Installing WeBWorK on Live USB
WeBWorK on a USB memory drive
These instructions explain how to download and install a disk image of a fully functioning WeBWorK 2.4 system onto a 2 GB USB flash memory drive.
Installing WeBWorK on a 2 GB USB flash memory drive
After installing the disk image on a USB flash memory drive, you will have a full fledged Ubuntu 9.04 system with WeBWorK, Apache2, MySQL, etc. installed and configured. You just have to plug the USB drive in and boot your computer from your USB drive. The system is persistent (if you choose to set up a persistent system, see below), i.e. any changes you make (to Ubuntu, WeBWorK, anything) are saved and will be there the next time you boot the system. Also nothing on your computer's hard drive will be touched so there will be no change to your standard operating system. If you want to run everything locally as a test, nothing else is required. If you want to connect your system to the internet so that people (students, professors) can connect to WeBWorK and you can login remotely (via ssh) to Ubuntu, you may have to configure networking (see below). Also it is imperative that you CHANGE THE PASSWORDS for the OS users
ubuntu (which has sudo privileges), for the MySQL users
webworkWrite, and for the WeBWorK users
ubuntu which have professor privileges (see below).
There are more detailed instructions for Ubuntu 9.04 and WeBWorK 2.4 at Installation_Manual_for_2.4_on_Ubuntu_9.04
- You need a PC that can be booted from USB. This excludes all Mac's and very old PC's. Most PC's less the 5 or 6 years old should be OK.
- You meed a 2GB USB memory drive. I built and tested this on PNY Attache 2G and 4G drives. Hopefully others work as well.
- Go to http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/ and download and install UNetbootin. UNetbootin UNetbootin runs on Windows and Linux. I have read reports the Windows version is more stable --- that is the version I used
- Go to http://devel.webwork.rochester.edu/ww-downloads/WW2.4_Ubuntu9.04_LiveDVD.iso and download
WW2.4_Ubuntu9.04_LiveDVD.iso(it is a 1.1 GB file)
- http://devel.webwork.rochester.edu/ww-downloads/WW2.4_Ubuntu9.04_LiveDVD.iso.md5 gives
MD5 (WW2.4_Ubuntu9.04_LiveDVD.iso) = 51cd159b4efaf94ed8035623e57843c1
- Verify the MD5 checksum of your downloaded file and then burn it to a DVD (the file is too large to be burned to a CD)
Install WeBWorK on USB drive
- Plug your 2 GB USB drive into the computer and make sure the computer recognizes it. You can also use larger USB memory drives but you will not get anymore usable space.
- Run UNetbootin and check "Diskimage". Then browse for the file
WW2.4_Ubuntu9.04_LiveDVD.isoand select it
- Make sure your USD drive is selected (often drive D: but check before you write to it)
OKand sit back while the installation onto the USB drive takes place
If you don't do anything more you will have a non-persistent system meaning that when you reboot the USB flash memory drive everything will be in exactly the same state it was in originally (i.e. any changes you made to Ubuntu, WeBWorK, anything will not be saved).
A persistent system means that when you reboot the USB flash memory drive everything will be in exactly the same state it was when you last shut down the system (i.e. any changes you made to Ubuntu, WeBWorK, anything will be saved). If you want a persistent system (most people probably do especially if you are connecting to the web and want to save new passwords, etc) do the following
- Go to http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/diskimg/ and download
- http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/diskimg/readme.txt gives the instruction we repeat below we some slight amplifications.
Go to http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/diskimg/ and download one of the files (128mb.zip, 256mb.zip, or 512mb.zip) corresponding to the amount of persistent space you want (make sure the size of the persistent disk image is smaller than the free space you have on your USB drive).
Now extract the file "casper.rw" from the zip file to your USB drive.
Now edit D:\syslinux.cfg (assuming D:\ is where your USB drive is) and add in "persistent" in two places at the end of the first two lines that begin with "append", and save the file, so your syslinux.cfg should look something like this:
default unetbootin label unetbootin kernel /ubnkern append initrd=/ubninit file=/cdrom/preseed/ubuntu.seed boot=casper quiet splash persistent --
label ubnentry0 menu label live kernel /casper/vmlinuz append initrd=/casper/initrd.gz file=/cdrom/preseed/custom.seed boot=casper quiet splash persistent --
Don't forget the space before the
Now you will have persistence if you boot the default or live options. For more info see https://help.ubuntu.com/community/LiveCD/Persistence
Boot from USB drive
- With the USD drive plugged in reboot your system and boot from USB. You will probably have to hold down a certain key (e.g. F12 or F11) to bring up a boot menu. Or possibly you may have to edit your BIOS to allow booting from USB. Select USB Storage Device as the boot device and boot. You should almost immediately see a Fedora screen with a 10 second countdown to booting. If you are impatient hit Enter twice.
- Note that a few times when doing this I experienced errors such as the USD drive not being recognized, hung, etc. I just rebooted and never had a problem twice in a row.
- Hit Enter to do the automatic login. This logs you into the "fedora" account which has password "admin" (more on accounts and passwords below). "fedora" has sudo privileges. The "root" account also has password "admin".
- If you do not want to connect your server to the internet, you can just open firefox and access the URL: http://localhost/webwork2 . The admin course has two users "admin" and "fedora" as professors with passwords "admin" and "admin". myTestCourse has the same two users as professors and in addition practice (guest) users and one student user "jsmith" with password "jsmith". With the exception of jsmith, every password on the system is set to "admin"