JP Vossen on 6 Jan 2010 18:10:56 -0800

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

[PLUG] Running Linux from a USB key?

I'm thinking about replacing my backup server.  My current server has an 
ATA CF-Card where the OS lives, and an ATA disk for data only.  That way 
the only moving part (the disk) is pretty trivially replaceable.

The System76 Meerkat NetTop machine 
( I am 
considering doesn't support that CF-Card, AFAICT and I don't think it 
has open slots to add anything.  So I was thinking about installing 
64-bit Debian to a USB key and booting and running from that.  I don't 
like the idea of leaving the key with the OS hanging outside the case on 
a USB port, but it looks like it might be possible to detach the front 
USB ports and move them inside the case, perhaps with a bit of duct 
tape. (I said it was possible, not that it was a great idea. :)

I'd mount / as ext2 with noatime and all logging would go elsewhere to a 
loghost, so the only writes to the USB key would be OS upgrades and 
config tweaks.  Oh, and /tmp and swap go on the hard disk too.  Yes, 
that will probably crash the system if/when the disk dies, but since the 
entire point of the system is to write to that disk, it's useless until 
that's replaced anyway.

Also, I was planning to install by using a system with a CD and the USB 
key but no hard drive.  I'd mount the USB drive (using a different 
console window if necessary), then just use that as the install target. 
  I'm aware of the discussion we just had with links like debootstrap 
and the live images, but I want a "regular" install, just living on USB, 
not a live image, or whatever.  AFAICT this should Just Work, with the 
possible exception of needing to add a 'rootdelay' kernel option.  See:

Any issues or comments?

JP Vossen, CISSP            |:::======|
My Account, My Opinions     |=========|
"Microsoft Tax" = the additional hardware & yearly fees for the add-on
software required to protect Windows from its own poorly designed and
implemented self, while the overhead incidentally flattens Moore's Law.
Philadelphia Linux Users Group         --
Announcements -
General Discussion  --