enable following options in the kernel:
Device Drivers -> SCSI device support: -> SCSI device support -> legacy /proc/scsi/ support -> SCSI disk support -> SCSI generic support -> [SCSI logging facility] Device Drivers -> USB Support: -> Support for Host-side USB -> USB device filesystem -> USB drives. it may be: - EHCI HCD (USB 2.0) support - OHCI HCD support - UHCI HCD (most Intel and VIA) support but probably only one driver will be used -> USB Mass Storage support File Systems: -> File Systems -> DOS/FAT/NT Filesystems -> VFAT (Windows-95) fs support -> Native Language Support -> Codepage 437 (United States, Canada)
make and install your kernel. after reboot plug your USB device in and look at `dmesg`. you should see that kernel has found usb device and attached it as scsi dev. messages differ from one linux distribution to other.
once i was not able to see scsi dev after having done all that. the solution was a newer kernel, so if you fail, check carefully your kernel option and try another kernel.
so now you have a normal device file in /dev, which you can mount, fsck and so on. if you do not have any other scsi devices, it will be /dev/sda, if you already have one scsi, the flash will be added as /dev/sdb and so on. try to cat /proc/scsi/scsi and you will see some info about your flash device; finally, if you do not want to count your scsis, install sg3-utils package (for Debian) and run sg-map – it will show you your flash’s real /dev/sd*.
mount it somewhere: mount -t auto /dev/sda1 /mnt
keeping in mind all advantages of linux filesystems, i however advice you to left vfat fs on your flash – you will be able to use it with windows machines
and, of course, you can format it with let’s say `fsck -t ext3 /dev/sda1`, partition it and even make encrypted filesystem on it. i will try to explain how to do it later