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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 18th September, 2010, 05:52 AM
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Calling all Linux Users

Okay, long time no see. Its been a while since I have posted anything significant lately. Life has been anything but normal lately. Most recently I've been without a job for the past month, luckily my wife is still employed or I'd really be up a creek with out a paddle. Other than that things are well.

Anyways, my next quarter at school started this week and my first class in the line up is Linux Operating Systems. We will study Fedora 12/13 and REHL for the next 11 weeks.

Today as part of my daily routine of trying to figure out what to do with all my free time I downloaded quite quickly (1.3MBps average) the 3.1GB Fedora 13 dvd iso. I want to install it and begin going through my book, that seems to have taken its own personal tree for printing and begin learning the ins and outs of Linux.

So now I'm at the installation stage and I now have my first question. I have a portable HDD that I use for school, backups and transportation of various files when needed that I have partitioned into several different virtual drives. Here is the questions --> I want to be able to install Fedora to a specific partition on that drive and then be able to take the drive with me where I go with the ability to boot up/open Fedora on a laptop or the machines at school. Is there a way to do this? I've done a quick search out in the WWW but came up empty handed so I come to the WWoAOA (Wonderful World of AOA) for help and guidance.

Any help much appreciated. Thanks guys!
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Old 18th September, 2010, 02:08 PM
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Hey Wonderbread!
you changed your avatar

Really the best way is to burn yourself a DVD of that .iso file with a free ISO burner. That way you can take the DVD with you and boot it on any computer at the school.

The External drive has its advantages because you can install programs/packages and even save files, etc.
BUT (of course) the USB will be your bottleneck. USB is pretty slow compared to SATA so it will be pretty slow to boot and run. I'm surprised they gave you an external hard drive and not a SATA hot-swappable drive since each computer has a drive cage in the front.

Anyways, I have looked into this before and never tried it. But I'm curious too because it would be fun to boot Mint or Fedora from a flash drive.

I found a few tutorials online and they require downloading some programs to format the drive:

1. pendrivelinux.com
2. Fedora on a flash drive

There are a lot of articles on how to boot from a USB drive but there isn't a lot on INSTALLING to a USB drive.
I think there is a difference. I would try booting from the USB drive because it will use the systems MEMORY to run Linux and then you can select the /home partition to be on the USB drive. I hope. Then you should be able to install packages to the USB drive too.

The key is to manually create partitions for:
/
/home
/swap

on the USB drive. But it may only work on the computer you created the partitions on.
So that could cause a problem with having portable operating system
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Old 19th September, 2010, 05:42 AM
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You can install everything in one partition. Just manually create the partition, format as ext3 and label as /

You can install the bootloader to the MBR of the external as well. As long as the other computers you use it with can boot from USB you should be fine.
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Old 19th September, 2010, 09:11 PM
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Ok, and I can do all this from the ISO I have burned to a DVD?
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Old 19th September, 2010, 10:13 PM
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Yes, when it gets to the point of making partitions select manual
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Old 20th September, 2010, 12:21 AM
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ok, so I've done that but after I create the / partition how big should the partition be? the default 500MB or the size of the partition? Also when I click next it tells me that I need a swap drive? how do I make that? Anything else I should know before proceeding?
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Old 20th September, 2010, 01:33 AM
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Use the entire partition. Hopefully there is a way to continue without a swap partition. You don't really need a partition, a swap file will do just fine and that can be created after installation.
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Old 20th September, 2010, 02:52 PM
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if it won't let you choose / for the entire drive then you'll have to create a new partition. There should be a "drop down" menu that has presets like /, /swap, /home
So choose /swap on the list and type in 1000 MB.
root (same as /) and /swap are the only partitions you'll have to manually create. if it doesn't work, try it again. Just remember to delete them.
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Old 20th September, 2010, 04:02 PM
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the drop down doesn't have a selection for /swap which I thought was strange...
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Old 20th September, 2010, 04:37 PM
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that is strange. I use Fedora 8 so maybe they changed it.
Andrew and I are going to try it today during lunch. We'll let you know of our results.
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Old 20th September, 2010, 08:48 PM
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I've got it installed now but I'm in the process of fixing someone elses computer so I haven't had time to get the boot oder correct to boot from the USB drive.... I hope my mobo isn't too old...
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Old 20th September, 2010, 08:52 PM
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Andrew and I got through the manual settings for the partitions and kept getting an error.
So we did a DVD test and even used the default LVM partition scheme and still had a problem.
So we don't know if its the external drive or the DVD, but it isn't working.

The cool thing is Anaconda recognizes the external drive and allows us to create our own partitioning scheme.

I realized that /swap has to be "typed" in instead of a preset.
I don't know why, but I think Linux doesn't require one.

Let me know if it boots correctly and runs...
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Old 20th September, 2010, 09:23 PM
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I'll let you know. I'm sure I'll hear the whole story from Andrew today as well.
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Old 20th September, 2010, 09:31 PM
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Well, Its working for me. I'm writing this from F-13 installed on my USB HDD.
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Old 20th September, 2010, 09:32 PM
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thats awesome! Hopefully our problem is hardware related.
I'm glad you got it working. Good job
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Old 22nd September, 2010, 01:43 PM
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or... well nevermind, you know what I was going to say anyway. How are you guys doing, long time no see!
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I've heard that linux community came up with better implemented security in it's latest Linux Mint Gold version, it's actually preventing the user to log in, thus posing 0 risk in contamining the computer with malware! Well done to the open source community!

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Old 23rd September, 2010, 04:48 PM
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doin good! You?
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Old 23rd September, 2010, 08:42 PM
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Andrew and I got it working on his external drive!
You know what it was? The stinking USB ports on the front of the computer were faulty. I noticed because the external drive light kept flickering and the drive was making a clicking sound. It works fine, but strange that it seemed to be turning on and off over and over.

So we used a USB on the I/O panel and "Bing" it worked.
He ended up using the Default LVM partitioning instead of manual, but it worked and he could boot to the drive after setting the boot priority in the BIOS
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Old 24th September, 2010, 02:43 PM
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USB2 is only specified to supply 500mA of power to a device, and that's only after negotiation with the OS. Some hard disks needs a bit more than 500mA of power to get them spun up - it sounds like yours is one of them. Technically, this means that there's a lot of hard disk caddies that don't meet the USB specifications, which is why they don't work properly on all ports on all computers.

Often caddy manufacturers provide two cables - one effectively acts as a "jump start" to get the hard disk spun up.
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Old 24th September, 2010, 02:52 PM
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I didn't think of that. I have see two power connectors for external hard drives. Thanks for the tip, now I know
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