CF + USB Combo Booting

Note: Not supported anymore with AstLinux 1.3.x and newer!

A new feature implemented with runnix-0.3.3 and AstLinux 0.7.8 allows the AstLinux distribution to be placed on a USB flash drive and operate just as if it were on a CF card.

If your AstLinux system box can boot directly to a USB drive, follow steps #2 and #3 below and install the USB flash drive as in #4.

For the case where the AstLinux system box cannot boot directly to a USB drive, there is a solution for that, by using the CF card to “boot” the USB flash drive, “CF + USB Combo Booting”. Follow steps #1 through #4 below.

  1. Raw byte transfer ('dd', physdiskwrite, etc.) a RUNNIX-bootonly image to a CF card. The RUNNIX-bootonly images are available here:
  2. Raw byte transfer ('dd', physdiskwrite, etc.) a complete AstLinux image to a USB flash drive.
  3. Mount the USB drive on a common OS (OS X, Linux, etc.).
    1. In the “os” directory edit the text file “”, the line beginning with KCMD=, add the space separated option rootdelay=10 after the 'astlive' value in the line.
    2. Eject the USB drive, remove the drive.
  4. Finally, install both the CF card and USB flash drive in your box for the AstLinux system. Boot as a normal installation. All files will be stored on the USB drive.

Beginning with AstLinux 0.7.8, upgrade-run-image from the CLI or upgrades via the web interface will automatically propagate the rootdelay=10 KCMD value on upgrades, so upgrades on a USB drive works just like a CF card. Additionally, upgrade-RUNNIX-image from the CLI, and via the web interface, will automatically mirror any RUNNIX updates to the BOOTONLY CF card if it exists.

Note: With runnix-0.3.3 and later, advanced users will notice that this 'secondary' (Combo Booting) disk simply requires the AstLinux “os” distribution directory and a dosfslabel of RUNNIX on a small (128MB) FAT16 (or FAT32) partition together with a CF card with a RUNNIX-bootonly image. The remainder of the unformatted 'secondary' disk will be formatted during the AstLinux setup process. This would apply for any read-write media type, even for media types where a raw byte transfer of the AstLinux flash image would not be appropriate.