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Old 03-29-2009, 03:42 AM   #1
aneroid
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boot slackware from usb stick


I know there are many threads and posts about booting the slackware installer from USB (if the cd/dvd drive can't boot the system, etc.) Strangely, I haven't seen that many about booting a slackware install from an external USB drive or USB stick.

I've installed slackware 12.2 to my USB stick. Before installation/setup (which I did using cds 1-3), I partitioned it this way:
/dev/sdb1 - vfat - 8 GB
/dev/sdb2 - ext2 - 23 GB
/dev/sdb3 - swap - 1 GB (just in case I actually need one)

Installed LILO to the MBR of the USB stick. It starts booting but along the way I get the VFS kernel panic message device (8,18). It says my boot options are /dev/sda or /dev/sda1. But sda is laptop harddisk, not my USB stick...which is sdb and root is on sdb2.

So what do I need get it to work? My guess is, an intird image - but which one and how do I get it into LILO?

(If it's relevant to the solution, I have slax on another USB which I use as a backup linux usb.)

I've tried specifying 'root='s at the 'tab' boot command options but none work (/dev/sdb , /dev/sdb2 , /dev/sdb1).
 
Old 03-29-2009, 06:08 AM   #2
Yalla-One
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Did you have a look at the usb-and-pxe-installers directory? The documentation and boot-images there should get you going.

You should also read Alien Bob's excellent howto at http://alien.slackbook.org/dokuwiki/...ckware:usbboot
-y1

Last edited by Yalla-One; 03-29-2009 at 06:09 AM.
 
Old 03-29-2009, 06:44 AM   #3
linus72
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There is also the Best one for USB-installer for Slackware 12.2
With this and a 4GB or larger USB you can install Slackware-12.2 Full with all packages!
( http://www.slackware.com/~alien/tools/usbinstall/12.2/ )
Please tell me if you get it working...
 
Old 03-29-2009, 06:50 AM   #4
linus72
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Additionally there is the Netinstall 40MB Mini-install .iso which can be extracted to a folder-transferred to USB-then configured to boot from USB-but you must know the Slackware 12.2 mirror urls, etc when installing.
( http://www.slackware.com/~alien/slackboot/mini/12.2/ )
 
Old 03-29-2009, 07:06 AM   #5
aneroid
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yalla-One View Post
Did you have a look at the usb-and-pxe-installers directory? The documentation and boot-images there should get you going.
I know I need to create an initrd of sorts. However, I'm not looking to make a "USB installer". I installed slack 12.2 TO a USB and now I get the VFS kernel panic message half-way through the boot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yalla-One View Post
You should also read Alien Bob's excellent howto at http://alien.slackbook.org/dokuwiki/...ckware:usbboot
I can see where you're going with that... I'll start by using the initrd on the slackware disc to boot into Slack. For lack of a better option.

Then, update packages, recompile and make a new/proper intird.
 
Old 03-29-2009, 07:12 AM   #6
linus72
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Can you post the syslinux.cfg you have for the 12.2 USB that is having the kernel panic?
Or the isolinux.cfg-is it booting from the FAT32 partition?

Last edited by linus72; 03-29-2009 at 07:25 AM.
 
Old 03-29-2009, 08:08 AM   #7
Alien_Hominid
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You can try http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/
 
Old 03-29-2009, 08:26 AM   #8
aneroid
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Couldn't find 'syslinux.cfg' anywhere in the dir tree. I used the kernel 'huge' from the install cd. My lilo.conf on the USB:

Code:
boot = /dev/sdb

  bitmap = /boot/slack.bmp
  bmp-colors = 255,0,255,0,255,0
  bmp-table = 60,6,1,16
  Timer location x, timer location y, foreground color,
  bmp-timer = 65,27,0,255

# Append any additional kernel parameters:
append=" vt.default_utf8=0"
prompt
timeout = 50

vga = 773

# Linux bootable partition config begins
image = /boot/vmlinuz
  root = /dev/sdb2
  label = Slack122-1
  read-only  # Partitions should be mounted read-only for checking
other = /dev/sda1
  label = WindowS
  table = /dev/sda
 
Old 03-29-2009, 08:36 AM   #9
linus72
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It looks similar to my lilo.cfg
A question-do you have slack installed to your USB like it's a HD?
The lilo.cfg is for the USB right?
I have never tried it that way...
Others here would know more about that...
But, you can also try several different methods-netinstall and usb install as I mentioned above-or additionally I think you can have the slack netinstall boot off the FAT32 partition, put the Slackware-12.2 DVD iso on the ext2 partition and then tell slack to find the iso at the menu prompt during setup-I think I saw that somewhere...?
 
Old 03-29-2009, 08:41 AM   #10
aneroid
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linus72 View Post
It looks similar to my lilo.cfg
A question-do you have slack installed to your USB like it's a HD?
The lilo.cfg is for the USB right?
yes to both.

Quote:
Originally Posted by linus72 View Post
But, you can also try several different methods-netinstall and usb install as I mentioned above-or additionally I think you can have the slack netinstall boot off the FAT32 partition, put the Slackware-12.2 DVD iso on the ext2 partition and then tell slack to find the iso at the menu prompt during setup-I think I saw that somewhere...?
but that would help to install from USB, not to USB.
 
