen drive style USB device and be made portable? I figure that a 1Gb USB 2.0 pen drive with Linux on it could work as a protable development environment to go between work and home. I know that may work and home computer are VASTLY different, but I assume that I could set up hardware profiles to take care of that. I may be completely in left field here guys, so feel free to shoot me down! Thanks!

More about : linux thing answers

November 4, 2003 1:29:35 AM

I guess that could work, kinda like a CD version (assuming the PC can boot it, or "loadlin" can use it, and the kernel can mount it as root device?).

<i>Knock Knock, Neo</i>
November 4, 2003 4:20:35 AM

Yeah, I think it could work. That's actually a really neat way to go too... You buy a computer for home, buy a USB pen drive, use it, then when you have to go out to school, just plug it into your desk... go to work, plug it into your desk there... pretty neat idea.

Some day I'll be rich and famous for inventing a device that allows you to stab people in the face over the internet.
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November 4, 2003 5:34:11 PM

I jsut wasn't sure if Kudzu could keep up, or if you needed a driver of some kind to access the device to begin with. Now I'm on the quest for a 1Gb USB 2.0 memory stick...
November 4, 2003 8:46:56 PM

Kudzu won't keep up for long with new releases...Redhat is going all server. No more Desktop releases. I wonder who will pick up the slack?

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<b>Got any of that beer that has candy floating in it? You know, Skittlebrau? </b> <i>Homer Simpson</i>

TKS
November 4, 2003 10:45:02 PM

I couldn't even tell you, but if I had to guess...Microsoft. Believe it or not, M$ has a Linux distribution in the wings.
November 4, 2003 10:57:28 PM

If the computers' bioses support USB boot functions you can boot from your Flash memory. Most of the time they are labelled USB CD boot or USB floppy boot, but still manage to boot from other USB mass storage devices.

If you want maximum compatibility, compile your kernel for i386 processers without optimisations for the others. Most prebuild kernels provided with most distributions have i386 kernels so that should be fine.

Have a look at this: <A HREF="http://www.ncsu.edu/resnet/runt/" target="_new">http://www.ncsu.edu/resnet/runt/&lt;/A>

Also Knoppix should be of interest to you.

Check those out. that should help.




<b><font color=red>"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."</font color=red><font color=blue> - Benjamin Franklin</font color=blue></b>
November 4, 2003 11:00:37 PM

Redhat desktop linuxs may be downloaded from the fedora project.

SUSE (formerly SuSE) make good, very easy to install linux systems.

<b><font color=red>"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."</font color=red><font color=blue> - Benjamin Franklin</font color=blue></b>
November 4, 2003 11:40:15 PM

That is very cool! I think that most computers support boot-USB, and I know that both my work and home pc do. I just want the basic GUI with image editing tools (Gimp will work) and the development toolset (C, C++). I have started doing a lot of OpenGl development, and I just want to drag it back and forth without having to burn a CD or use magnetic media.
November 5, 2003 12:06:57 AM

One thing to note is not to use the flash as a swap device. Just go without, assuming you have a normal (128+ MB) amount of RAM.

<i>Knock Knock, Neo</i>
November 5, 2003 1:06:09 AM

Quote:
One thing to note is not to use the flash as a swap device. Just go without, assuming you have a normal (128+ MB) amount of RAM.


Why? Any *nix needs swap space, it's not possible to run withtout. However, linux can utilize "regular" file systems as swap, but performance will suffer a little.

I don't see why there's any reason not to have swap space on a USB stick, but maybe there's something I don't know about?

Dev

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November 5, 2003 1:19:07 AM

I imagine that the speed on the USB device may be prohibitive to interaction with ATA/SCSI devices.
November 5, 2003 4:41:28 AM

Linux runs just fine without swap space, although it's sure nice to have some. If you have like 8MB of RAM you'll need it, but normal modern systems are ok without. If if *needed* it, how would Knoppix and other CD read-only distros work?

The reason I suggest not to use it with a USB stick is because I've read that Flash memory has a limited number of write cycles. IIRC, it's a pretty high number, but using it as swap will basically wear it out. It sounds a bit strange, so I'll see if I can dig up a reference for it.

Edit: Fallen, take a look here... <A HREF="http://rz-obrian.rz.uni-karlsruhe.de/knoppix-usb/" target="_new">http://rz-obrian.rz.uni-karlsruhe.de/knoppix-usb/&lt;/A> It's a bit ugly, but USB-drive Linux has already been done. :) 

<i>Knock Knock, Neo</i><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by poorboy on 11/05/03 07:43 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
November 5, 2003 10:51:22 AM

Yeah there it is a link to knoppix

<b><font color=red>"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."</font color=red><font color=blue> - Benjamin Franklin</font color=blue></b>
November 7, 2003 10:21:42 PM

I may be mistaken, but I was under the impression that any service in *NIX demands at least one page. I know for a fact that this is the case with Solaris, HP-UX and AIX and would be very suprised if this was not the case for Linux.

Dev

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November 11, 2003 7:19:24 AM

Uh Oh, the site advertised for SCO!!!

thx, for the link.
What I am still confused about (because I am too lazy to reasearch it) is whether pages are needed or not. Perhaps it is just Solaris that automatically creates a page for every process, but I thought that was part of POSIX. I guess I'll have to crack that book open again so I can clear it up. Most Linux documentation I have read stated that a swap partition is needed. One can make a one partition install, but a swap file will then be created (I think it's in /tmp/swap, but don't quote me on that). Nevertheless, that does not give the answer of whether a page is created or not. I'll try to find out and get back to you.

Dev


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