LinuxQuestions.org
Review your favorite Linux distribution.
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Software
User Name
Password
Linux - Software This forum is for Software issues.
Having a problem installing a new program? Want to know which application is best for the job? Post your question in this forum.

Notices


Reply
  Search this Thread
Old 08-22-2009, 01:31 AM   #1
EricTRA
LQ Guru
 
Registered: May 2009
Location: Gibraltar, Gibraltar
Distribution: Fedora 20 with Awesome WM
Posts: 6,805
Blog Entries: 1

Rep: Reputation: 1296Reputation: 1296Reputation: 1296Reputation: 1296Reputation: 1296Reputation: 1296Reputation: 1296Reputation: 1296Reputation: 1296
Multiboot on 32Gb USB stick


Hi all,

I'm trying to step up a bit on the Linux ladder after only using Linux in a server environment, that is, always without the GUI and desktop software.

I've successfully installed several distros on my USB stick using Unetbootin and wanted to try to install more than one on the same stick.

I can boot from the stick and get the complete list from which to choose. When choosing it seems that the appropriate kernel gets loaded but none of the distros complete the startup. Dreamlinux fails with the error that no modules are found, LinuxMint shows its startup screen with the 'time bar' and hangs there, as does SuperUbuntu. Mandriva apparently only wants to install and not run from the stick, Gentoo just does nothing.

I'm sure it has to be in my config, since this is new to me, but I cannot find out how to fix it.

I have all the distros installed one by one, copying the relevant files after installation to a directory and changing the syslinux.cfg, ubnpathl.txt and ubnfilel.txt.

Below is my syslinux.cfg
Code:
default vesamenu.c32
prompt 0
menu title UNetbootin
timeout 100

label unetbootindefault
menu label Default
kernel /DreamLinux/ubnkern
append initrd=/DreamLinux/ubninit lang=us vga=791 nosplash boot_image=/DreamLinux/modules/base/basex wm=xfce

label ubnentry0
menu label Dreamlinux | XFCE
kernel /DreamLinux/ubnkern
append initrd=/DreamLinux/ubninit lang=us vga=791 nosplash boot_image=/DreamLinux/modules/base/basex wm=xfce

label ubnentry1
menu label Memtest | Memory diagnostic tool
kernel /DreamLinux/ubnkern
append initrd=/DreamLinux/ubninit 

label ubnentry2
menu label Start Linux Mint
kernel /LinuxMint/casper/vmlinuz
append initrd=/LinuxMint/casper/initrd.gz file=/LinuxMint/preseed/mint.seed boot=casper  quiet splash --

label ubnentry3
menu label Super Ubuntu
kernel /SuperUbuntu/ubnkern
append initrd=/SuperUbuntu/ubninit file=/SuperUbuntu/preseed/ubuntu.seed boot=casper quiet splash --

label ubnentry4
menu label Gentoo
kernel /Gentoo/ubnkern
append initrd=/Gentoo/ubninit 

label ubnentry5
menu label Mandriva
kernel /Mandriva/ubnkern
append initrd=/Mandriva/ubninit
Can someone point me in the right direction or did I do everything wrong? I want to have some GUI distros on my USB stick since we're looking into re-installing all our Windows desktops with Linux (300+). Using this option and USB stick I can easily show my management some distros so that they can choose from them. It also allows them to use them without having to install various machines.

All help is greatly appreciated.

Kind regards,

Eric

Last edited by EricTRA; 08-22-2009 at 01:33 AM.
 
Old 08-23-2009, 08:50 AM   #2
vonbiber
Member
 
Registered: Apr 2009
Distribution: slackware 14.1 64-bit, slackware 14.2 64-bit, SystemRescueCD
Posts: 485

Rep: Reputation: 110Reputation: 110
I've installed (or tried to) several live linux systems on
usb sticks (from 1GB to 4GB). Some I couldn't. But I've been
successful with these:

slax
grml
pmagic
riplinux

(and a few others that I didn't keep).
I usually start with slax:
1. unpack slax-$version.iso
2. copy the 2 folders boot, slax and their contents to the
usb drive
go to the boot directory in the usb drive and create there
a slax subfolder where I move these 2 files:
initrd.gz vmlinuz
edit the menu config file 'slax.cfg' to reflect the change of path:
e.g.
KERNEL /boot/slax/vmlinuz
....
APPEND vga=791 initrd=/boot/slax/initrd.gz ramdisk_size=6666 root=/dev/ram0 rw copy2ram noauto

