I want to make a bootable Linux image for a USB stick. For security reasons, I want to disable any other USB ports on the computer.

Is this possible? If so, how can I configure it? Let's assume I'm using Ubuntu 11.10.

In other words: I boot my computer from a USB stick. I want to make it impossible to use another stick at the same time.

Edit: The situation is hypothetical, in a discussion about using computers on exams. We are discussing whether students could bring their own computers, but run an OS from a USB stick handed out at the exam. This approach raises concerns about cheating, for example by bringing disallowed material on a USB stick, so I want to explore options to counter this cheating.

  • 3
    What are you actually trying to do here? You say for security reasons, but having a USB stick already plugged in isn't exactly secure. Do you want to disable multiple volumes on the boot drive? Internal USB devices like a webcam, USB keyboards and mice, SATA/eSATA/IDE hard drive interfaces, Ethernet/wireless interfaces, PCI/PCIe USB cards, Serial IO, Printer ports, etc. etc. etc.? I fear that you're going about this in the wrong way. – Kevin Vermeer Nov 22 '11 at 14:21
  • Thanks, I hope my clarification shows the intent a bit better. When I think about it, it should preferably just disable external (and internal) hard drives and not keyboards and other peripherals, but disabling everything is better than nothing. – Lstor Nov 22 '11 at 15:15

If you avoid using automatic device filesystems, you can use static device files defined by you and omitting creating the ones that would be the additional mountable devices eg sdb. This is an untested idea. I would use something, which is already hardened like http://www.backtrack-linux.org/ instead of reinventing the wheel and definitively no root access to the students.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.