How about having a linux bootable USB stick? You can insert that in to any PC, do the do without affecting settings of that PC at all. This is even more helpful for linux admins who find it hard to work on friend’s Windows PC instead of taking delicious dinner, after receiving an unrgent call from NOC Deptt.
Here are quick steps on CentOS 5.2 box (should be identical on any RH based distro):
1. Check whether required tools are already installed or not:
# rpm -q livecd <no output>
2. Install tools:
# yum install livecd-tools
3. Insert your USB stick in one of USB port, it should get automatically detected and mounted. Make sure your stick has atleast 1 GB free space. Jump to step #7 as it’s absolutely not necessary to format it, but if there’s no worthy data in and you are willing to clean it completely before moving forward, here is the way to proceed after unmounting it:
# fdisk -l /dev/sda Disk /dev/sda: 4043 MB, 4043309056 bytes 125 heads, 62 sectors/track, 1018 cylinders Units = cylinders of 7750 * 512 = 3968000 bytes Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
4. Proceed to format:
# fdisk /dev/sda Command (m for help): d No partition is defined yet! Command (m for help): n Command action e extended p primary partition (1-4) p Partition number (1-4): 1 First cylinder (1-1018, default 1): Using default value 1 Last cylinder or +size or +sizeM or +sizeK (1-1018, default 1018): Using default value 1018 Command (m for help): a Partition number (1-4): 1 Command (m for help): t Selected partition 1 Hex code (type L to list codes): 6 Changed system type of partition 1 to 6 (FAT16) Command (m for help): w The partition table has been altered! Calling ioctl() to re-read partition table. WARNING: If you have created or modified any DOS 6.x partitions, please see the fdisk manual page for additional information. Syncing disks.
## here, after initiating fdisk with USB device controller ie /dev/sda (it may be different in your machine, Please make sure you choose correct). We tried deleting (d) any existing partitions, then create new one (n) of type primary (p) with all avaialbe size. Then make this partition active (a) and assign (t) filesystem FAT 16 (6) to it. Save these changes or write these changes to device by pressing w.
5. Issue parprobe to detect new changes and check:
# partprobe # fdisk -l /dev/sda Disk /dev/sda: 4043 MB, 4043309056 bytes 125 heads, 62 sectors/track, 1018 cylinders Units = cylinders of 7750 * 512 = 3968000 bytes Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System /dev/sda1 * 1 1018 3944719 6 FAT16
6. Format USB stick partition (sda1) with FAT file system and mount it:
# mkdosfs -n usbdisk /dev/sda1 mkdosfs 2.11 (12 Mar 2005) # mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/cam # df -h Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on /dev/hda2 43G 17G 24G 42% / /dev/hda5 51G 20G 29G 41% /var tmpfs 248M 0 248M 0% /dev/shm /dev/sda1 3.8G 4.0K 3.8G 1% /mnt/cam
8. Start the actual process of creating bootable and transferring files now. The command syntax is: livecd-iso-to-disk <ISO File path> <USB Device>:
# livecd-iso-to-disk F10-i686-Live.iso /dev/sda1 Verifying image... F10-i686-Live.iso: f21debace1339dbdefff323064d40164 Fragment sums: c22bcc22b29728f2a7136396121621caf6c18169f3326e5c7e66153cd57e Fragment count: 20 Percent complete: 100.0% Fragment[20/20] -> OK 100.0 The supported flag value is 0 The media check is complete, the result is: PASS. It is OK to install from this media. Copying live image to USB stick Updating boot config file Installing boot loader USB stick set up as live image!
9. All Done! grab any PC available sideby and restart it (after saving fellows work :). Go to BIOS menu, change boot option from HDD/CD to USB Drive, insert USB stick in one of avaiable USB ports. Start the PC and enjoy!!