Flash drive install instructions

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Creating an Ubuntu+Tekkotsu flash drive will allow you to run Tekkotsu on any Windows laptop without affecting its operating system or hard drive. Simply boot the laptop from the flash drive and use the flash drive as your local file system. To create your Ubuntu+Tekkotsu flash drive you will need either two flash drives (one must be at least 8GB capacity) or a writable DVD plus an 8GB flash drive.


This article is part of the Install instructions series.

Step One: Creating an Install Disk

This step is easiest if you already have a machine running Ubuntu, but you can also use a Windows PC, or a Mac.

Using an Ubuntu 14.04 Machine

  1. Download the Ubuntu 14.04 LTS 64-bit ISO file to your hard drive.
  2. Insert your new, empty flash drive into one of the laptop's USB ports.
  3. Go to the Ubuntu dashboard and run the Startup Disk Creator.
  4. Tell the Startup Disk Creator where to find the ISO file you downloaded. Then tell it to use the flash drive you inserted into the USB port. If it doesn't see the flash drive, check to make sure that the drive has been fully inserted, and that the drive is not defective.
  5. Tell the Startup Disk Creator that you do not want a persistent file system on the startup disk flash drive.
  6. Once the Startup Disk Creator has done its thing, proceed to Step Two.

Using a Windows PC or Mac

Visit the Ubuntu Netbook Edition download page and follow the instructions to create a "USB drive". However, do not download the ISO file from that link; instead use the 10.04 release from this link. If you prefer to create an install CD instead, see the instructions on this download page, but we still recommend installing Ubuntu 10.04 Netbook Edition rather than the desktop edition, so that the laptop will match the robots you are using. So be sure to get the ISO file from the link above.

Step Two: Creating an Ubuntu+Tekkotsu Flash Drive

  1. Place your new, empty 8GB flash drive in an unused USB port.
  2. Boot the computer using the startup disk or install CD you made in Step One. (Note: on the ASUS you must press the Escape key, not the F2 key, to select the boot device.)
  3. When Ubuntu starts up it will ask if you want to try Ubuntu, or do an installation. Select the install option.
  4. When asked where to do the install, select "Erase and use entire disk", then select the flash drive rather than the hard drive. Select an initial user name of "Tekkotsu User" and login id of "user".
  5. After installation completes, shut the machine down, remove the startup disk or install CD, and boot the machine again, this time using your newly-created Ubuntu flash drive.
  6. You're now running Ubuntu Linux off the flash drive. Label your new flash drive (up to 16 characters) by typing, if your drive is /dev/sdc1. "e2label /dev/sdc1 My_Label".
  7. Proceed with the Tekkotsu install instructions for the robot you're interested in, e.g., Create/ASUS install instructions, or Calliope install instructions.
  8. You should also install the Mirage virtual environment simulator, by following the Mirage install instructions, and the Storyboard tool by following the Storyboard install instructions. Note that Ubuntu Netbook Edition is 32 bit, so even if your machine is a 64 bit system, you need to select the 32 bit version of the Storyboard.
  9. Other optional software to consider is Edwin Olson's AprilTags demo. If you would like to include Player/Stage, follow the Player/Stage install instructions.

Once all the software you need has been installed and compiled, you can start developing your own code on the flash drive in the /home/user/project directory. Remember to periodically back up your flash drive to some other drive so you don't lose your work.

Cloning Additional Flash Drives

Once you've created your first Ubuntu+Tekkotsu flash drive, you can easily clone it to make additional flash drives using the Linux dd command. You should do this while NOT running on the source flash drive, i.e., do your cloning on a machine that booted Linux off a hard drive or CD-ROM or some other flash drive, not the one you're tring to clone.

If you received your master flash drive from someone else, you should probably update the software and recompile before cloning. Follow the instructions for Create/ASUS Software Updates to do that.

When you insert a new flash drive into your USB port, wait a few seconds, and type "mount". The drive will show up as something like /dev/sdd1. Assuming the source drive is /dev/sdc1 and your fresh new flash drive is /dev/sdd1 (use the mount command to check), the following commands will clone your source drive, which takes around 10 minutes for an 8GB flash drive. Note that you should omit the partition number, e.g., use /dev/sdd rather than /dev/sdd1.

dd if=/dev/sdc of=/dev/sdd bs=1024k conv=notrunc,noerror
umount /dev/sdd1

Learn more about the Linux "dd" command.