I've been working on d-i usb support today. Current status is that it works (boots) here, and it will work in the archive once we get a new busybox and kernel-modules. I have only tested booting from a floppy, as none of the 6 or 10 computers I have tried can boot direct from a non-floppy usb device. So the d-i bootfloppy can be used to boot such systems, and it will then load the main d-i initrd from USB media (either USB floppy, or keychain). For the d-i initrd, I am currently using the "floppy" image on my USB keychain, dd'd to the front, but that is less than ideal. Ideally we would have something much like the debian CD images, but that can be thrown onto a USB keychain, and used for a debian base install direct from the keychain. I'm considering adding enough USB stuff to the cdrom image that it can find itself on USB, and then the netinst CD images would work well on a smaller keychain, and a CD image with the base debs as well would work ok on a larger keychain. There may be too much CDROM-specific stuff on the cd image for this to be feasable, not sure yet. Another eventual problem is that the bootfloppy currently refuses to mount images that have a linux kernel on them. It assumes that any such image is the boot image from the bootfloppy itself. Once someone manages to direct boot a usb keychain, they will want a kernel on it, and this will make it unusable with the bootfloppy. Before that happens I need to find a better way for the bootfloppy to detect itself. I may use a special DOS disklabel for that floppy or something like that. -- see shy jo  Or it could be that the one USB keychain I have tried to boot all those systems with just doesn't support USB boots that well.  It also supports putting it in any partition of the keychain, if the thing is partitioned.
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