Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 3rd Dec 2007 20:34 UTC, submitted by AdamW
Mandriva, Mandrake, Lycoris Mandriva Flash 2008 has been released. "Mandriva Flash 4GB provides a full-featured system - Mandriva Linux 2008 KDE- that requires no installation, on a bootable USB key. All you have to do is plug in the USB key, turn the PC on and the Mandriva Linux operating system is ready to use, with all you need for office work, Internet and multimedia tasks. System configuration, preferences and data are all saved on the key."
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theft
by rockwell on Mon 3rd Dec 2007 20:56 UTC
rockwell
Member since:
2005-09-13

So, instead of stealing a laptop, I can jack your entire OS by pulling out a USB device. Sweet.

Reply Score: 2

RE: theft
by Morgan on Tue 4th Dec 2007 04:34 UTC in reply to "theft"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I'm not sure why you were being modded down; your post didn't fall into any of the "bad" categories. You make a valid point, though to be honest whether it's an entire OS or just some files, if you don't encrypt your USB drive you're just asking for personal files to be stolen or lost one day. Which begs the question, is there a way to encrypt this entire OS-on-a-stick without reinstalling from scratch?

Reply Score: 3

RE: theft
by Almafeta on Tue 4th Dec 2007 04:44 UTC in reply to "theft"
Almafeta Member since:
2007-02-22

With not only all your documents on it, but all your settings, all the programs you use (presumably to access those documents), all your history, everything. Granted, you normally don't have to log in to a USB drive; but then again, you normally can't pick up someone's entire computer and hide it into your pocket either.

But with things like that, it comes down to common sense: Don't leave anything usable against you (login info, site histories, personal notes, etc.) in something someone can pick up and walk away with.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: theft
by WereCatf on Tue 4th Dec 2007 08:04 UTC in reply to "RE: theft"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

IHMO it'd be nice if on the first boot the user was presented with some short info about information theft and the risks, possibly with a link to a more in-depth explanation of such, and the option of encrypting one's home folder. If you did select to encrypt your files you'd just have to enter a password every time you boot with Mandriva Flash. Power-users or users who don't feel the need to encrypt their files would also be given the opportunity of not encrypting them.

But how difficult would it be to implement such? AFAIK there is no filesystem under Linux which supports encryption of files and folders so it would probably have to be either the entire filesystem or a loopback one..(PS. Someone implement file/folder encryption, please?)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: theft
by agrouf on Tue 4th Dec 2007 09:31 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: theft"
agrouf Member since:
2006-11-17

What about dmcrypt?
BTW the programs are GPL licensed, Why would you rob it when you can download it! And you can not even rob it like that. You would have to violate the GPL to rob the software, that mean you would have to modify it and redistribute without the source!
IMO it makes absolutely no sense to crypt the programs (root partition). You loose performance for nothing.
Now the home can be mounted with dmcrypt, which is easy to setup mandriva-way and this USB key is Mandriva 2008, which is IMO the easiest distro to date.

Edited 2007-12-04 09:34

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: theft
by Almafeta on Tue 4th Dec 2007 14:09 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: theft"
Almafeta Member since:
2007-02-22

There are file systems out there that support encryption. However, beyond a certain point, it becomes pointless, because all encryption algorithms are of finite complexity (because, somewhere, at least one person had to be able to work it out in his or her head).

The trick would be to encrypt the files in such a way that you could completely decrypt the files in active memory, without using up any more of the flash drive's limited lifespan... hmm...

(Great, just what I need, another programming idea to distract me during exams week.)

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: theft
by Soulbender on Tue 4th Dec 2007 15:35 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: theft"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

The trick would be to encrypt the files in such a way that you could completely decrypt the files in active memory, without using up any more of the flash drive's limited lifespan... hmm...


That would be a nice trick....oh wait, that's how it actually works. Decrypting files does not write anything to the filesystem, it all happens in volatile memory.

Reply Score: 1

Convenient
by Joe User on Mon 3rd Dec 2007 21:55 UTC
Joe User
Member since:
2005-06-29

I'd like to test it but I'll need to buy a USB key ;)
Has some one tried it? How fast does it perform off a USB key? Is it as fast as on a regular HDD? I guess it won't work on old systems that don't boot off a USB key though...What's nice is that you have R/W access (which you don't on a live CD).

Reply Score: 2

RE: Convenient
by AdamW on Mon 3rd Dec 2007 22:44 UTC in reply to "Convenient"
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

Flash *is* a USB key - it's not a download. You're buying the actual key, we mail it to you.

It's between a live CD and hard disk in speed, roughly, but closer to hard disk. A few very specific operations are a little faster due to the performance profile of flash memory.

For systems that can't boot from USB, it comes with an ISO you can write to a CD (mini CD or business card CD for convenience - just carry it in your wallet). Then you just boot from that CD with the Flash plugged in, and the Flash boots up.

