This is portable Linux distribution that boots from a USB stick, that has wireless support, and is battery powered. The ultimate in portable Linux.
Step 1: WHY AND WHAT YOU NEED
The goal of this project was to run linux and wireless support for linux from one common compact device. I ride my bike to the library regularly to use their wireless connection. My initial thought was to carry my laptop there in a back pack. By the time I loaded it up it was way too heavy for a long ride. I also got tired of lugging it back and forth to the office. The solution was discovering linux on a usb stick. There some advantages to this system.
-You only need one USB port to run it (great for older laptops)
-It leaves no trace on the computer when you are done (the whole file system is built in RAM)
-You have all of your applications, desktop, and data no matter where you go.
-Will read NTFS file system but, will not write making it safe to use on any machine (you can make it write NTFS with some additional software).
-Easy to update software.
-Ability to boot USB stick with a motherboard that doesn’t support that. Cool.
What you’ll need:
1 USB hub with external power supply (think old and cheap, better chance it will work with linux)
1 thumb drive (at least 512 mb I would suggest a gig)
1 USB wifi adaptor ( linux compatible check the forums here http://www.slax.org/forum/
1 4 AA battery pack with on off switch (Radio Shack)
1 ISO of Slax linux http://www.slax.org/download.php (I prefer the Kill Bill version)
1 copy of Myslax creator http://myslax.bonsonno.org/download.php
Case parts I used two pieces of plexiglass with standoffs from home depot
Step 2: SOFTWARE
Burn the ISO
Burn the Slax ISO to a CD (I suggest you use Deepburner to burn the ISO, its freeware).
-Make sure you burn the disc as an ISO image don’t try to unpack it then burn it.
-Test your burn by putting your new disc in the computer and reboot but, make sure your BIOS is looking to boot from the CD drive first. It should boot up to Slax read on the on screen documentation to boot to a GUI desktop.
-Notice that when the boot first starts it advises press F1 for more options, remember that we will need that later.
-Hang on to this disk we’ll need it later.
Installing Myslax creator on your windows computer
-Follow the onscreen prompts all the way to create a bootable USB stick.
-You’ll be asked to add modules but, we’ll handle that later.
-For now the only setting that I would change is that you will have the opportunity to select a new desktop. Everything else leave default.
Booting the USB stick
- If your computer supports booting from a USB stick you’re done with the software portion. Just make sure your BIOS is set in the correct order to look for the stick first.
-If it doesn’t then plug a your USB stick in and put your CD in. Reboot. When it advises to press F1 for more options do it. (told you to remember that)
-This will bring up a cheat code screen. Just Type: slax nocd then press enter. This advises Slax to go out and look for the boot files elsewhere on the system it will find your USB stick and boot.
-On the Slax home page located here www.slax.org . You will find a modules download link.
-Pick a couple to download.
-While in linux or in windows browse your USB stick you will find a folder called modules.
-Just drop your newly down loaded modules in there. Slax will find them when it boots. EASY.
-I suggest that you read and direct software questions to the forum on this site as they have excellent support.
- If you know anything about linux you know that it is less than friendly when it comes to drivers.
-There is no one way to get wireless cards to work. There are so many it is beyond the scope of the this project to explain them all.
-Search the forums on the Slax page for your card, someone will advise you if it isn’t already a topic.
Step 3: HARDWARE
-Open the case on the USB and wire the leads from the battery holder to the power input on the USB hub.
-Glue your items into place on the plexiglass.
Step 4: ARRANGE THE PARTS
You could lay this out to support card readers or any other USB device but, I kept this simple.
Step 5: YOUR DONE
The voltage supplied by the battery pack is enough to run the USB wireless card and an external USB hard drive. This is my first instructable so let me know what you think.