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booting BLAG from a USB disk

 
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extraspecialbitter
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2007 9:11 pm    Post subject: booting BLAG from a USB disk Reply with quote

I had the clever idea to install BLAG 69999 on an external USB disk drive, which I'm able to boot by referencing it in my grub.conf file. My plan is to bring the drive to work with me and boot from it instead of the hard drive of a "spare" Windows 2000 desktop in my cubicle, but therein lies the problem: I don't have GRUB installed on the Windoze box - nor do I know if it's even possible, therefore the system doesn't know anything about BLAG. When I try to change the boot device to the USB drive I get an "invalid operating system" error. So here are my questions: is it possible to 1) install GRUB on the Windows 2000 box so that I can reference the usb drive and boot from it, or otherwise 2) configure the USB drive such that it is directly bootable from BIOS? My thanks in advance...
john maclean
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2007 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Normally you'd just need to have access to the BIOS of the doze box. Tell that to look for some USB media and that -should- be enough.

Alternatively you could install the latest alpha. There's a tool on it called "/usr/bin/livecd-iso-to-disk"

You can put GRUB onto an NT/200 box. [2]
[2] http://marc.herbert.free.fr/linux/win2linstall.html


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john maclean
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2007 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, and I forgot this guy:-
http://tim.yum-extender.org/blog/2007/04/03/fedora-7-test3-liveusb/


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extraspecialbitter
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2007 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

John - thank you for the suggestions. I'll give at least one of them a try when I'm back in the office tomorrow. I wish they'd just let me wipe out Win2K and install BLAG on the hard drive, but employers can be difficult that way. %^)


Last edited by extraspecialbitter on Tue Aug 14, 2007 12:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
john maclean
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

-*- mode: anecdotal -*-
Just for the fun of it I hit [f2] when my box booted at a job that I have just left. To my amazement I was presented with a BIOS menu! Not *one* of the boxes in one of the largest organisations of it's kind has a BIOS pw.... So guess what I used to boot ;-)

In the meantime do remember that it may be simpler to create a live CD disk and carry a USB key fob with you. You'd be able to boot and store any work to that USB thing. That make sense?


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extraspecialbitter
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

john maclean wrote:

In the meantime do remember that it may be simpler to create a live CD disk and carry a USB key fob with you. You'd be able to boot and store any work to that USB thing. That make sense?

funny you should mention the USB key. I've created one for Ubuntu, but had a little trouble doing so with BLAG. Have you been successful booting BLAG from a USB key?

extraspecialbitter
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

some progress on the USB hard drive front: I eliminated the "missing operating system" problem by running "grub-install" against the device. Now the BLAG environment I build on my external drive is booted up here at my workplace. The sacrilege!
extraspecialbitter
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 7:13 pm    Post subject: livecd-iso-to-disk Reply with quote

I've tried this unsuccessfully three times now, so I thought I'd post what I'm doing to see if I'm making any obvious gaffes.

To prep I grabbed a fresh copy of liveBLAG-69999.22222.iso from the repository and formatted a 1GB USB stick as a single FAT16 partition. Then I executed the command:

Code:
livecd-iso-to-disk /tmp/liveBLAG-69999.22222.iso /dev/sdc1

resulting in the following optimistic output:

Code:
Copying live image to USB stick
Updating boot config file
Installing boot loader
USB stick set up as live image!

Then I attempted to boot from the USB stick, resulting in the following error sequence:

Code:
GRUB Loading stage1.5.

GRUB loading, please wait...
Error 17

"Error 17", according to the GNU GRUB manual, reads:

Code:
17 : Cannot mount selected partition
    This error is returned if the partition requested exists, but the filesystem type cannot be recognized by GRUB.

You would think this means that the filesystem should be formatted as something other than FAT16, but a survey of several forums indicated that the error really means that GRUB is either not installed or not properly configured on the USB stick. A quick glance at the files on the stick turned up no trace of GRUB, so I installed it as follows:

Code:
grub-install --root-directory=/media/usb /dev/sdc

which produced this output:

Code:
Probing devices to guess BIOS drives.  This may take a long time.
Installation finished. No error reported.

With grub installed, I tried rebooting again, resulting in the ominous "grub>" prompt. I'm no expert with grub at the command line, but it was clear to me that I was missing a grub.conf file, so I hacked one together as follows:

Code:
default=0
timeout=5
splashimage=(hd0,0)/boot/grub/splash.xpm.gz

title BLAG 69999 (USB stick)
root (hd0,0)
kernel /syslinux/vmlinuz ro root=LABEL=/usb rhgb quiet selinux=0
initrd /syslinux/initrd.img

grub configured, I tried booting one more time. I get past the splash screen and the comforting message:

Code:
Uncompressing Linux... Ok, booting the kernel.