There were several reviews of the previous version of the Flash - here's the first result for 'mandriva flash review' from Google:

http://www.linux.com/articles/114203

Reply Score: 9

RE[2]: Convenient
by beranger on Tue 4th Dec 2007 07:14 UTC in reply to "RE: Convenient"
beranger Member since:
2006-09-26

...and another review was: http://beranger.org/index.php?article=2434

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Convenient
by netpython on Tue 4th Dec 2007 09:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Convenient"
netpython Member since:
2005-07-06

Is the boxed powerpack edition 2008 already available in Europe?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Convenient
by AdamW on Tue 4th Dec 2007 17:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Convenient"
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

Yes, they started shipping a couple of weeks ago. http://store.mandriva.com/product_info.php?products_id=378

Reply Score: 2

It's a nice toy
by troy.unrau on Mon 3rd Dec 2007 22:46 UTC
troy.unrau
Member since:
2007-02-23

Back at the Akademy 2007 conference in Glasgow, Mandriva inserted a Mandriva Flash device into everyone's conference goodie bag. It's only the 2GB version, but I've actually found it to be quite useful for my day to day activities, especially at the university where I was able to boot into Linux in windows-only labs!

This product is also very good at auto-adjusting your settings as you move from computer to computer with different hardware setups, which is really cool.

Congrats to Mandriva on this release ;)

Reply Score: 5

I was..
by Alex Forster on Tue 4th Dec 2007 07:18 UTC
Alex Forster
Member since:
2005-08-12

Weird name. I was hoping this was a new or forked OSS Flash player.

Edited 2007-12-04 07:20

Reply Score: 2

RE: I was..
by AdamW on Tue 4th Dec 2007 07:58 UTC in reply to "I was.."
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

what, there aren't enough already? ;)

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: theft
by beranger on Tue 4th Dec 2007 08:39 UTC
beranger
Member since:
2006-09-26

Excellent idea! I would buy a "Mandriva 2009 Mossad Edition", with encrypted everything!

Reply Score: 1

low cost
by Different on Tue 4th Dec 2007 15:53 UTC
Different
Member since:
2007-07-03

At USD89 it seems quite low cost enough to replace Windows and yet be productive on it

However what's the minimum requirement ?

For those needing to run Windows, you can install rdesktop on Mandriva and run Windows apps off ThinServer XP on a Windows XP machine

http://www.aikotech.com/thinserver.htm

Reply Score: 1

RE: low cost
by netpython on Tue 4th Dec 2007 16:26 UTC in reply to "low cost"
netpython Member since:
2005-07-06

Or use a dual-boot configuration and disable the network connection on windows.

Reply Score: 2

RE: low cost
by AdamW on Tue 4th Dec 2007 17:08 UTC in reply to "low cost"
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

Same as a regular Mandriva system - i586 CPU, basically. And 64MB of RAM would be about the lowest, I guess. I'm not sure we could boot in 32MB these days.

Reply Score: 2

to: adamW
by gerrynjr on Tue 4th Dec 2007 19:32 UTC
gerrynjr
Member since:
2007-11-07

adamw:
any interest in porting this to the asus eepc's flash memory?

Would it be possible to obtain a copy of this software for that purpose?

Reply Score: 1

RE: to: adamW
by AdamW on Tue 4th Dec 2007 19:35 UTC in reply to "to: adamW"
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't really see the point. If you want to put MDV on an eee you can just use any of the regular Mandriva editions (One, Free, Powerpack) - they should work fine.

Sure, the eee's internal storage happens to be solid state. That's just an implementation detail. It still effectively behaves like a hard disk: it's *internal* storage, you can't yank it out and connect it to another computer. So I don't quite see what would be the point of 'porting' Flash to it. It would just be a regular Mandriva install.

Reply Score: 2

RE: to: adamW
by gerrynjr on Tue 4th Dec 2007 19:44 UTC
gerrynjr
Member since:
2007-11-07

the use of porting it to the eee would be to extend the life of the internal flash. Regular distributions and operating systems wreak havoc on the flash system's write cycle limit. This is, of course, assuming that mandriva flash does not use swap and also is setup in such a way that limits the amount of rewrites.

Thanks!

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: to: adamW
by AdamW on Tue 4th Dec 2007 19:47 UTC in reply to "RE: to: adamW"
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

Can't remember offhand whether Flash uses swap, but in any case you can install any stock Mandriva edition without a swap partition. I don't believe Flash has any particular tweaks to reduce read/write cycles, but I might be wrong, have to ask Blino.

Even if it does, it would probably be easy to have those tweaks available in the standard edition and enable them by default when installing on an eee (this would not be hard to auto-detect).

Reply Score: 3