...
3. make the usb stick bootable by running a shell script provided by slax:
first cd to the boot folder on the usb drive
then run: ./bootinst.sh

4. add the other distros (grml, pmagic, RIPlinux) by proceeding in a
similar way (unpack the iso, copy files/directories, move some of them
if necessary create new subfolders then edit the config file accordingly)

Here's some of the contents of the usb drive:
boot/:
slax/: initrd.gz vmlinuz
grml/: initrd.gz linux26
rip/: doc/ initrd.gz kernel32 kernel64 rootfs.cgz

grml/: grml.squashfs filesystem.module
pmagic/: bzImage changelog.txt initramfs pmodules/
slax/: original contents

##################

http://www.slax.org/
http://grml.org/
http://www.tux.org/pub/people/kent-r...looplinux/rip/
http://partedmagic.com/
 
Old 08-23-2009, 09:30 AM   #3
linus72
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Jan 2009
Location: Gordonsville-AKA Mayberry-Virginia
Distribution: Slack14.2/Many
Posts: 5,573

Rep: Reputation: 470Reputation: 470Reputation: 470Reputation: 470Reputation: 470
whats up guys?

No need for Unetbootin dog, as vonbiber said
you just gotta edit some stuff and use the bootcodes for each distro

so, here's my current 4gb usb

sdb1 fat32 grml-medium(remaster), pmagic-4.4(remaster), slax-6.1.2,
tinycore-2.2(remaster), sidux-xfce, rescuepup-beta(browserpuppy remaster) and some tools like sgd, plop, grub4dos, zoros-3.6
and others

sdb2 ext2 labeled "live-rw" (persistentcy for grml),

you can also put all of these on your hd in 1 parttion

my ubuntu 9.04 (ultimate edition 2.3) partition is sda6
I put grml, slax, puppy, fedora11, and tinycore all in that partition along with ubuntu
How?

Thats a story on it's own

you guys wanna know about remastering grml,pmagic,etc real easy?
 
Old 08-24-2009, 12:21 AM   #4
EricTRA
LQ Guru
 
Registered: May 2009
Location: Gibraltar, Gibraltar
Distribution: Fedora 20 with Awesome WM
Posts: 6,805

Original Poster
Blog Entries: 1

Rep: Reputation: 1296Reputation: 1296Reputation: 1296Reputation: 1296Reputation: 1296Reputation: 1296Reputation: 1296Reputation: 1296Reputation: 1296
Thanks vonbiber and linus72 for your reply. So if I understand you correctly it's better to just format the USB stick and create several partitions on it, then install something like GRUB on it and after that install each distro on a separate partition. Is that a better way to approach?

How do I find out/know which files should be moved into a separate directory? Or better said: are there specific files that need to be in the root or boot directory?

Kind regards,

Eric
 
Old 08-25-2009, 08:04 AM   #5
vonbiber
Member
 
Registered: Apr 2009
Distribution: slackware 14.1 64-bit, slackware 14.2 64-bit, SystemRescueCD
Posts: 485

Rep: Reputation: 110Reputation: 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTRA View Post
So if I understand you correctly it's better to just format the USB stick and create several partitions on it, then install something like GRUB on it and after that install each distro on a separate partition. Is that a better way to approach?

How do I find out/know which files should be moved into a separate directory? Or better said: are there specific files that need to be in the root or boot directory?
No, actually if you choose the slax bootinst.sh you can have all of
them in the same (vfat-formatted) partition.
slax uses syslinux
I haven't tried with grub on a flash disk. But I did a frugal install
on my hard drive (I used an available linux formatted partition to place
all the distros there and then created entries in my already existing
grub menu).