Then, after a thoughtful pause, this disappointing result:

Code:
--------------------------------------
WARNING: Cannot find root file system!
--------------------------------------

Create symlink /dev/root and then exit this shell to continue the boot sequence.

bash: no job control in this shell
bash-3.2#

At this point I really have no idea what to do next, but I try to interpret the Warning message seriously and create a symlink to the boot device:

Code:
bash-3.2# ln -s /dev/sdc1 /dev/root
bash-3.2# exit
exit
Bug in initramfs /init detected. Dropping to a shell. Good luck!
bash: no job control in this shell
bash-3.2# exit
exit
Kernel panic - not syncing: Attempted to kill init!

have I reached the end of the line? I seem so close to having a bootable BLAG USB stick...

extraspecialbitter
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 6:03 pm    Post subject: Re: livecd-iso-to-disk - SOLVED Reply with quote

extraspecialbitter wrote:
I've tried this unsuccessfully three times now, so I thought I'd post what I'm doing to see if I'm making any obvious gaffes.

To prep I grabbed a fresh copy of liveBLAG-69999.22222.iso from the repository and formatted a 1GB USB stick as a single FAT16 partition. Then I executed the command:

Code:
livecd-iso-to-disk /tmp/liveBLAG-69999.22222.iso /dev/sdc1

resulting in the following optimistic output:

Code:
Copying live image to USB stick
Updating boot config file
Installing boot loader
USB stick set up as live image!

Then I attempted to boot from the USB stick...


That, as it turns out, was my first mistake. All I really needed to do was to install an MBR to the stick, like so:

Code:
cat /usr/lib/syslinux/mbr.bin > /dev/sdc

Once I did this I rebooted and liveBLAG was up and running just as it had from the CD... :^)

jebba
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool! :)
vx
PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 12:07 am    Post subject: Re: livecd-iso-to-disk - SOLVED Reply with quote

extraspecialbitter wrote:
extraspecialbitter wrote:
I've tried this unsuccessfully three times now, so I thought I'd post what I'm doing to see if I'm making any obvious gaffes.

To prep I grabbed a fresh copy of liveBLAG-69999.22222.iso from the repository and formatted a 1GB USB stick as a single FAT16 partition. Then I executed the command:

Code:
livecd-iso-to-disk /tmp/liveBLAG-69999.22222.iso /dev/sdc1

resulting in the following optimistic output:

Code:
Copying live image to USB stick
Updating boot config file
Installing boot loader
USB stick set up as live image!

Then I attempted to boot from the USB stick...


That, as it turns out, was my first mistake. All I really needed to do was to install an MBR to the stick, like so:

Code:
cat /usr/lib/syslinux/mbr.bin > /dev/sdc

Once I did this I rebooted and liveBLAG was up and running just as it had from the CD... :^)


this is really useful way to have a liveUsb with Blag on it,, but do you know how to make changes persistant?
I guess this info is useful to do that:
http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/FedoraLiveCD/USBHowTo#Data_Persistence

I'll try it


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vx
PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:44 am    Post subject: Re: livecd-iso-to-disk - SOLVED Reply with quote

v0 wrote:

this is really useful way to have a liveUsb with Blag on it,, but do you know how to make changes persistant?
I guess this info is useful to do that:
http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/FedoraLiveCD/USBHowTo#Data_Persistence

I'll try it


also I found this really nice short guide

http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Sugar_on_a_Stick/Linux

there you can see how it works the 'livecd-iso-to-disk' script to creat a liveusb with the --home-size-mb option


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vx
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 3:24 am    Post subject: Re: livecd-iso-to-disk - SOLVED Reply with quote

v0 wrote:

http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Sugar_on_a_Stick/Linux

there you can see how it works the 'livecd-iso-to-disk' script to creat a liveusb with the --home-size-mb option


but... the encrypted home option is not working to me with my 2GB liveusb: i was able to burn the image to usb key, it boots ok, but it freezes after entering the password.. i'm looking around how to deal with this


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ap
PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:01 pm    Post subject: Re: livecd-iso-to-disk - SOLVED Reply with quote

How did this turn out? I've tried several ways of installing Blag on a usb drive and all worked in different ways. However with regards to using Blag to perform this task I ran Fedora LiveUSB Creator whilst running on a live dvd. As suggested above there is an option to create persistent storage which I also used, taking care not to choose all the available storage space as this results in a fail; there has to be enough space left for the app to install the boot loader on pendrive.

However, although I now have usable storage space within the usb Blag environment I still haven't achieved a persistent user profile on it. Does anyone know how to do this? How does one create a user and password and in effect leave a user identity and keep settings etc?

Junichirô
PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Never did it; but think you may find a solution on fedora wiki or forum, no?
Just use USB stick to install blag on my netbook.


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