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Re: Portable Debian?

On Mon, 25 Apr 2016 14:07:09 -0400
Steve Matzura <sm@noisynotes.com> wrote:

> Joe:
> On Mon, 25 Apr 2016 15:17:08 +0100, you wrote:
> >I run ssh on a non-standard port, and my router redirects to 22 of
> >my server, alternatively ssh itself will listen wherever you tell it
> >to.  
> That's probably what I should be doing. As you say, it keeps the logs
> clean and the riff-raff at bay.
> >I have a sid installation on a portable USB [mechanical] hard drive 
> >which was installed as 32bit with all drivers, and therefore boots
> >on just about any PC. I just plugged the drive into a 64bit desktop
> >and made a new installation to the drive.  
> That's the ticket, yes. I'll get me one of those USB-powered drives
> and build an installation on it.
Portable USB SSDs seem to be slow in appearing, but I'm getting the
occasional disc error, so I'm heading that way at some point. At the
moment, Verbatim 128GB drives seem to be on the edge of affordability.

I do use the drive a fair bit, as I couldn't face trying to dual-boot
my Win8 laptop, though it was originally made as an exercise in running
my netbook a bit faster than its unbelievably slow first-generation SSD
could manage. 

> >You might get away with copying 
> >your existing installation if you have the right drivers installed
> >to suit your target PCs.  
> That's a chance I'd prefer not to take. It's easy enough to make
> another piece of boot media as you suggest.
> So, do I start with the running installation and run something to
> create the new media, or boot from the distro itself and create the
> new system on the target USB device? I'd rather the former, as now
> that I have everything running correct, I probably answered some basic
> configuration questions wrong and corrected them later, so I'd prefer
> not to have to go through that mess again unless it's really
> necessary.

I've found that a minimal installation, then dpkg --get-selections and
--set-selections and a bit of judicious /etc copying, to be a fairly
painless way to get a clean near-copy of an existing installation. I
migrated a server, I think lenny or squeeze, from 32bit to 64bit
hardware that way, and it had years of configurations built up by then,
having started life as sarge. I did actually try a straight copy and
then an in-place 32bit to 64bit upgrade, but the complexity quickly
outran my gumption, and I cheated.


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