Using iPod Shuffle / USB flash to house a linux partition...

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by spaceballl, Jan 14, 2005.

  1. spaceballl macrumors 68030

    spaceballl

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #1
    Hi guys,

    I went ahead and took the plunge on a 1gb iPod shuffle, and i'm looking forward to its arrival. However, for when i'm not snowboarding or running, it's really not that useful to me as an MP3 player, more as a USB flash drive.

    I love using linux on my PCs and i've always wanted to experiment on my iBook, but i have too much valuable info on the iBook to warrant formatting the HD, and I don't feel like buying a firewire HD just to mess around...

    I've done some searching and it appears that macs cannot boot to flash drives? Why is this? So lame... It sucks when apple tries to block people out from doing fun things like playing with linux. Anyone know a workaround? What about a boot CD that points to the USB flash drive? I dunno... experts out there?

    -Kevin
     
  2. AmigoMac macrumors 68020

    AmigoMac

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2003
    Location:
    l'Allemagne
    #2
    I quote someone from macrumors who said something like:

    Linux is becoming Skateboarding, you can do it and you want the next challenge to say I did it an so on...

    Not sure if that were the right words but hope you got it... ;)

    Nice if you feel good when you do it.
     
  3. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    #3
    There's quite a PPC Linux community out there, so I don't think Apple's doing much "blocking people out". Macs can certainly boot from a Firewire hard drive, and I've booted mine from my iPod before; so why not give it a try - the shuffle is firewire, isn't it? Linux is all about messing around and trying to get different things to work, right? :D

    There are also "Live CDs" that will let you boot your Mac into Linux without having to reformat your Mac - Gentoo has one for sure. I haven't used them on PPC myself though. FYI I was a desktop Linux user (on x86) for a couple years before switching to Mac. I played around with Yellow Dog before realizing that I could do pretty much all the "Linux" stuff with OS X, especially once I installed fink.
     
  4. costoa macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    #4
    From: http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=58430

    Beginning with the Power Mac G4 (AGP Graphics) and the iMac (Slot-Loading), two new features to USB are most apparent: support for USB audio devices and booting from USB drives.

    Your profile said you have an iBook 600MHz. So no, you can't boot off any USB flash drive.

    With that said you do have other choices:

    1. The no cost one (well, the cost of a CDR) is to use a "live" GNU/Linux distro. There's an old knoppix PPC distro out there but you'll have to look around for something better.

    2. Get a Firewire flash drive. Yes, they're more money but should work well your machine. Install a distro like Ubuntu on it and enjoy.

    Not that it would be any help but I plan on trying to build a GNU/Linux distro that would work for x86 machines and still allow one to use the Shuffle as a music player.

    Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a lot of activity on PPC live distros. Sorry.

    Good Luck.
     
  5. spaceballl thread starter macrumors 68030

    spaceballl

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #5
    Well I have an iBook G4 1.2 ghz, but even though macs can boot from USB hard drives, they can't boot from flash drives. I am definitely considering one of those nifty firewire flash drives! So cool... but it is a shame that the Shuffles won't work.

    I seriously think the major factor holding back PPC linux on the mac platform right now is lack of airport extreme support. I would definitely have my machine as a dual boot if I could actually use the internet on the linux partition. Hopefully when AE eventually gets an upgrade, Apple will use a manufacturer that is a bit more linux friendly.

    -Kevin
     
  6. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Solon, OH
    #6
    Just in case you're having trouble finding where to get FireWire flash drives, they're here.
     
  7. baby duck monge macrumors 68000

    baby duck monge

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2003
    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    #7
    not to sound like a total n00b, but can you really find a linux distro with all the stuff you need that would fit on the empty space of your shuffle (or, for that matter, on the whole shuffle)? it really seems like something you would need at least a BIT more space for. :confused:
     
  8. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Solon, OH
    #8
    DSL wouldn't even use 1/10th of the space available on a 512 MB iPod Shuffle. It's only 50 MB.
     
  9. jackieonasses macrumors 6502a

    jackieonasses

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2004
    Location:
    the great OKLAHOMA....
    #9
    And why would you want to get rid of OS X? I really wouldn't know that part. I got Yellow Dog for the mac, and was kinda disapointed. If i had a PC then - that would be a different story, it's just the fact that Panther is *that* much better. Do you have an iPod? And i don't see Apple at fault here. Except for the large minority, who would want to boot off of a flash drive? OS X is to big - and most Linux is too. Just don't see how Apple is making you "not have fun"


    kyle
     
  10. jackieonasses macrumors 6502a

    jackieonasses

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2004
    Location:
    the great OKLAHOMA....
    #10
    that acronym is funny, Darn Small Linux... Except not darn... but the other word. I hate cussing.

    kyle
     
  11. spaceballl thread starter macrumors 68030

    spaceballl

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #11
    I LOVE OS X!

    That being said, My office has primarily linux PCs. I run Macs. My friends have Windows PCs. Especially with the mac and linux gaining marketshare, we live in a multi-OS world these days. Macs and Mac OSX are my favorite for an overall package, but to be honest, I LOVE Linux for office productivity.

    Not to mention, it saves my office a lot of money when we can just take older PCs, upgrade the RAM in them, and turn poor performing Windows machines into decent Linux workstations running the newest versions of OpenOffice.org, GAIM, Firefox, Evolution, etc etc etc

    Linux has some clear advantages over OSX in the business world over OS X. As a consumer machine, OS X is leaps and bounds ahead, in my opinion. But think about it... OpenOffice.org... totally free and completely great. You can't get it on OS X unless you run it through X11 (which I do). But that's not as elegant of a solution. Firefox - The PC version of firefox is even better than the mac version, especially on linux. Anyhow, you get everything I just mentioned and whole lot more at a price of $0.

    Well i'm not really here to justify linux... I think it's great! And I support the growth of all operating systems as I love trying new things. There's no way I would ever wipe OS X off the HD of my iBook cuz my iBook is a consumer machine. But it would be so great if I could pop in my iPod shuffle and quickly boot into a linux environment to mimic my office setup.

    -Kevin
     
  12. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    Norway
    #12
    Why not install X11 on your mac and get Fink.
    You can run 99% of all linux apps on your mac.
    I have installed GNOME and tons of linux apps on my powerbook.
    You can boot GNOME on top of OSX.

    If you want to X11 with a full window manager (like GONME or KDE) I'd recommend that you hav atleast 512MB RAM...

    I used to run linux (also on my macs) but after apples X11 implemetation there is really no need for it at all.
     
  13. spaceballl thread starter macrumors 68030

    spaceballl

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #13
    I have X11. That's how I run Abiword and Gnumeric (my word processor and spreadsheet program of choice). However, running a KDE or GNOME environment on top of OSX is really not that fast, and there are plenty of limitations. I don't see the point in running a full gnome/kde environment through FINK. OS X is such a great OS. Why mask it with another desktop to run programs when you could just run windowed versions of the programs through X11 in the first place?

    -Kevin
     

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