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RE: [Discuss-gnuradio] GnuRadio on PCI-104 (i.e., Fedora on USB Flash Dr

From: Bahn, William L Civ USAFA/DFCS
Subject: RE: [Discuss-gnuradio] GnuRadio on PCI-104 (i.e., Fedora on USB Flash Drive)
Date: Thu, 1 May 2008 17:54:24 -0600

Thanks for the response. More questions below.

> Bahn, William L Civ USAFA/DFCS wrote:
> >
> > I need to get GnuRadio up and running on some PCI-104 embedded
> processors, which means I need the O/S to boot from a USB key. I have a 4
> GB key but am willing to purchase an 8 GB or even a 16 GB key if that's
> what it takes.
> What embedded processor?  If it's x86, it won't be a problem.
> Otherwise, you could be in for a world of fun.  ;-)
> > The PCI-104 has 1 GB of DRAM.
> ummm, do you mean PC/104, like here [1]?

No. The PCI-104 is a modified form factor that has a PCI connector instead of 
the ISA connector.

We are using Lippert's Cool RoadRunner 4 which uses a Pentium M Processor.

> > An alternative would be: Does anyone know of a Linux distro that can be
> made to run from a USB key that we can get GnuRadio up and running on
> without too much heartache. We've tried installing it on DSL (Damn Small
> Linux) but can't get the fftw libraries to compile.
> I've installed both Gentoo and Ubuntu to thumbdrives.

I see install directions for GnuRadio for Ubuntu, but don't see anything for 
Gentoo. As I look over the instructions for the various distros, they seem 
quite different, so I wouldn't know how to even start trying to install it on 
Gentoo. So I'll try Ubuntu first.

> The easiest way to do it would be to pull the hard drive from a laptop,
> boot from the Ubuntu CD, and plug in the thumb drive (should be the only
> disk in the laptop in order to avoid accidentally overwriting the boot
> sector of other drives).  Then proceed with install.

Is accidentally overwriting the boot sector on the hard drive something that is 
super easy to do? I would rather not get into tearing someone else's laptop 
apart if I can avoid it.

So what is the sequence I am looking at doing here? Is it something like:

1) Use a laptop that has a CD drive and install Ubuntu onto a thumb drive on 
that machine.
2) Boot the PCI-104 machine using the thumb drive.
3) Install GnuRadio onto the thumbdrive on the PCI-104 machine.

How do I handle the various drivers that are needed for the PCI-104 machine? 
Can I create a boot thumbdrive on one machine and use it to boot a very 
different machine?

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