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how to boot linux from flash drive w/ bios

post #1 of 13
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I wonder if its possible to run linux through a virtual machine without admin right on a flash drive? Also how fast does the drive have to be? Also since I use an alternative layout(colemak) and most ppl comp are qwerty could I have the usb drive translate what I type in to the correct letters.
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post #2 of 13
Hold on, I'm a bit confused as to what you're trying to do. To create the USB drive, use a program called UNetBootin (it'll wipe your USB stick though). Most of the major distros will cope with alternate keyboard layouts with no problems.

You are trying to boot from the stick, not run the VM from within Windows? Because the latter isn't possible (well, maybe with Cooperative Linux, but that's a bit different)
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post #3 of 13
USB has nothing to do with your keyboard layout. You choose your keyboard layout when installing. It's part of your locale settings.

Any speed flash drive will do. Slower drives will just boot slower.


Depending on the virtualisation software, platforms etc, you may not need admin permissions. This depends entirely on your setup. If you just put all your virtual machine files (e.g. vmx, vmdk, etc files) on a flash drive, you could probably do that fine as long as you can write to your flash drive. If you set up the VM to use the flash drive directly has a virtual hard drive, rather than using a vmdk file, your vmx files etc would need to be written somewhere else that you had access to.

Also, depending on your setup, your virtualisation console may still require administrative permissions to add new virtual machines etc.

None of this has anything to do with "bios", which was in your subject but not your post.



Quote:
Originally Posted by chemicalfan View Post
Hold on, I'm a bit confused as to what you're trying to do. To create the USB drive, use a program called UNetBootin (it'll wipe your USB stick though). Most of the major distros will cope with alternate keyboard layouts with no problems.
UNetBootin creates a bootable usb flash drive from an iso or img file. It has nothing to do with virtualisation. You could potentially use it with virtualisation but there's absolutely no point, as you can install directly from the original iso without bothering (even if you wanted to be able to carry it around on the usb stick, you could just put the iso file on the usb stick's filesystem).

Quote:
Originally Posted by chemicalfan View Post
You are trying to boot from the stick, not run the VM from within Windows? Because the latter isn't possible (well, maybe with Cooperative Linux, but that's a bit different)
Running a virtual machine from within Windows is perfectly possible. Software like VMWare Server or VirtualBox will do this. For the virtual host to be the host operating system rather than to run as software on top of it (i.e. you are *not* running on top of Windows or something similar), you would use a hypervisor such as VMWare ESX
Edited by ghell - 5/18/11 at 3:09am
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post #4 of 13
Ah, but you need admin rights to install VM software on Windows
If it already has the VM software on it, I'd be surprised if rights were needed to create a new VM for Linux. Then, you just need to copy the ISO onto the flash drive, then mount it in the Linux VM, and away you go. I don't know if you could make the flash drive the virtual HDD, and install Linux onto it...you might need to use another stick or use a CD, other wise it'll be mounted and it won't be able to install onto itself (unless you boot with an option to run in RAM, in which case you'll be free to overwrite the stick once the VM has booted)

Assuming this is what you wanted (running Linux in a VM, using a USB stick as a source)?
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post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by chemicalfan View Post
I don't know if you could make the flash drive the virtual HDD, and install Linux onto it.
You can but you still need to store the virtual machine configuration file somewhere and if you are using it as the virtual hard drive directly (i.e. you could actually take it out and boot it on a physical machine somewhere without needing the VM software) then you can't put them on there. When you pass the USB through to the VM, it unmounts it from the host.

In most situations it would be better to just install the vm to the usb flash drive, so that the flash drive had the .vmx, .vmdk etc files on it, or whatever files the virtualisation software uses. There's no need to put an iso on a usb flash drive at all. This question has nothing to do with that. In general Linux is *not* booted from a "livecd".

You may need to log in to use a virtualisation console, even after it's been installed. It depends on the virtualisation software. I have seen this on both Windows (e.g. ntlm authentication box) and Linux (e.g. gksu required) hosts.
Edited by ghell - 5/18/11 at 4:46am
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post #6 of 13
How about Oracle Virtual Box?

Edit: OOps^^
Edited by Tiger S. - 5/18/11 at 4:51am
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghell View Post
In general Linux is *not* booted from a "livecd".
The very first boot is, before it's installed....
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post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by chemicalfan View Post
The very first boot is, before it's installed....
Only if you're using Ubuntu or something similar, and even there it is a relatively new idea and completely unnecessary if you are running it in a VM anyway. A live CD is a way to try it without altering what is already there. If you're installing it to a VM, there's nothing already there and when you're done with it you can just delete a file from your hard disk to get rid of the VM. Live CDs tend to be very slow compared to hard drives and IMO are a terrible advertisement for Linux (but then again, so is all of ubuntu)
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post #9 of 13
Wait, what?

Can you explain to me how to install (to virtual or physical machine) any flavour of Linux without using a CD/ISO? Bear in mind that all UNetBootin does is "explode" the ISO onto the USB stick.
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post #10 of 13
you can dd an img across, you can compile into an existing filesystem and chroot across (see gentoo install procedure, for example), you can network install, etc.

I actually said *live* cd though, which is where you run from the cd and then optionally install after that. This is not the same as a normal installation disc.

Running from a live CD (e.g. the VM has no hard drive file, you just boot it from the virtual cd drive with the iso each time) is the only reason you would possibly bother putting an iso on a flash drive if you wanted to boot a virtual machine from a flash drive. The normal procedure would be to download the iso and install the virtualisation software to the local hard drive, format the flash drive to fat32, create a new vm and use the flash drive as a destination directory (remembering to split hard drive files to fit in fat32), boot the vm from the installation iso, install linux to the vm and then since you don't need it any more, you can delete the iso. At no point does the iso need to go onto the flash drive.

An example of putting an iso on a flash drive to boot a live cd could be putting a gparted (or maybe even memtest) livecd iso on the same flash drive as a windows virtual machine. If you ever need to do any partition editing you could quickly reboot the vm to it without having to do anything to the vm.


unetbootin is useful for booting a physical machine with no optical drive from a usb flash drive instead, but this question was not asking anything about that.
Edited by ghell - 5/19/11 at 5:02pm
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