Old 03-29-2009, 08:44 AM   #11
linus72
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OH! I thought you trying to install from USB-sorry!
I don't understand what's wrong-here is my lilo.cfg from my HD sda1
Code:
# LILO configuration file
# generated by 'liloconfig'
#
# Start LILO global section
boot = /dev/hda
#compact        # faster, but won't work on all systems.
# Boot BMP Image.
# Bitmap in BMP format: 640x480x8
  bitmap = /boot/slack.bmp
# Menu colors (foreground, background, shadow, highlighted
# foreground, highlighted background, highlighted shadow):
  bmp-colors = 255,0,255,0,255,0
# Location of the option table: location x, location y, number of
# columns, lines per column (max 15), "spill" (this is how many
# entries must be in the first column before the next begins to
# be used.  We don't specify it here, as there's just one column.
  bmp-table = 60,6,1,16
# Timer location x, timer location y, foreground color,
# background color, shadow color.
  bmp-timer = 65,27,0,255
# Standard menu.
# Or, you can comment out the bitmap menu above and
# use a boot message with the standard menu:
#message = /boot/boot_message.txt

# Append any additional kernel parameters:
append=" vt.default_utf8=0"
prompt
timeout = 300
# VESA framebuffer console @ 800x600x256
vga = 771
# Normal VGA console
# vga = normal
# VESA framebuffer console @ 1024x768x64k
# vga=791
# VESA framebuffer console @ 1024x768x32k
# vga=790
# VESA framebuffer console @ 1024x768x256
# vga=773
# VESA framebuffer console @ 800x600x64k
# vga=788
# VESA framebuffer console @ 800x600x32k
# vga=787
# VESA framebuffer console @ 800x600x256
# vga=771
# VESA framebuffer console @ 640x480x64k
# vga=785
# VESA framebuffer console @ 640x480x32k
# vga=784
# VESA framebuffer console @ 640x480x256
# vga=769
# ramdisk = 0     # paranoia setting
# End LILO global section
# Linux bootable partition config begins
image = /boot/vmlinuz
  root = /dev/hda1
  label = Slackware12.2
  read-only  # Partitions should be mounted read-only for checking
# Linux bootable partition config ends
I would think the USB is not being recognized or not recognized as a HD...
I'm sure somebody here knows...
Also, your booting lilo off the FAT32 partition?
Is that possible?
What is the FAT32 partition for?

Last edited by linus72; 03-29-2009 at 08:48 AM.
 
Old 03-29-2009, 09:02 AM   #12
mrclisdue
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One of the members here has pretty detailed instructions on how to accomplish this:

http://linuxconfig.dyndns.org:1184/l...vable_USB_disk

including info for your initrd.

Also, I'm pretty sure you're going to have to add a rootdelay line in your lilo.conf in order to give your system time to properly mount the usb stick.

I know there are some recent threads in this sub-forum regarding this. I was keen a couple of months back, but I'm happy with my extremely-customized slax usbstick at the moment, and I don't feel like scrapping it to make it pure Slackware (perhaps when 12.3 is released I'll give it a go....)

When I have a moment, I'll see if I can hook you up with those threads.

cheers,
 
Old 03-29-2009, 09:37 AM   #13
aneroid
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linus72 View Post
OH! I thought you trying to install from USB-sorry!
...
Also, your booting lilo off the FAT32 partition?
Is that possible?
What is the FAT32 partition for?
not booting off the FAT32 but it's there coz I wanted windows-readable space on the USB stick and read somewhere that windows wants/needs(?) the FAT* partition to be first to be able to read it.

this is the error (wrote it down):
(after 'md' devices...)
Code:
VFS: Cannot open root device "812" or unknown-block(8,18)
Please append a correct "root=" boot option; here are the available partitions
0800 ... sda driver: sd was detecting the harddrive
  0801 ... sda1
0b00 sr0 driver: sr
Kernel panic...
Get similar errors when I use sda, sda1, sdb, sdb[12], etc.
 
Old 03-29-2009, 09:39 AM   #14
aneroid
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrclisdue View Post
One of the members here has pretty detailed instructions on how to accomplish this:

http://linuxconfig.dyndns.org:1184/l...vable_USB_disk

including info for your initrd.

Also, I'm pretty sure you're going to have to add a rootdelay line in your lilo.conf in order to give your system time to properly mount the usb stick.
Yup, that worked! :-)
tried
Code:
Slack122-1 rootdelay=10 root=/dev/sdb2
and
Code:
Slack122-1 rootdelay=10
(without explicitly specifying the root). Both worked.

So will now add an append line to lilo.conf, I think that would be easier/faster than modifying initrd, espcially since I don't have one right now. Will give it a try when I recompile the kernel.

Will first redo lilo and re-try the normal boot. Though I'm curious about how 'slax' does it coz there's no notable delay in the boot process.

Thanks
 
Old 03-29-2009, 11:24 AM   #15
mrclisdue
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aneroid View Post
...Though I'm curious about how 'slax' does it coz there's no notable delay in the boot process...
I haven't investigated, but there's probably a "sleep" function in the initrd for slax. The same guy who maintains slax is responsible for linux-live.org where he explains how to create a live distro, so there may be info there....


cheers,
 
  


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