Re: Why initrd?
- From: 7 <website_has_email@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 18 Mar 2009 21:53:23 GMT
7. At some stage it asks if you want to format it and also
preserve the home partition. Preserve home partition
and try not to reformat the the flash disk.
8. Just before install, the installer will tell you all the operations
is about to perform. Make sure it doesn't reformat the ext2 partion
(because it will format it to EXT3) - go back and redo step 7
until it gives up trying to format the USB stick.
Excuse me for my ignorance, but why would that be undesirable?
EXT3 uses a journal to back out of transactions. So if data write went
bad, it can back out - its good for data but bad for a USB stick and SDCard
because each memory location can be written to between 100k and 1M - after
that it begins to loose data. The journal is frequently written to.
Hence its bad for USB stick and SDCard to use EXT3 (or NTFS).
It will wear out your memory. SSDs on the other
hand cycle the sectors transparently so that wear effect is less visible.
USB Stick can use EXT2 OK (very fast) and FAT32 (slow).
[You can check out speed difference between EXT2 and FAT32 by
installing Linux on a USB stick SDCard with initrd and
extlinux boot loader for EXT2 and syslinux boot loader for FAT32.
extlinux wins hands down. The syslinux method is described below.
The extlinux method is similar - google for it.]
Converting distros to boot from SD Cards and USB flash drives
Got me self an EEE but the EEE has no optical drives (no CDROMs).
So I'm having to convert every install CD or liveCD into a
bootable SD card or USB flash drive to boot on the EEE.
Without being able to convert a distro into a bootable USB flash /SD Card,
that distro can't be easily loaded into netbook like EEE
and stand to miss out on users installing it into netbooks.
So I would recommend all distro mainters look at their netbook
boot strategy and offer something to boot their distros
from USB flash and SD cards or miss out on users installing it into
Having done a few conversions, a pattern emerges that works well for
most syslinux / isolinux based distros.
1. Put your SD card or USB flash drive into your desktop Linux PC and
then open a console and type dmesg
You should see some line indicating your flash drive as
being picked up and allocated with a comment like sdc / sdc1 etc..
Remember both names - the first is /dev/sdc which is your
device name, and the second is /dev/sdc1 which is your partition name.
(Don't get confused between drive /dev/sdc and partition /dev/sdc1
or your drive could become scrambled eggs later on. Also remember
it may be called sdg or sdh etc depending what you see when you
plug in device and type dmesg)
2. Install gparted on your machine using synaptic.
To run it you can type
in a console window and select on the right side the drive name allocated
in step 1. Right click on the bar that represents the partition
and click on manage flags.
Enable the boot flag and click OK. This makes the SD Card / USB
3. Identify that you have syslinux or isolinux in your liveCD by
opening the .ISO file in archive manager and checking that it has
isolinux or syslinux directory somewhere in the liveCD.
4. Extract all the files in the .ISO file to the
root directory of the SD card or USB flash stick.
5. Go to the flash drive and locate the syslinux (or isolinux) directory.
Copy its entire content to the root directory of the flash drive.
6. If you have a syslinux.cfg file in the root directory of the
flash drive, then you are OK for step 6.
Otherwise if you have a isolinux.cfg file, then rename it to syslinux.cfg
7. Get syslinux - this is a boot loader and menu system for FAT based
file systems. Download the latest version from here...
Unzip it and go to the linux directory.
Run the program there by typing this - (note this command is updating
the partition /dev/sdc1)
./syslinux -s /dev/sdc1
This puts a new file into your SD card / USB flash disk
8. from the linux directory change to the mbr directory
and then run this - again note this time its updating the device by
writing data to the first sector as opposed to the first partition.
sudo cat mbr.bin > /dev/sdc
This makes the card bootable and useable in an Asus EEE and many other
PCs with SD card or USB flash disk boot facility.
A. You can skip steps 2 and 8 if you don't format your card again
when you want to try out another distro.
B. Step 5 is messy but quick. You can figure out and copy just
the files needed.
C. In step 6, editing the syslinux.cfg files can allow you to put
more than 1 distro on the flash drive. But beware, many distros
use default paths and names that can conflict.
This method tested and works for
Does not work for DVD distros with files greater than 2Gb size inside
the .ISO file - - need a different install method using grub bootloader
instead of syslinux (not covered here)
Does not work for .ISO files built with grub bootloader - need a different
install method with grub boot loader instead of syslinux.
The latest EEE1000 has fast enough graphics for translucent
An easy way to do all this:
Install Ubuntu on EEE (compiz itself
appears to be installed by default in the default install),
then install compiz settings manager using Synaptic
which allows compiz to be fully 'exercised'.
And then do the following to get the 3D cube desktop
Go to General > Display Settings > Lighting and turned it off
Enable Desktop Cube and then Desktop Cube > Transparent Cube and set the
two opacity settings to 30%
then Desktop Cube > Skydome and check the skydome check mark
Enable Rotate Cube
Enable Enhanced Zoom Desktop
Right click the virtual workspaces panel and increase the number
of colums to 8.
And hey presto - 100% 3D translucent desktop with 8 screens!!!!!!!!!!
[Some shortcuts for the 3D screen
ctrl + alt + left or right arrow to spin cube
ctrl + alt + down arrow and then left or right arrow for a ring switcher
super + E for yet another switcher
super + mouse wheel scroll to zoom in and out of the 3D desktop.
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