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FC3 on external PCMCIA/USB disk (success)

Hi everyone,

I'm using an external USB disk, with the USB 2.0 controller being a PCMCIA card. FC3 installed happily on this disk, alas it didn't boot quite as happily from it. (Of course, I have grub on a /boot partition of the internal IDE drive.)

Earlier Fedora versions came with the pcinitrd script of pcmcia-cs which facilitated the creation of initrds for booting with PCMCIA, FC3 doesn't have it. Documentation one gets from googling mostly refers to 2.4 kernels, where one has to hack /linuxrc to include cardmgr...

After experimenting a while with hacking /linuxrc and /init, I found out that mkinitrd (which comes with FC3) already does the job, as long as one is aware of the timing problem: PCMCIA and USB need some time to come up before devices will be recognized.

Also, minitrd's option --with-usb always puts usb modules before modules you specify with --with=, which is a bad thing in this case. So, just put the usb modules after the pcmcia modules, using --with=usb-storage etc. mkinitrd includes a "sleep 5" after loading usb-storage, and this does the trick.

If enough people are interested I'll write up some more details.


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