Thanks to my new Toshiba Satellite A300 capabilities, from some months now I changed my Loop-AES setup to use a USB memory stick as boot device instead of the old CD-ROM. I also found a nice distribution as rescue system, System Rescue CD, which supports most of my laptop’s hardware and has built-in support for Loop-AES.
Configuring Loop-AES for USB boot was pretty straightforward, thanks to the README; I just had to adjust a parameter for the build-initrd.sh script, namely INITIALDELAY=8, in order to give my system enough time to recognize the USB device right after the kernel is loaded.
For some time I had two USB memory sticks: one to boot my laptop, the other one with System Rescue CD. An idea came to my mind: why not merge their content in the same USB drive? If I do that, then I can use only one drive both to boot my laptop and to boot the rescue system; the other drive can be a backup of this one, for safety reasons.
This turned out to be pretty easy: I’ve copied SysRescueCD files to the USB drive used to boot the computer following the instructions of the manual, I’ve changed a bit SysRescueCD’s syslinux.cfg to add Loop-AES’ boot instructions and finally I’ve removed Loop-AES’ syslinux.cfg. The modifications to SysRescueCD’s syslinux.cfg looks like this:
default linux ... label linux kernel vmlinuz append initrd=initrd.gz root=100 init=/linuxrc rootfstype=minix ...
In the end it was all about changing the default clause and adding Loop-AES boot configuration. Actually I modified syslinux.cfg a bit more, to add a custom boot picture, set the default keyboard map to match my Italian layout and things like these, but I’ll keep that out for simplicity.