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Old 04-18-2016, 08:05 AM   #1
Ned Radd
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How To Add Folders/Files To ISO For USB Stick?


I have a laptop with 3 Ubuntu partitions that now won't boot due to drive errors. I.ve tried to boot a LiveDVD with Ubuntu 15.10 on it and heal the drive, but the providers only used about 1.7GB of the DVD space and did not include essential tools like gpart and testdisk that would go far in restoring a drive and/or partition in trouble. I want to work from the DVD drive or a USB stick to effect a drive recovery first. But how do I do this? It's not clear.

Actually the USB stick would be best. Much faster and lots more space, so I can even provide a separate swap partition. And the main partition could include a bootable liveCD ISO image, more than one in fact, so that Ocould just include existing repair disks, boot-repair, and these cand be set up as choices for the installed GRUB2 to give you the choice of loading and using on reboots. Maybe a VM like Oracle Virtualbox with some client virtual drives as well. ou could scale up to a 2.5" USB frive, and that could raise the storage limits for one drive to 1TB. even 1.5TB. But the emphasis in part has to be on data recovery from the failing internal drive, the testing and restoration of the internal drive, then the transfer of fully updated or extended installs to the internal drive or partition(s), along with putting the recovered data back as an option.

I have a crippled laptop that I am wasting days on because it is not to be overwritten until its contents can be salvaged. But the LiveDVD was not intended for this purpose, and I don't want a Windows Rescue Disk to handle Linux partitions, folders, and files because that is not the Windows' way. It cannot manage the needed reads and writes from and to linux partitions. So many rescue disks seem to only have Windows in mind, and that is not my big concern.

I gave up on Windows in 1998 after I got frustrated with keeping detected malware out by constantly working with different mixes of protection packages, only to realize that these were each focused on their own signatures of malware and were not sharing. meaning you added more packages for marginal gains and tried to avoid overloading the processors as you did this. A no-win situation.

Sometimes conflicted with each other, and I might get something good going, but in no time at all a new threat would force me to do it all over again. By the time a filter was developed and distributed, the damage was done and there were more threats out there that still had not been detected. Only after I committed to Linux did I realize how vastly superior it is to Windows and why.

But that is the trail I followed. Others differe with me, and Windows will always be heir first love. They learned it first, and they don't want to face the necessity of learning a different way of doing things.

All that said, I just need an exchange of ideas on putting together a USB drive image that can meet multiple needs in one bootable device. Another reason a LiveCD might not serve is that the liveDVD might have some built-in inhibitors to remove or even prevent root or super user from waging an assault on the PC it is attached to. There are a number og commands that you can try, and you may learn they are not permitted, not included, or supposedly be reported as a breach of whatever. An example is chroot, where you could then become root on another PC, partition, or drive. That bypasses the passwd safeguards. But unless encrypted the software and data is always vulnerable to be gotten to. Even hardware has its limits, and only buys the defenders time to respond before the vaults, moats, gates, or strongholds are breached.

Anyway, that's enough background for this project, except for one thing: I installed Linux on a USB drive but it proved unbootable. I searched, and others have had the same experience. What are we doing wrong?
 
Old 04-18-2016, 11:44 AM   #2
Emerson
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SystemRescueCd is designed for this purpose. It also has clear instructions how to modify it if you wish.
 
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Old 04-18-2016, 02:13 PM   #3
jefro
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YOu can generally add in tools to a live cd using package manage while online to web of course.

If I were to make a live usb it would be a real usb install and not one of the live to usb program deals. That way you can properly install software and updates.
 
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Old 04-18-2016, 02:16 PM   #4
Emerson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jefro View Post
YOu can generally add in tools to a live cd using package manage while online to web of course.

If I were to make a live usb it would be a real usb install and not one of the live to usb program deals. That way you can properly install software and updates.
I'm not saying you are wrong, but this raises a question for me. LiveCD's are designed to boot on anything. Once installed the installation will be somewhat customized for hardware it was installed on - true or not?
 
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Old 06-09-2016, 01:58 PM   #5
Ned Radd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jefro View Post
YOu can generally add in tools to a live cd using package manage while online to web of course.

If I were to make a live usb it would be a real usb install and not one of the live to usb program deals. That way you can properly install software and updates.
Yeah, I've thought of that. In fact I've done it. Gets a little tricky with grub though, as it gets confused if you use the usb stick on different PCs that have operating systems on them and you do a distribution update which brings update-grub into play.


A little bit of an issue with /boot/grub/grub.cfg, and grub jumps into one of its 3 failure modes. And I have no idea of what to do at that point.

