We're trying to build a customized installation stick for putting linux on our embedded product. We're wanting to build it from scratch every time -- that is, pull RPMs out of a (local) repository.
All of the mechanisms we've used to date require us to have a physical USB stick in the build system at build time. For a variety of reasons, this is painful.
What we'd really like to do is build an image (i.e., a file) that can later be copied to a physical device (e.g., a la dd to a USB stick).
We've toyed with using a virtual machine (Virtual Box) to spoof things, but haven't been able to figure out how to make a virtual USB stick appear there.
What's a good way to create an image of the stick without the stick? It's acceptable that as a "finishing touch", some magic sectors have to be tickled -- that's something that can be quickly done at stick-population time. But waiting for a complete system generation is way too long for our scenario.
[If it matters, we're using FC 7 as our base -- it's stable and, more importantly, our drivers all work with that kernel]