Speeding Up USB Boot

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Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:37 pm

Speeding Up USB Boot

Post by phat_b »

For those of you booting a USB flash drive, I just ran across a bootmanager that loads USB 2.0 drivers PLOP Bootmanager. On motherboards with USB 2.0 support that only provide booting at USB 1.1 speed, this can cut your boot times down considerably. Mine went from about 2:30 to 0:32.

It's relatively easy to install and configure (you can do everything inside your syslinux.cfg). I will have to research the licensing restrictions attached to ifplop.c32 before I will post a download URL, but a little searching turned up a zip file that contained the ifplop.c32 file as well as the binary bootloader image, though I would recommend downloading the bootloader from the page referenced above. Also it's worth noting that even though some sources state that ifplop.c32 only works with syslinux 4.01 and newer, that does not seem to be the case as I'm booting 3.63 which was the version distributed with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS.

If you already have a working USB boot configuration, make a backup of your syslinux.cfg file i.e.

Code: Select all

~ # cp syslinux.cfg syslinux.cfg.bak
If not, configure your usb flash drive as you would normally using the instructions from Docs/Local Boot.

Once you have a working minimyth boot flash, simply drop the files plpbt.bin and ifplop.c32 in the root of your flash drive, and edit your syslinux.cfg to look something like this:

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prompt 0
timeout 1

default plopcheck 

label plopcheck
    com32 ifplop.c32
    append minimyth-ram -- plop_not_detected

label minimyth-ram
        kernel kernel
        append ro root=/dev/ram0 ramdisk_size=96000 initrd=rootfs

label plop_not_detected
    linux plpbt.bin
    append hiddenusb
The purpose of the plopcheck section is to determine if the plop bootloader has installed the USB 2.0 drivers. If it doesn't find this it starts the plpbt.bin bootloader, which then chainloads syslinux. If everything works correctly the second boot of syslinux sees the USB 2.0 drivers and proceeds to boot your minimyth ramdisk configuration ('minimyth-ram' in this example).
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