[Grml] Re: Chainboot Cheatcode

Mark or2uvma02 at sneakemail.com
Wed Nov 30 03:06:51 CET 2005

> The only remaining advantage I see is that I can have my own customized
> OS on the stick. Is that your purpose?

Why do people carry laptop computers?  Because they want their own
customized OS - desktop, personal notes, tools, office files, email,
applications, cipher'd partitions, custom kernels, whatever.

So I want to give the user a Linux system that can boot from any PC. 
Instead of an expensive and fragile laptop, he gets a rugged USB hard

It seems a fairly easy addition to the cheatcode options that already
exist.  In some sense the idea generalizes the persistent home concept.

> But there seems that there is no solution.

The point of the suggestion is not to 'trick' the BIOS but to work with
its constraints.  It can't boot USB, so we boot from CD and pivot over
to USB.

> This would be cool from a technical point of view. But I see no real
> world example where it would be helpful.

Previous messages discuss the user scenario.  Users carry a USB
harddrive instead of a personal laptop.  It will boot any PC.  Sweet!

> USB sticks are used because they are small and you can carry them in
> your pocket.

Same with portable USB hard drives.  These have all the advantages
without the drawbacks.  OK, they are a little bigger and not quite as
rugged (depending on model) but win in erms of cost, capacity, write
speed, media lifespan, file system options, partitioning, etc.

The Western Digital Passport model is exceptionally rugged for not much
cost, in fact cheaper than many USB sticks.  It comes in 40 GB and 80 GB
capacities.  You can drop it on hard concrete.

> when you have to use the CD for booting USB sticks, all advantages
> are gone.

You are right if the choice is only between grml-CD and grml-small for
USB stick.  Both of those are quasi-read-only ISO Linux systems.  There
is some 'persistent state' capability on a stick, true.  But we have a
third choice:  grml-big on USB hard drive.

The hard drive is a "real" Linux system, not an ISO image on a stick. 
Even if the user is a sysadmin and not "granny" there are serious


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