<xmp><!-- <body> --></xmp>

ISOquad Flashdrive: SliTaz, Porteus, Xubuntu, Calculate

Jon Nileprecinct Feline


The ISOquad is todays 4 most powerful mini distros installed to a bootable 4G flashdrive. The distros are SliTaz 4.0, Porteus 3.1, Xubuntu 15.04, & Calculate Gentoo 14.16.2.

The Partitioning

GParted is used to partition the drive, which then has GRUB2 installed along with the Plop Bootmanager. The boot partition has the kernel/initrd for SliTaz & Porteus, the config partition contains the LinuxLive installation for Porteus plus scripted rootcopy style persistence for Xubuntu & Calculate, & the ISO partition simply contains the downloaded ISOs for Xubuntu & Calculate, which are GRUB2 booted directly from their embedded kernels, initrds, & monolithic squashfs images.

ISOquad Flashdrive: 4 Gig. 4 Distros.

The Boot

Plop is availailable to speed up the loading of large distros on legacy hardware, but GRUB2 has been configured to boot unaltered ISOs, making system upgrade a matter of simply replacing the ISOs themselves.

ISOquad Flashdrive: GRUB2 grub.cfg

Scripted Persistence

The ISOquad Flashdrive makes use of a LinuxLive derived architecture I call the Frugaldriver Framework. The config partition contains a paradigmatic snapshot of the ${HOME} directory which is restored rootcopy style with each live boot, & mini-repositories of debs &/or tarballs which are installed at boottime as well. The entire process is managed by a single user-invoked init script which performs the restores / installs, & effects the handful of platform & distro specific customisations necessary to establish a fully functional GNU/Linux/X11 desktop environment.

Calculate Gentoo 14.16.2: initthis.cfg

The Distros

As always, each of the four installs has its own capabilities, application base, & idiosyncracies. This is what makes the ISOquad Flashdrive so powerful.

Xubuntu 15.04

Calculate Gentoo 14.16.2

Porteus 3.1: Keep Calm & Run Rebranded Slackware.


As a student of the history of computer science, I find the idea of multiple POSIX-compliant X11 installs I can carry in my pocket appeals to my academic & scholarly sensibilities. Yet the ISOquad Flashdrive is also the ideal tool for anyone wishing to improve their workstation skills in the post-desktop era, from the most shadowy agency op to the leetest hipster running ubuntu in a vbox. & sure it might be useful to pirates, but after all, "to arrrr is human" (gpl:ftw).

Blog Intro
Articles / News


hosted by
hosted by

powered by
kBlog v1.02.007
freedns by

find the Mystique
Screaming CuckooBroad Associates part of the CircleOmega organisation
<noscript> <!-- ooo