Bootable Ubuntu Gutsy O/S and Backup On USB Thumb Drive

After getting firmly told in the comments to my post on Friday, that I should really have an ext2 or ext3 filesystem on my backup device, I decided to take a different approach.

For now, I really want that 80GB drive to be a FAT32 file system, because one of the O/S'es I backup is Windows Xp (even though there is an ext2 filesystem for that - thanks uhuu). I really should take the time to partition it so I can have the best of both worlds. Yes, I'm being lazy.

So I purchased a 4 GB USB Thunb Drive, which arrived yesterday afternoon. I then followed the excellent instructions on the Debian/Ubuntu Tips & Tricks website, and setup two partitions on it. The first one was about 750 MB and contains a copy of the latest Ubuntu live CD bootable O/S and the second one is the rest of the space on the thumb drive, which now has an ext2 filesystem on it and contains a backup on my DVD area on my Ubuntu system (copied over and kept in sync with rsync.

I'm using a copy of the Ubuntu Gutsy live CD, rather than the Feisty one -- the instructions are a few months old, and I had to slightly tweak the instructions to use my device name (/dev/sda rather than /dev/sdb), and I named my backup partition "richb-rw". Apart from that, I was able to follow the instructions explicity. I did have to perform the command in the trouble-shooting section and run lilo to fixup my boot loader.

Then I simply rebooted with the thumb drive inserted, pressed F2 to enter BIOS setup and moved the thumb drive to the top of the list of the bootable hard drives. After saving the results it booted up from the USB drive and gave me the Ubuntu desktop.

What's really nice is that I can use the other partition on my thumb drive to read and write whatever I want to.

The next steps are to try to get something similar working with with the OpenSolaris Developer Preview when it appears (very soon!) and to also tweak the bootable O/S to include all the bits necessary to get Orca to automatically startup and "just work" with it.

But that's for another day.

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