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everything’s bootable but me… August 16, 2006

Posted by TSAI HONG-BIN in Linux.
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“Linux bootable usb drive”, my first training task. It took me about 20 hours to figure out how the embedded thing works. Well… at least I figured it out.

First of all, I found it so difficult to find an article that customizes Fedora Core to a bootable usb drive.The only one worth of reading is here http://www.simonf.com/usb/

However, it boots off the system of Grub from the first place. Not helping … There’s a famous linux distro called Damn Small Linux … With it there is a short guide can be found here. Everything looks great, just “looks” great. Remeber that linux kernel has been updated to 2.6.17 for a while, DSL is, not so surprising though, still applying kernel-2.4.

DSL is a stripped down version of KNOPPIX (50MB) , so, it turns out to be another tragedy. That is, “cloop”, part of KNOPPIX’s unwelcoming “uniqueness”. The story is, I downloaded DSL , followed the tutorial, and failed at “insmod cloop file=/path/to/KNOPPIX”. The reason I have to mount the image is that the image contains usb drivers and modules, which have to be placed in the usb drive. It doesn’t look so much like an obstacle, until I found that FC5 officially exclude kernel source in standard installation. Due to the inconsistency of kernel version, I stepped into another dead end.

Actually, there’re many different distro focusing on making a bootable usb. Flash Linux is from gentoo, RUNT Linux is from slackwave. And I finally found that there is an extremely easy path to get this task done…eh.. at least part of it.

1. mkinitrd –preload=ehci-hcd –preload=usb-storage –preload=scsi_mod –preload=sd_mod /boot/usbinitrd.img 2.6.17-1.2147_FC5

2. cp usbinitrd.img vmlinuz /media/sda1 (mount the usb drive first, surely)

3. Use SYSLINUX, syslinux /dev/sda1 (unmount b4 executing syslinux)

… then, at least this usb drive can boot … ha, and got panic half way because… tomorrow I’ll deal with the rest of this: rootfs and busybox

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