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Thread: TUTORIAL: Install Linux on your WODE USB Device and use EXT3

  1. #1
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    TUTORIAL: Install Linux on your WODE USB Device and use EXT3

    YooperDave made this excellent tutorial on how to use EXT3 for the WODE.

    [size=125]TUTORIAL on using EXT3 with its native OS (Linux)

    This tutorial explains how to format your external USB hard drive or thumb drive to EXT3 format with Linux; with the said Linux operating system being installed on a separate partition of the same external USB hard drive.

    The ultimate outcome of following this tutorial is to be able to use an external USB device with a WODE completely in its native EXT3 format, but also be able to copy files from a windows computer onto the EXT3 partition without ever touching the EXT3 partition with a windows operating system.

    First, let me say that there are several options besides following this tutorial. Options 1, 2, and 3, while viable, are inferior in my opinion. Hence, this tutorial.

    1) Use FAT32 or NTFS with your WODE. –NTFS cannot write. –FAT32 has limited file sizes.
    2) Use an EXT3 manager program within Windows. –EXT3 is not native to windows and problems have been reported.
    3) Use a live Linux CD to boot your OS. –You have to rely on (a) always being able to find your physical CD (b) that CD never getting scratched. My tutorial is a more ‘permanent’ or ‘fixed’ method.

    4) Completely reconfigure your computer setup and run Linux as a main OS. This would be the one option that would be a preferred method to following this tutorial in my opinion, but I imagine that many will not have the motivation, hardware, know-how, or time to do this.


    1) A USB thumb drive or a USB hard drive.
    2) A WODE successfully installed in a Wii.
    3) A computer capable of booting off of a USB device. (you may have to change something in the bios to enable this)
    4) An internet connection or alternate way of obtaining a Linux distribution.

    Note: This tutorial was written using a 8GB cruzer micro USB stick.

    NOTE: I take no responsibility for any data loss you may incur by formatting a drive without backing up first or any other silly thing like that. Also, if you need to manipulate your BIOS, do it with care. I take no responsibility for anything bad that may occur due to actions performed due to lack of knowledge on your part. I am assuming you know a little bit about computers in this tutorial. If you don’t know a little bit about computers, do not attempt to follow this tutorial.

    1) Download Puppy Linux (I used 4.3.1) [Puppy Linux Community - Home]
    -The .iso I used was named “pup-431.iso” and was 107,464 KB.
    -I wanted to use a small sized distro so people didn’t have to download a full 700 MB CD. I first tried DSL (50MB) but that didn’t work as flawlessly as I would have liked. Puppy Linux worked very nicely.
    2) Burn “pup-431.iso” to a CD.
    3) Boot the CD on your computer. You should see screens and prompts similar to the following:

    5) Once booted off of the CD, you will need to repartition and reformat your USB device. WARNING: THIS WILL ERASE ALL OF THE DATA ON THE USB DEVICE. Backup first. Connect your USB device. Run GParted.


    7) If you have any existing partitions, delete them.

    8) You should have one unallocated partition.

    9) First, we will make the ‘big’ storage partition for your iso or wbfs files. I used up all of my space except for about 1 GB for the operating system. Make sure you change the format to EXT3!

    End of part one.
    Last edited by R_N_B; 02-13-2010 at 02:07 AM.

  2. #2
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    Part two

    10) Next, create your operating system partition (the order doesn’t really matter, you could have made this one first). Use up the rest of your drive. [We are not using a swap partition, Puppy Linux runs completely in the RAM]

    11) You haven’t actually made these changes, you’ve queued them to occur. Click “APPLY” to actually perform these actions.

    12) Next, right click your operating system partition (the small 1 GB one), click “Manage Flags”, then check “boot”, then click “close”

    13) You should have something that looks like this.

    14) Next, we will want to make sure that the CD Drive is mounted. This is the one that contains the CD you used to boot Puppy Linux (it should still be in the drive). When you tell Puppy Linux to install itself onto your USB device, it will need to read files from the CD. Mounted partitions are delineated with a green dot, such as ‘sda5’ in the following picture. My CD drive is sr0. To mount it, I will single click on it. A folder with the drive contents will pop up once it is mounted.

    15) Now, we will install Puppy on your USB device. Run the Puppy universal installer. Pick the USB device type, then the specific device. (it should still be connected from when you partitioned it).

    16) Choose the 1 GB partition. In this case, sdd2.

    17) Choose what you want to do to the Master Boot Record. If it has ever been used as a boot device before, you must pick something other than the default so it writes the proper boot data for Puppy Linux. If you are unsure, pick the second option to be sure it will work.

    18) Hit Enter (if you are sane?)

    19) We are not installing over a previous install, we are doing a fresh installation. Type a letter or number and hit enter. I typed in “a” and hit enter.

    20) If you PC has more than 256MB of ram (more than likely), type in another letter or number and hit enter.

    21) Press Enter to finish.

    22) Either power off or reboot your computer.

    23) Pick “DO NOT SAVE” We don’t want to save the settings for Puppy Linux as booted off of the CD, we want to boot off of the USB device and then save the settings.

    24) Remove the CD from the drive

    25) You need to make sure you can boot off of a USB device. Some computers will do this automatically. Mine didn’t. When I booted my computer, I hit ‘DELETE’ to go into the BIOS. Then I had to tell it to boot off of the USB drive instead of one of my hard drives.

    26) Once you have successfully booted off of your USB device, it will put an orange/yellow dot next to the device that it has booted from, sdd2 in this case.

    27) All that remains is to copy your iso or wbfs files to the ‘big’ storage partition on your USB device from your Windows NTFS partition. Click the partition which the iso or wbfs files are on to mount it (sda5 in this case). Note for windows users: there is no C:\ drive, D:\ drive, etc in Linux. If you wish to manually browse to the files in Linux, in a file browser, go to the parent directory, click the ‘mnt’ folder (this will show your mounted drives).

    28) Navigate to your iso/wbfs files.

    29) Click your USB storage partition on the USB device to mount it (sdd1 in this case).

    30) Make an ‘iso’ folder on your USB storage partition and navigate into it.

    31a) TO COPY ONE FILE AT A TIME: Drag and drop the files from one folder into the other, then click “Copy.” Your files are now on your device.

    31b) TO COPY MANY FILES AT A TIME: If you have a lot of iso/wbfs files in a directory and wish to batch copy to your USB device, use Pmirror instead of the Drag and Drop method. This may wipe out anything already in your target drive, so you should set everything up properly and do it once, the first time. You should be able to figure out subsequent copy commands as fits your situation.

    32) Unmount all partitions. The green dots will go away, verifying that everything is unmounted.

    33) Power down.

    34) This time, we will save your settings to your operating system partition on your USB device.

    35) Plug USB device into WODE. In this case, the wbfs file is on ‘sda1’. ‘ram1’=WODE GC menu. ‘sda2’=Operating system partition.

    36) You should be able to see and run your backups.

    Note: To boot back into windows, make sure you change any BIOS settings back to what they were. In my case, when I boot without the USB drive connected, it defaults back to my regular hard drive. With the USB device connected, it will boot Puppy Linux.
    Please check the original post for updates. []

  3. #3
    a lil question about can you connect to wifi with this version of Linux=?

  4. #4
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    Not sure that your question is pertinent or relevant to this thread in this instance at all. This tutorial is aimed exclusively at those who wish to use Ext3 disc format for the WODE. It is not aimed at anything else. If you wish puppylinux support I would suggest you look at their own rather excellent support forum.

    But short answer is press the connect button and follow the wizard steps.
    In mathematics you don't understand things. You just get used to them. - John von Neumann


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