Boot Linux From Your Zen Vision:M

linux zvm Boot Linux From Your Zen Vision:M

Need a back-up OS while on the go? The Zen Vision:M’s ability to partition off some USB drive space makes it a great candidate for some flavor of Linux. The ZVM has the ability to set aside up to 16GB of space, but you really only need a minimum setting of 1GB.

Once you have your player partitioned, Knoppix installs much like on a USB drive with a slight tweak (see link). Many other Creative Zen players feature the USB partition option so this will work on those as well. What are you waiting for? Check out the guide below and grab yourself an extra OS to boot.

[Francis Shanahan]


James Biehl on November 28, 2006 11:01 PM

hell yeah, i definitely want a ZVM 60GB now!

James Biehl on November 29, 2006 12:36 AM

oh man… i think I read it wrong the fist time..So, this is for loading Linux on your Zen but then running it on a PC… like booting linux FROM your zen?I thought it was running Linux ON your zen… because I have seen that done on ipods..

Matt H on December 20, 2006 8:23 AM

it IS booting linux ON your zen… there’s no reason any (sane) person would use linux on hardware good enough to run windows; linux is for use on tiny spec’d things like routers, mp3 players, nintendo DS and PSP.Monolithic kernels (linux) are tiny and crash all the time and if a program crashes, it takes the whole device with it. Hybrid kernels (windows) have a bigger memory footprint, but can survive programs crashing on it and rarely crash themselves. So since the only advantage of linux is it works on less memory, there’s no reason to boot linux on a PC.You partition off a little bit of the zen’s hard drive and put a linux distro on it.

travel on December 20, 2006 3:18 PM

Matt H – this is complete horeshit… crashes inside the kernel are rarely the cause of software failure (at least on linux) – what counts is good process separation, which linux definitely beats windows on. In windows, even the “Start” menu has direct dependencies on the kernel (WTF?!)If Linux is only good on tiny devices, why do most of the world’s servers run it? By the way, do you work for Microsoft?

sheda on December 24, 2006 11:10 AM

Apart from this kind of flame war, a good reason to use Linux may be to add support for other formats. E.g., Ogg Vorbis.

Danage on December 28, 2006 10:01 AM

can’t we all just get along in our zen linux running world? lol

schneidz on January 18, 2007 3:17 PM

um, the linux kernel is modular, windoze is monolithic.installed modules only have privledges in their program space so they can’t affect memory in kernel space (the kernel itself being a module).since windows is one instance of a program with total control to peripherals, a bad network card driver can ‘blue screen’ a system.

aequalitas on January 18, 2007 7:00 PM

and, contrary to what Matt H says, this is NOT booting Linux ON your Zen, but, just like the title says, FROM!!! you Zen. Its possible to use the Zen’s USB drive function to start Linux on a PC, just like you can do with a USB stick.

the_flood502 on January 20, 2007 4:59 PM

and i thought that the Mac Vs Windows was a big thing lolcan’t use linux to save my life… i can’t use anything but mac and windows… but i can’t find any games that work well one macs… so windows it is. i have no problems with hard ware and crashes on my windows computer… so i can’t understand what you’re talking about… maybe your computer hardware is to blame for your various problems?yes i’ve tried many linux OS inc ubuntu, mandrivia and redhat but i just couldn’t get used to them lol…don’t think i’ll be using my 60GB zen for this… i’d rather have a few more movies or music on it… =)

midi-man on March 16, 2007 8:43 PM

Matt H Yeah your are right if windows ran the Internet we would just reboot it everyday. Thank GOD it runs on Unix and Linux. Get your facts straight before you make a stupid statement like that. Linux is used in mission critial application unlike windows. This is a fact.Midi-Man

Maryan on May 2, 2007 5:56 PM

Well, I have used windows all my life, and as you can imagine, its been a life of restating my machine every 5 minutes, and being afraid of the lastest virus.Yes, i can play all my pc games, but the idea of having linux in my Zen its absolutly great. i mean, i love the option of adding more possibilities to my Zen. Besides, everybody knows that compare to Mac and Linux Windows is only a really bad experience.

Katie on August 13, 2008 8:31 AM

Ok, so does any1 no how to use ur Vision:M as Linux. I.E Linux iterface 4 music.I have NO code/command knowlage so command lines written out wud b gd.I just think it wud b cool and a gd starter to get linux running instead of creative package – if possible.Cheers

Tundro Walker on March 17, 2009 3:16 AM

What the article is referring to is using your Zen Vision:M like a bootable, external USB hard-disk. You set aside some disk space for storage. Then install a bootable image of the Linux distro of your choice (you can even do so with Ubuntu these days … it has options to “make bootable USB key” and such). After all this, you can hook the Zen up to a different computer (EG: a Windows comp), and when it boots, go into the Bios to select what the bootable device is to ensure it uses your Zen (usually you’ll pick the “device 0″ initial boot device to be something like “USB stick” or “External USB hard drive”…you’ll have to see what the Bios options are for that computer.) When you make your change, save/exit the bios to reboot the comp, then it’ll boot off your Zen. Your Zen has to currently be on, in storage mode, and hooked to the computer (obviously) for this to work. A few years ago, someone documented how to do this using Ubuntu Edgy Eft or such. Since then, it’s become easier to pull this off since most Linux disto’s make it easier to make bootable USB sticks and such these days.

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