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Is it possible to recover from the entire removal and reinsertion of the root device (i.e. remounting it after reinsertion)?

I'm attempting to teach a group of children about Linux via external USB drives, and I'm worried one of them may unplug a drive out of curiosity.

I would assume not, due to the loss of /dev, but I decided to ask anyways.

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In my experience, no. The system will panic once the root device disappears. You can verify this in your particular situation if you want using a virtualization application like VirtualBox, qemu, kvm, etc. These will allow you to remove a virtual HDD from the machine and observe the result on the system.

If you're interested in making a bootable USB drive that loads into RAM and runs from there, check out Knoppix and its variants and clones or any of the Live Linux distributions. Once it boots, the source medium can be removed. Its original purpose was to have a fully functioning system on CD/DVD but it works well from USB also.

  • Thanks. I had heard something about running an image of a distro entirely in ram, but I never looked into it. Though those distros do seem rather interesting, I decided on using my laptop as a server with an Ubuntu image to network boot the machines we will be using. – Torger597 Oct 22 '14 at 4:49

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