January 24, 2013

SLAX 7 Thumbdrive Detection – Solved!


Amongst my frustrations with the new SLAX 7 was this annoying effect with older Core2 machines where an attached thumbdrive at boot would be identified as /dev/sda instead of allocating the internal hard disk as /dev/sda.

After a month of complaining and getting no response, mainly because no one else could replicate the problem, I spent a long while Googling and found this site:


It basically explains that the issue was due to a kernel configuration for floppy devices. You read right – floppy devices. In order to save the bootup time and detection for floppy devices that weren’t there, some changes were made to the kernel and if you set:


then all drives would be named according to the order they are detected and that usually means USB first. This happens only on the older Core2 machines as I stated and its highly annoying for a distro that uses LILO as its boot manager since the boot devices etc have to be defined in the /etc/lilo.conf. Folks were saying “use UUIDs” with LILO but there was very limited success in doing so and this posed a huge problem in wanting to install SLAX as a fully installed Linux.

SLAX 7 Thumbdrive Detection - Solved!

To restore the correct naming for the drives, the kernel needs to be compiled with:


SLAX 7 Thumbdrive Detection - Solved!

How did we find this out? Well trying to find a solution to the issue, I tried out Porteus (another live distro forked from SLAX) and found that it had no issues with the naming of the drives. Together with the link I found above, I made mention to Tomas, who then compared the .config files from both SLAX and Porteus and found that on Porteus, the config option was set to “m”.

I recompiled the kernel with the option set to “m” and just like that, the naming went back to what we’re all used to with the internal hard drives getting named first.

Another issue solved!

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