I can give you more details about how I placed the files and folders
from the different distros if you tell me which ones you're interested
in.
If you start with slax, basically you keep the same
tree structure
/boot and /slax (at the root of your usb drive)

except that in /boot
you create a subfolder named slax and move vmlinuz and initrd.gz in it
so that instead of the original
/boot/{vmlinuz,initrd.gz}
now you'll have
/boot/slax/{vmlinuz,initrd.gz}

then you edit /boot/slax.cfg and replace all the strings
/boot/vmlinuz with /boot/slax/vmlinuz
and
/boot/initrd.gz with /boot/slax/initrd.gz

It's possible to do that (moving files/folder around) for the
distros I mentionned. But not for some other distros where these
paths are hard-coded somewhere it's hard to have access to.
 
Old 08-26-2009, 01:16 AM   #6
EricTRA
LQ Guru
 
Registered: May 2009
Location: Gibraltar, Gibraltar
Distribution: Fedora 20 with Awesome WM
Posts: 6,805

Original Poster
Blog Entries: 1

Rep: Reputation: 1296Reputation: 1296Reputation: 1296Reputation: 1296Reputation: 1296Reputation: 1296Reputation: 1296Reputation: 1296Reputation: 1296
Hi Vonbiber,

I want to use this USB drive to show to our management various distro's that could replace our Windows installs (looking forward to doing this, although most of the users will not like it ). So I'd like to have something like Ubuntu (or similar), DreamLinux (which has Xfce), LinuxMint, and others that would be considered complete desktop OS's.

I noticed from your posts that the distro's you use are typical for sysadmins, hence what I'm trying to do might not work for the reason you mentioned, the hardcoded paths.

Looking forward to your opinion.

Kind regards,

Eric
 
Old 08-27-2009, 06:33 AM   #7
vonbiber
Member
 
Registered: Apr 2009
Distribution: slackware 14.1 64-bit, slackware 14.2 64-bit, SystemRescueCD
Posts: 485

Rep: Reputation: 110Reputation: 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTRA View Post
I want to use this USB drive to show to our management various distro's that could replace our Windows installs (looking forward to doing this, although most of the users will not like it ). So I'd like to have something like Ubuntu (or similar), DreamLinux (which has Xfce), LinuxMint, and others that would be considered complete desktop OS's.

I noticed from your posts that the distro's you use are typical for sysadmins, hence what I'm trying to do might not work for the reason you mentioned, the hardcoded paths.
Among the ones I mentionned most can be considered complete desktop,
except grml (that do have an X interface but is mostly a
sysadmin-type and is meant to be used from the console)

slax: comes with kde
I would strongly recommend this one. It's easy to add more software
afterward (browsers, lampp, etc.)

grml: this one is typical sysadmin distro.
It's meant to be used from the console but it does have
some light window managers (not kde nor gnome)

pmagic: comes with fluxbox I think
this one is useful if you want to repartition/resize your existing
partitions and do stuff like that

riplinux: fluxbox I think
this one (RecoveryIsPossible) is also more specialized
It has a wealth of recovery/repair tools

I mentionned those because I have installed them successfully.
I know that there are other live distros (buntu-types) that are
harder to install along with others (they expect to be the only
distro on the partition).

There are a few slax-derivatives such as dreamlinux, ...
that I did try but I just don't like them.

Let me know if you want me to post my syslinux menu and
a tree list so you'd get an idea about how you can place
files/folders, what kind of entries in the menu, etc.
 
Old 08-27-2009, 06:49 AM   #8
EricTRA
LQ Guru
 
Registered: May 2009
Location: Gibraltar, Gibraltar
Distribution: Fedora 20 with Awesome WM
Posts: 6,805

Original Poster
Blog Entries: 1

Rep: Reputation: 1296Reputation: 1296Reputation: 1296Reputation: 1296Reputation: 1296Reputation: 1296Reputation: 1296Reputation: 1296Reputation: 1296
Hi vonbiber,

That would be great if you could post that info here, so I can play around with it this weekend. I'm currently in the process of throwing all Window$ things out the door except for the one laptop I use at work.

I have to be an example if I want others to follow in the company but at this time I'm also struggling with some applications that are used and need to be 'replaced' by Linux equivalents, but I'm getting there.

