Is possible Linux on flash memory?

Ken Fuchs kfuchs at
Fri May 7 21:13:00 CEST 2004

LinuxBIOS doesn't support USB pen drives or USB compact flash.  It does
support ATA (IDE) flash devices.

On a normal (proprietary) BIOS:

Booting from USB is supported on many newer motherboards with a BIOS
that supports this.  I use Flonix to boot from a 64MB USB pen drive:

The Flonix forums are at:

I also tried Puppy Linux (, but the USB
bootloader (syslinux 2.08) didn't work for me.  Using Knoppix 3.3
2-16-2004, I was able to install it's syslinux 2.04 bootloader:

# syslinux /dev/sda1

To make Flonix bootable, you can also use the above command from
the Knoppix live CD.

(The first USB flash is /dev/sda, if there are _no_ SCSI drives.
Otherwise, USB flash is the last "SCSI" device, i.e. /dev/sdc with two
SCSI hard drives with special files /dev/sda and /dev/sdb.)

There are other Linux distributions built to be installed on a USB pen
drive or flash.

Check out for general Linux USB information.

BTW, I sent Flavio a private e-mail to flavio_groups at and it
bounced.  So, I'm forced to answer via the LinuxBIOS mailing list.


Ken Fuchs <kfuchs at>

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