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Re: OT: your desktop on a stick



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 
> other.
> 
> 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.
> --home-size-mb
> 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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