Thanks for all your help so far, I really appreciate it.

Kind regards,

Eric
 
Old 08-27-2009, 08:01 AM   #9
vonbiber
Member
 
Registered: Apr 2009
Distribution: slackware 14.1 64-bit, slackware 14.2 64-bit, SystemRescueCD
Posts: 485

Rep: Reputation: 110Reputation: 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTRA View Post
Hi vonbiber,

That would be great if you could post that info here, so I can play around with it this weekend. I'm currently in the process of throwing all Window$ things out the door except for the one laptop I use at work.

I have to be an example if I want others to follow in the company but at this time I'm also struggling with some applications that are used and need to be 'replaced' by Linux equivalents, but I'm getting there.
Ok, will do

I forgot to mention slampp (this one is huge: about 2GB).
I tested the previous version. I found some bugs (that I was able
to fix on the spot) and I reported them.
I saw in the current release changelog that they have fixed
a certain number of bugs, including those I mentionned.

http://slampp.abangadek.com/info/index.php?page=home
 
Old 08-27-2009, 08:15 AM   #10
vonbiber
Member
 
Registered: Apr 2009
Distribution: slackware 14.1 64-bit, slackware 14.2 64-bit, SystemRescueCD
Posts: 485

Rep: Reputation: 110Reputation: 110
I posted the entries in my syslinux menu here:

http://vonbiber.pastebin.com/f435cacb1

I changed the background image (slax.png) with my own and
I named it bg.png (see top of menu)

You'll notice that I have different slax versions in the
same menu. For this to work I needed to further tweak
the initrd.gz file. But if you use only one version you
don't need to do that.

And here are the entries I used for slampp:
#################################

MENU LABEL slampp (X)
KERNEL /boot/slampp/vmlinuz
#APPEND max_loop=255 initrd=/boot/slampp/initrd.gz from=/slampp init=linuxrc load_ramdisk=1 prompt_ramdisk=0 ramdisk_size=6666 root=/dev/ram0 rw vga=791 splash=silent keyb=us lang=en_US autologin
APPEND initrd=/boot/slampp/initrd.gz from=/slampp init=linuxrc load_ramdisk=1 prompt_ramdisk=0 ramdisk_size=6666 root=/dev/ram0 rw vga=791 splash=silent keyb=us lang=en_US autologin
TEXT HELP
More about currently selected:

Run slampp the best way we can.
Try to autoconfigure graphics
card and use the maximum
allowed resolution
ENDTEXT

LABEL vesaslampp
MENU LABEL slampp (vesa X)
KERNEL /boot/slampp/vmlinuz
#APPEND max_loop=255 initrd=/boot/slampp/initrd.gz from=/slampp init=linuxrc load_ramdisk=1 prompt_ramdisk=0 ramdisk_size=6666 root=/dev/ram0 rw vga=791 splash=silent xforcevesa keyb=us lang=en_US autologin
APPEND initrd=/boot/slampp/initrd.gz from=/slampp init=linuxrc load_ramdisk=1 prompt_ramdisk=0 ramdisk_size=6666 root=/dev/ram0 rw vga=791 splash=silent xforcevesa keyb=us lang=en_US autologin
TEXT HELP
More about currently selected:

Run slampp with Xfce
using standard VESA driver
ENDTEXT
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
LXer: Installing "Sugar on a stick" (Strawberry Release) On A USB Stick LXer Syndicated Linux News 0 08-04-2009 03:50 PM
multiboot external usb hd grub error 5 koen plessers Linux - General 3 03-15-2009 11:02 AM
may install from cdrom to USB FLASH DRIVE(to get it a USB stick bootable) the ubuntu lse123 Linux - Newbie 5 01-02-2009 04:56 PM
mount/umount usb stick - PQI Intelligent Stick 2.0 sandbag Linux - Software 5 05-06-2005 11:12 AM
USB problems: Memorex USB stick 256MB and PSX to USB adapter by Radio Shack Knuckles T15 Linux - Hardware 1 05-19-2004 06:58 PM

LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Software

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:59 PM.

Main Menu
Advertisement
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration