Fri, 10 Nov 2006
What is on your flashdisk?
From time to time I think about finding out an ultimate Linux distribution
suitable for being run from an USB flash disk. I have a 512MB flash disk, which
should be big enough for basic tasks such as
rsync, and maybe
links. Maybe something like
There is however a drawback: I sometimes need to use my USB key as a raw device:
dd(1) a bootable image of something into it. Usually
it is a
diskboot.img file from Fedora, which I then use
for installing/upgrading a computer, or even with the rescue feature
of Fedora Core installer as a rescue disk (it requires the rest of the
distro being available over the Net, though). Yesterday I even put
an image of a DOS floppy to it, and used it to flash a new BIOS to a
So needing a raw device too often has prevented me from using a "permanent" live distribution on my USB key. The problem may be solved with partitioning the device and installing a boot loader (can a DOS floppy image be booted when put on a partition, e.g. by GRUB?), but I don't know whether it is worth the trouble (and I may need a raw device for something else later). I also don't know if all BIOSes support booting from a partitioned removable device (as opposed to the raw device as a whole).
What is on your USB key? If some kind of a live distribution, do you also use it as an install disk or for flashing BIOSes as well?