AstLinux Keydisk

20 January 2010
Astlinux has now reached version 0.7. These pages are therefore extremely out-of-date. Please refer to the official Astlinux site:

Because AstLinux was designed to run read-only from compact flash, there had to be somewhere for some files to go that would be needed across reboots (like configuration files, voicemail, etc). This place is called a keydisk in AstLinux. The term keydisk is used because originally USB "keydisk"/keychain drives were used on smaller platforms like the Soekris Net4801.

Now, a keydisk can be almost anything. A keydisk can be any partition on the system. It is simple to make any of the following a keydisk:

  • USB Stick/keychain/keydisk
  • External SCSI hard drive
  • Internal hard drive (IDE, SATA, SCSI in the near future)
  • CF card

As I have been feeling more and more comfortable with the lifespan of CF cards (especially SanDisk), I have been putting my keydisks on the same CF as AstLinux! AstLinux lives in a 32mb partition (such as /dev/hda1), while the keydisk uses the remaining space as /dev/hda2 (or, with AstLinux Opt /dev/hda3).

To create a keydisk on the CF card

We assume that you have a newly created astlinux CF card with only one partition. If done improperly, this may result in a damaged CF card. Go ahead at your own risk!

1. Login to your box
2. Create a new partition

fdisk /dev/hda

Type "n" for new. Add a new partition 2 with something like 32MB of size.
Type "t" and set partition 2 to 83 (Linux).
Type "w" to write.

3. Reboot now. Reboot may hang. Cycle power in this case.
4. Login again
5. Type
genkd /dev/hda2

6. Confirm with "yes"

Created by: krisk17, Last modification: Wed 20 of Jan, 2010 (17:36 UTC) by tomchadwin
Please update this page with new information, just login and click on the "Edit" or "Discussion" tab. Get a free login here: Register Thanks! - Find us on Google+