This page is about boot Linux via USB pendrives in any computer.
BIOS and USB standard mass storage interface
There are two common BIOS methods for direct USB booting:
- One method is called the "USBHDD" method and it is used to support the booting of standard USB mass storage devices that are configured like a normal PC hard drive.
- The other method is called the "USBZIP" method and it supports booting from a USB storage device that behaves like the original IOMEGA ZIP drive with USB support.
Most computers (just about all Dells, for example) made today have a BIOS that supports the USBHDD method so I expect that this will eventually become the standard way to boot a USB device. However, many motherboards will support BOTH methods, and many older motherboards have USBZIP support.
You need a USB device with standard mass storage interface and with, at least, 128 MBytes (the distros uses generally 50 -64 MB) to work with Linux.
USB pendrive location
Most USB pendrives are located at device name "?sda" after they are plugged into the USB port.
However, you can verify this location by typing this command inside a terminal window:
- dmesg | grep scsi -A 3
and it should tell you the device name for your USB (SCSI emulated) devices and vendor name.
See : ["dmesg"].
There is two installation methods:
- Burned: from a LiveCD using the utility Install to USB.
- Unburned: downloading the files (ISO or other) and installing them in the USB pendrive.
Obtain the installation files from ISO file
You have to use a IsoBuster .
USB Debian distros
Fedora / RedHat:
- Gentoo :
[http://d-i.alioth.debian.org/manual/en.powerpc/ch04s04.html Preparing Files for USB Memory Stick Booting].
[http://www.pcquest.com/content/linux/104010505.asp Booting Linux off USB Storage].
[http://d-i.pascal.at/Installing Debian Sarge from a USB memory stick (USB key)].
[http://rz-obrian.rz.uni-karlsruhe.de/knoppix-usb/ Boot KNOPPIX from an USB Memory Stick].
[http://lists.debian.org/debian-boot/2004/11/msg01601.html Reboot from USB].
[http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page Damn Small Linux USB boot].
[http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bootflashlinux Mail list about booting Debian from a USB flashdrive].