usbkey roaming

November 8, 2007

Max mentioned fedora on a usb key. I have to say  I really like having a live-key of fedora hanging around. It makes testing things simpler and it’s nice to show off to friends. Not so long ago I wrote a screed to an internal red hat list about what I thought the ‘online desktop’ should be about. It should be about my data everywhere/anywhere I want it. A system, a network connection and a usb-key should be all I need to get my desktop in front of me.

So I mucked about a bit and I came up with something that is a little bit of a start.

I worked on it off and on for a bit and I did the gconf diff-ing script and finally got something worth playing with, I think.

Here’s how it works:

1. sync-up: Grab this script and run it from your desktop like any other gtk-app – don’t run it from a terminal or it won’t be as cool 🙂

now you’ve just dumped a bunch of files up on your account at (or wherever you like, it just defaults to

2. boot with the livekey, login, bring up your network

3. quick-sync: Grab this script and run it from your desktop like any other gtk-app. It’ll grab the right files that you just sync-up’d and synchronize your gconf settings. Your screen may flash a bit as it brings your settings into line with the ones it downloaded

That’s it. Now, your usbkey has a lot of the stuff you’d want on it and it looks like your other desktops.

Now,  this isn’t a terribly exciting or interesting script, really. It’s an ssh script + zenity + rsync + a gconf-diffing python script it grabs. It’s not what I’d call legendarily intelligent.  However, the goal of this is just to prove that doing this from the live usb key is useful and quasi-functional. It syncs over the things I think of as valuable and also stuff I know is on the default usb key. 🙂

telling me this is dumb is fine.