Sunday, August 20, 2006

Fedora Core 5 on USB hard disk

I have DELL notebook Latitude D610 with preinstaled company standard image. We have lot of restrictions and security constraints in this image. It's absolutly correct from security and company's point of view. But because I'm working as solution/system consultant I have to test a lot of systems, softwares and solutions to have a practical experiences with latest technologies. So I had two possibilities. To buy another hardware for testing or use a company notebook with another hard disk and another OS. Second posibility is chiper and more convinient for me. You can pretty easy demount internal HDD from DELL Latitude 610 but it's not so professional. Much better way is to use external USB hard disk and during the boot press F12 key and choose a boot device. Because we are suggesting virtualization tou our customers I decide to install linux and VMWare. I choosed linux distro Fedora Core 5 (FC5) as hosted OS. There are some hacks haw to install FC5 to external USB disk. First of all you have to choose different type of installation method from DVD/CD medium. You have to use option "linux expert" which is not sugested in instalation wizard. Only "linux expert" and "linux rescue" are loading USB modules so it's working with external USB disk. After common CD/DVD installation you have to reboot. But after reboot system is not booting propperly from external hard disk. You can see "kernel panic" on the screen. The reason is that generic instalation doesn't contain USB modul. There is work-arround. You have to boot from CD/DVD to rescue mode (linux rescue). Installed system is mounted to /mnt/sysimage/. You have to mount boot image by command
mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/sysimage/boot
set a chroot directory
chroot /mnt/sysimage
and create new initrd image with modules for USB storage
mkinitrd ––preload=ehci–hcd ––preload=usb–storage ––preload=scsi_mod ––preload=sd_mod /boot/initrd-2.6.15-1.2054_FC5.img

This work-arround change booting image to new boot image with USB disk support and after reboot Linux OS should boot from external USB hard disk without any problem.

VMWare instalation to be continued ...

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