Re: portable Debian
>>> Well, no, what i really want is a portable Debian, so i can, for
>>> example, build a web app and show it everywhere without need a web
>>> server.... and just have my own configuration and run it every where
> Some "live" distributions have "USB environments" (I call them) which allow
> you to create a bootable image complete with a good-sized /home/ space for
> data on a USB thumb drive. An example is Knoppix
> (http://www.knopper.net/knoppix/), which has a utility just for that
> purpose. Knoppix is basically Debian; it is binary compatible. It uses the
> LXDE environment, which is KDE 3, but with GTK instead of Qt.
The problem with most (all?) of them is that they're based on the idea
of a read-only partition plus a separate partition that will hold
In many cases, this is perfectly fine, but I hate re-installing so
I want to be able to keep updating my "Debian Live" via "aptitude
upgrade" for the foreseeable future (say 10 years).
Luckily it's not that hard to make such a "partable Debian". The only
possible problems I can think of:
- disk size (when I first tried mine, I only had a 128MB USB disk at
hand, and the one I use right now is 512MB but with some space kept for
a FAT partition used when I use that disk as a "floppy"). In my case
I solved the problem by using a compressing filesystem, which made
things more complex because the only one I could find was jffs2 which
doesn't work on plain block devices.
If you have 1GB or more of space, this is a non-issue.
- getting your BIOS find your kernel:
- some machines can't boot from USB at all.
- others can, but with some restrictions (typically Apple hardware,
so I end up having to setup my flash key with grub-efi-32,
grub-efi-64, and grub-pc, which is poorly supported under Debian).
- of course yet other machines aren't even using the IA32 instruction
set, so you may need several separate installs (PowerPC/Mips/Arm/...).
- getting your kernel to find the root filesystem. Your external hard
disk partition will typically not have a fixed device name like
/dev/sdb2, so you'll want to refer to it with its UUID, label, or via
- Some udev rules try to give unique and *stable* names to devices by
simply remembering the names they used in the past. On a system that
you move around on many different machines, this can be a pain in the
rear, since your only ethernet card may easily end up named eth7
(because eth0-eth6 were already used for the cards on other machines).
So you may want to "rm /etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-*" in your