The purpose of this document is to describe procedures for implementing USB flash memory devices (memory sticks) on Linux. This entails the following:
making over-the-counter devices, pre-formatted for the MS Windows system, work on Linux;
formatting the device in the ext2 filesystem on a single partition and making it work. This is intended for situations where the device will be used exclusively on Linux machines;
formatting the device on a dual partition in the ext2 and vfat filesystems and making it work. The purpose of this is for situations where Linux + Linux and Linux + Windows are possible;
making the device more user friendly;
maintaining the filesystem of the device;
using additional features of Linux-2.6.x.
The procedures described in this document should work on any USB memory stick device which can be operated as a read-write device. Read-only devices do not fall in this category. The procedures will not work if the write facility of the device is disabled (i.e. if the write protect switch is on).
The procedures described for formatting and maintenance in particular filesystems may (in principle) be adapted for other filesystems such as ext3 and reiserfs. These have not been tried and tested. Neither has any attention been paid to adaptation of the procedures to other related operating systems.
It may be dangerous to re-format the flash memory intended for a digital camera. The camera may then be unable to understand it. Use the camera's built-in menu system to do this reformatting for you.