The otherv thing about the LiveDVD/USB approach is it combines Try with Install. You don't get that with a normal install. That can be a bit of a convenience, but not as much as might be possible. For instance, in Ubuntu, you can't do a chroot to get out of running in RAM, and the Repositories are really limited. Another disadvantage is that much of what needs to be installed has to come off the internet at the time of the actual install, else you don't get them. That requires a wired or wireless internet connection be established, else no go.

The final downside is that once planted, the Live ISOs go static, never get updated until during or after the install. I ran into real problems with trying to go from a fresh Ubuntu 14.04 LTS install without a dist-upgraded to a full-upgrade to 15.10, enough so that I was lucky to get the user accounts back. These upgrades are arguments for sudo apt-get for those not familiar with them. Aas one post drew to my attention, the Live ISO for 14.04 LTS was 4 years old, which is a big chunk of time to go back in software development.

I guess what I am saying is that installing to the usb device would be even better if there were a more convenient way to install again from there directly to another drive, possibly not the same distro or version of Linux. UI'm sure there is a way, I just don't know what it is.

The first answer was a good one too. I will have to look at it. Anything with "rescue" in its name sounds promising.
 
Old 06-09-2016, 04:41 PM   #6
Habitual
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jefro View Post
YOu can generally add in tools to a live cd using package manage while online to web of course.

If I were to make a live usb it would be a real usb install and not one of the live to usb program deals. That way you can properly install software and updates.
Persistence?
 
Old 06-09-2016, 04:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ned Radd View Post
Anything with "rescue" in its name sounds promising.
gparted not on a LiveCD? I find that hard to believe.
http://trinityhome.org/Home/index.ph...g=en&locale=en
 
Old 06-09-2016, 05:22 PM   #8
yancek
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Quote:
and the Repositories are really limited
Ubuntu repositories are limited? I think you'd have a hard time finding any distribution with more software in repositories.

Quote:
Another disadvantage is that much of what needs to be installed has to come off the internet
Well, where else would you get it? Years ago, some distributions (Suse Linux specifically) would sell 'boxed sets' which came with a number of CDs as well as DVDs and a manual with all the current software as well as the operating system. I don't know if any distro still does that but it seemed like a good idea to me, particularly for persons new to the OS.

Quote:
Aas one post drew to my attention, the Live ISO for 14.04 LTS was 4 years old
What? Ubuntu 14.04 was released in April, 2014 which is just over two years ago now, at least if you're not caught in some inter-planetary time warp!

Quote:
I guess what I am saying is that installing to the usb device would be even better if there were a more convenient way to install again from there directly to another drive, possibly not the same distro or version of Linu
If you put a Live CD on a flash drive with persistence, you can make changes and save them and it will also have the installer on it. If you want other systems with their installers, you can put them on the same flash drive either on the same or a different partition and boot them and use them to install. This doesn't work with every Linux distro but since you mention Ubuntu, you should be able to directly boot most Ubuntus directly from the iso file copied to the flash drive. Lots of tutorials on this.
 
Old 06-09-2016, 06:55 PM   #9
jefro
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The OP wanted to add software to a live cd. That isn't really needed for just a simple one time repair. Most live cd's still have ways to use the package manager to add in a program like gparted while running live.

Some iso images are able to be placed on a usb with some command or program directly unchanged. The hybrid iso ends up being for all practical terms a cd/dvd image so it too could use a package manager to run a live install of a program or two. The ram in both cases is being used to create a faux filesystem using aufs or such. That faux file system merges the ram and the iso compressed image to make the system act like a real install.

If one wants to use a live cd for a very limited use then you can easily create a live cd/dvd/usb and use it.
____________________________________________________________________________________________________ ____

Now, one could remaster the iso but it kind of takes more time than it is worth. That is kind of part of what the OP asked. I myself would go to SuseStudio and create what I wanted from a menu.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___

Mentioned was making a usb. I've talked about the direct method to a usb above. There are two ways more to make a usb. One is with a program that uses some iso and places it on a usb drive. The program also usually allows the user to add in a casper or persistence. That persistence is like the faux filesystem above. It takes the original compressed filesystem and adds in some more filesystem. This method is great for new users I think. It allows some programs to be added to the usb stick and may remember some user settings.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___

However, if I were to use a usb for maintenance then I'd just go one step farther (or is it further?). I would and do create a usb flash/hard drive just like I was installing to a real hard drive. It fully allows me to add in software correctly. It allows me to update the files properly that can't be done with a casper type install. It however has some drawbacks. It will usually run a bit slower since it doesn't use a compressed filesystem. It will take more space on the usb.
 
  


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