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 Forum index » House Training » HOWTO ( Solutions )
Bootable flash drive with manual equivalent of UNetbootin
Moderators: Flash, Ian, JohnMurga
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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 9356
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Mon 26 Apr 2010, 08:36    Post subject:  Bootable flash drive with manual equivalent of UNetbootin  

The Linux version of UNetbootin won't run in Puppy because of missing dependencies. But it is sometimes possible to do the manual equivalent of UNetbootin to convert a Linux distro's ISO file into a bootable flash drive. Here are the steps:

1. Mount the flash drive and delete everything on it.

2. Unmount the flash drive but leave it plugged in.

3. Determine the device name of your flash drive. It may be sdb1.

4. Open a terminal and type:
Code:
syslinux /dev/sdXY

where XY is your flash drive. Make sure you get this right!

5. Mount the flash drive. You should see the file ldlinux.sys on it.

6. Click on the distro's ISO file to mount it. Copy everything off the ISO onto the flash drive. There may be some hidden files, so use the ROX eyeball icon to see them.

7. Does the ISO contain a folder named isolinux? It may be inside another folder named boot. If so, copy all the files in the isolinux folder to the root of the flash drive.

8. You should now see a file named isolinux.cfg at the root of the flash drive. Rename it to syslinux.cfg.

9. If you cannot find an isolinux.cfg file anywhere in the ISO, it may be using a different bootloader. In that case, your best bet is to manually create a file named syslinux.cfg with the following line
Code:
default /boot/vmlinuz initrd=/boot/initrd.gz vga=normal

10. Unmount everything and reboot off the flash drive.

If it won't boot, here are some trouble-shooting questions.

Do you know for sure that your machine supports USB bootability? Many older machines (and some newer ones) don't. The best scenario is where the BIOS detects the flash drive as a secondary hard drive.

Have you modified your BIOS boot priority list to enable USB booting?

Have you set the boot flag on the flash drive partition? Check this with Gparted.

Does the MBR of your flash drive contain the standard DOS/WIn boot code? If not, you can manually update the code as follows:

1. Locate the file mbr.bin in the folder /usr/lib/syslinux.

2. Write this file onto the MBR of your flash drive using a command like:
Code:
 dd if=mbr.bin of=/dev/sdb

Note that this command uses sdb and not sdb1.

Last edited by rcrsn51 on Wed 28 Apr 2010, 12:50; edited 1 time in total
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jemimah


Joined: 26 Aug 2009
Posts: 4309
Location: Tampa, FL

PostPosted: Mon 26 Apr 2010, 15:12    Post subject:  

You could also use BootFlash to format the drive and install syslinux. Just say no when it asks if you want to install Puppy. Then you can proceed with copying the files from the iso over and copying the isolinux.cfg to syslinux.cfg.
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jopervasco

Joined: 25 Mar 2011
Posts: 321

PostPosted: Sat 13 Aug 2011, 15:07    Post subject:  

Hello,

I tested your procedure and it's OK ! Thanks
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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 9356
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Sat 13 Aug 2011, 15:57    Post subject:  

Glad to help. Many of the new Linux distros are using GRUB2. So the instructions here may be useful.
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johnywhy

Joined: 20 Aug 2011
Posts: 353

PostPosted: Fri 25 May 2012, 06:01    Post subject: Got "ERROR: Operation not permitted"
Subject description: on some items
 

attempting to copy files from debian hybrid live iso to flash drive, many items copied fine, but many items gave "ERROR: Operation not permitted".

any ideas?

many thanks!
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Flash
Official Dog Handler


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 11180
Location: Arizona USA

PostPosted: Fri 25 May 2012, 08:09    Post subject:  

What were the names of the files that would not copy?
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johnywhy

Joined: 20 Aug 2011
Posts: 353

PostPosted: Fri 25 May 2012, 10:04    Post subject:  

don't recall, but no matter now, i found this method which works. created a debian installer on a flash drive inside puppy. nice!

http://linux.koolsolutions.com/2009/02/25/installing-linux-on-usb-part-7-install-debian-linux-from-usb-drive/

problem, the installer seemed to want to blow away my puppy partition-- not ok. I want to add it to my existing grub4dos. not sure how to proceed Sad

Also, this method put a debian installer on the USB-- I want the debian live cd on the USB.
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ahoppin

Joined: 16 May 2011
Posts: 91

PostPosted: Mon 08 Apr 2013, 15:36    Post subject:  

Thanks! For whatever reason, I have never been able to produce a bootable usb flash drive with the Puppy Universal Installer in Lucid 525. However, this method works.

I did make a couple of changes.

syslinux gave me the error "possibly unsafe /tmp/ permissions" and refused to write to the flash drive. I fixed this by setting the sticky bit on /tmp, so:

# cd /
# chmod +t tmp

I also edited syslinux.cfg to change one line from "pmedia=cd" to "pmedia=usbflash" in the hope that that would instruct Puppy to use its more conservative writing regimen for the flash drive.
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LeithR

Joined: 24 Jan 2011
Posts: 117
Location: Kemnay, Aberdeenshire/Scotland

PostPosted: Tue 08 Jul 2014, 14:16    Post subject:  

rcrsn51,
Just followed your excellent how to and have now got a couple of erstwhile non-functioning laptops back into use. Good days work. Thanks.
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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 9356
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Tue 08 Jul 2014, 14:35    Post subject:  

This thread is ancient history. The better way is ISObooter.
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