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

From: Dave Gotwisner
Subject: Re: [Discuss-gnuradio] GnuRadio on PCI-104 (i.e., Fedora on USB Flash Drive)
Date: Thu, 01 May 2008 17:38:53 -0700
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20080213)

Bahn, William L Civ USAFA/DFCS wrote:
Thanks for the response. More questions below.

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.
To avoid this risk, you can do then is go into the bios, and turn off everything except USB (and the CD) for the boot devices (and also for other hard drives, not just the bootable ones, so you can guarantee that your USB stick is found first). Record all the bios settings first, so you can restore the laptop to it's original configuration.

Another approach is to actually use your PCI-104 platform and try to do a network install rather than a CD based install. Some distros allow this (at least they used to). Of course, the PCI-104 must be able to give a network boot as an option (in the bios). In this case, the kernel is actually being installed on the platform you want it to be on, so it is more likely to get the right things configured correctly from the start (drivers, etc.).
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.
If using Ubuntu, their package manager will install python and gnuradio if you tell it to do so.
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?
This is why I suggested doing a network install. Maybe a non-network install is doable if you use a USB cdrom drive, and hook it and the thumb drive to the PC-104 directly, and do everything there.

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