Calling all geeks, this here is the phreak, and we’re about to go a’huntin PEAR…

I’m wondering if anyone has any concrete suggestions about a project I want to do.

I want to make a restore DVD for a friend’s laptop that contains a image of the laptop and a small bootable version of linux (i.e. DSL) with perl added, and a perl script that will walk said friend through restoring either from the static image or from a removable drive i.e USB keychain, external hard drive, as well as backing up to the removable drive.

Does anyone have any hints on what the best way to roll your own modified bootable linux distro is? I can see me mounting the iso9660 filesystem via a loopback device and writing to it, if the kernel supports such behavior, and then burning it back to a CD.. is that the way to go?

One Response to “Calling all geeks, this here is the phreak, and we’re about to go a’huntin PEAR…”

  1. Cygnostik Says:

    Chihuahua… When you get to the point where energy would be spent in this way I believe it would be far more efficient and beneficial for all involved to look more toward the why than the how.

    Be it, educating the person about privacy and security or replacing faulty hardware, there must be a better solution to the core problem.

    Not only is doing this difficult enough for someone who is capable of doing it all manually – It seriously raises a red-flag trying to imagine what issue this could be a solution for. Most problems I can even think of where this would help I see too many problems with it and can’t imagine it being a complete solution to really make life liveable.

    Also: Without knowing the size of the drive and/or the expected amount of used disk space and $ involved it’s tough to nail down a good route.

    A bizcard or mini CD w/ 8GB flash drive for example could be nice. Technically if the hardware is new enough a CD wouldn’t even be required. Puters have been able to boot from USB for quite awhile.

    There’s also the option of an external USB HDD – You can get huge ones for cheap these days and even give them multiple bootable partitions which not only makes the whole thing easier but also more flexible and dual-purpose (temp space, portable storage, all in one recovery, easy updates to the backup, multiple versions of backup and on and on and on.)

    TECHNICALLY I’d suggest something more along the lines of using some kind of portable media (preferably something writeable) for a live OS. Then depending on the situation using the same device to store persisting data. Potentially using the HDD for persisting data – and then adding some kind of automation to do an incremental backup to one or both mediums and preferably checking to see if a net connection is available to attempt a networked incremental backup. If you’re going to back up why not be redundant?

    But like I said without more detail but an infinite number of possible solutions it’s hard to narrow down the best general path.

Leave a Reply