Email: kam AT kamsalisbury DOT com
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Create YOUR Fedora Today!
Tip: If your overlay file gets full or otherwise corrupted, you can boot the USB with the "reset_overlay" option to clear your overlay. You will lose the data in the overlay file but on the up side, at least you do not have to reload the entire USB again right?
Tip: If you are running Fedora anyway, you could use the following statement instal of the GUI utility and get the benefit of an encrypted /home directory.
livecd-iso-to-disk --home-size-mb 1024 --overlay-size-mb 2047 F10-i686-Live.iso /dev/sdb1
Double Tip: That --home-size-mb statement is what (by default) creates an encrypted home directory. It is not an operation supported by the gui tool. Of course, if you lost your USB flash drive, having "home" encrypted is a really good idea.
Run YOUR Fedora from USB
- Yes, I really do run Fedora from a USB Flash RAM Drive for my daily Linux needs. It is not a full install of Fedora but rather a custom spin of Fedora Live. All of my firefox bookmarks and other data is saved in a 2GB overlay file. Other data such as podcasts are saved on the same USB in a regular vfat partition.
In the Fedora Live USB Flash Drive platform everything is fast and very portable. If you want to run "your" Fedora from USB Flash Drive too, here are the steps to follow.
1. To create "your" Fedora you will need an existing install of Fedora to generate the "build" of a custom Fedora Live image (sometimes called a SPIN). Lets call this the "build Fedora" for these instructions. For your "build Fedora" you could install Fedora to a hard disk on a real or virtual system (preferred) or boot from a Fedora Live CD or USB (you will need an additional 2-4GB of writable storage space for the build files used in step 3).
2. From the terminal or shell prompt run the following command as root to install the livecd-tools and spin-kickstarts packages.
yum -y install livecd-tools spin-kickstarts
3. Now, in your "build Fedora", create a directory to work from.
All the kickstart examples installed by the spin-kickstarts package will be found at...
So now just copy the fedora-live-base.ks file and any other kickstart you will base "your" Fedora on to the work directory you created. For example, I use the fedora-live-base.ks and fedora-livecd-desktop.ks for some of my work on the FedoraLite spin.
4. Now that the kickstart editing is done, in a terminal or shell prompt execute the livecd-creator tool to create "your" Fedora! If you plan on re-creating "your" Fedora several times (and you most likely will as you learn what needs fine tuned), be sure to create a cache directory in your working directory to hold all the livecd-creator's work files for rapid re-use. In the example command below, my cache directory is named "cache" (I know, real original)
livecd-creator -v -c fedora-livecd-desktop-en_US-kam.ks --cache=cache
The livecd-creator utility will work its magic and build "your" Fedora based on the kicstart files you had edited. After approximately two hours (on my 2GHz laptop) from the command given above I received the following file.
5. Finally, using the Fedora Live USB Creator utility, copy your image to a USB RAM drive or alternately burn the .iso image to CDR media. Try "your" Fedora on for size and fine tune as needed.
6. My latest (modified) kickstart file is at http://alchemy.kamsalisbury.com/fedora/ look for the files like "fedora-livecd-desktop.ks.20090103"
Fedora Best Practices
1. You have installed Fedora and its first boot time. Load the following packages to proactively speed up future software additions and protect the base software that makes Fedora work.
yum install yum-fastestmirror yum-protectbase