booting from usb pen drive

Jeff Layton jeffrey.b.layton at
Mon Nov 24 09:07:52 EST 2003

Good morning!

   A friend of mine and I have been talking about this type
of thing for about a year now. Our idea was to put a base
install on a CF card and boot from it. Prices on CF aren't
too bad until you get to the high end (yes I know hard drives
are cheaper) and with some cluster distributions, you only need
128 Megs and you would have plenty of space (may be able
to get that down to 64 megs). Our goal behind using CF
cards was to eliminate hard drives from the nodes as a
possible source of downtime. One neat little gizmo we
found is a 7-in-1 reader which can also handle floppies:

It's a little pricey, but you can have pretty much whatever
solid-state media is out there. It fits into a floppy bay. As
others have pointed out, if your motherboard can boot off
USB then this should work.



> On Sun, 2003-11-23 at 08:03, Jag wrote:
> >
> > > This could be a very elegant solution for booting diskless nodes, 
> since
> > > virtually every mobo made today has USB interfaces on it, and 
> would save you
> > > the hassle of putting CDROM or Floppy drives out there. 
> >
> > I'm not sure I'd be a fan of it.  On one hand, you could just have one
> > usb pen drive that you use to boot all the nodes.  Nice in theory, 
> but I
> > really don't want to have to touch a slave node just to reboot it.
> > Other than that, you'd have a nice usb key sticking out of either the
> > front or rear of all your machines like a sore thumb, and would be 
> quite
> > easy to accidently brush against and break/pull-out/snap-off in your 
> usb
> > port.
> >

Dr. Jeff Layton
Aerodynamics and CFD
Lockheed-Martin Aeronautical Company - Marietta

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