[syslinux] Booting to USB Pen Drive

H. Peter Anvin hpa at zytor.com
Thu Mar 11 13:15:23 PST 2004

Franz Henning wrote:
> In linux most USB devices appear as sdaX where X is the partition
> number.
> Are you sure that when linux comes to mount the USB root partition, that
> the kernel has all the correct kernel modules loaded so that it can 
> access the USB.
> Up until that point, all access to the USB device has been done via the 
> BIOS disk read routines. The "mount" is done using the linux kernel 
> drivers, so for the mount to work, the linux kernel drivers have to be 
> working. Either make an initrd with them on, and force them to load, or 
> compile them into the kernel.

Worse.  For some idiotic reason the USB people decided to do enumeration 
asynchronously, even on first boot, so the device tends to show up late.

This is a huge problem with booting from USB.


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