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 Forum index » House Training » HOWTO ( Solutions )
How to multiboot (with menu) from a usb stick on a netbook
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Sit Heel Speak

Joined: 30 Mar 2006
Posts: 2595
Location: downwind

PostPosted: Fri 30 Apr 2010, 13:12    Post_subject:  How to multiboot (with menu) from a usb stick on a netbook  

This has been covered before, by Mark Ulrich and others, but incompletely.

The way to boot from a usb stick on a netbook is:

1. Partition the stick either ext3 or fat32 (I prefer ext3), using gparted.
2. Gparted --> rightclick the partition --> Manage Boot Flags --> check boot
3. Mount the stick and Issue
extlinux /mnt/sdb1 ## or wherever the stick is
This will write extlinux.sys to the stick's mbr.
4. Install your Puppy but do not modify the bootloader.
5. If vesamenu.c32 and/or menu.c32 exist in the same subdir as the extlinux executable, then you can make extlinux give you a boot menu and you can multiboot, both from the stick and the ssd. They are not supplied with Puppy, to get them you must compile syslinux. In order to compile syslinux 3.80, you need binutils 2.20.1 or newer, not sure about syslinux versions between 3.63 and 3.80. Note that 3.63 and 3.80 place the executables in different subdirectories of /usr, so it is possible to experiment with both.

Copy either vesamenu.c32 or menu.c32 to / on the stick and then create extlinux.conf on the stick as shown below:

default menu.c32
prompt 0
timeout 300

label p431
menu label ^Puppy 4.31 from stick, frugal
kernel /puppy431/vmlinuz
append pmedia=usbflash vga=normal psubdir=puppy431 initrd=/puppy431/initrd.gz

label windows
menu label ^Windows CE/ME/NT
kernel chain.c32
append hd0 2

label u910
menu label ^Ubuntu 9.10 on the ssd
kernel /boot/vmlinuz
append root=/dev/sda1 vga=normal ro initrd=/boot/initrd.gz

menu.c32, vesamenu.c32, and chain.c32 must be from the same version of syslinux as extlinux is from, i.e. you can't use menu.c32 from syslinux 3.63 and extlinux from syslinux 3.80.

timeout is in tenths of a second. By pressing the letter after the carat (^) you can choose that menu entry, so make the menu labels all start with different letters. Default boot is to the first entry in the listing.

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