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Multi-Version ISO USB Bootable Drive


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#1 Arch3Angel

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Posted 16 August 2008 - 04:19 PM

Hello,

I was reading this post Multi Multi Multi Boot which has lead me in the right direction. However it still gives me problems.

What I am looking to do it boot multiple ISO images stored on my USB Flash Drive. I have grub4dos installed and working (I get my boot menu and reboot / halt work fine) but I can not get any additional images to boot. Here is my current menu list which is stripped down to only the needed information:

color black/cyan yellow/cyan

timeout 30

default /default



title Ultimate Boot CD

find --set-root /images/ultimatebootcd/ubcd411.iso

map /images/ultimatebootcd/ubcd411.iso (hd32)

map --hook

root (hd32)

chainloader (hd32)



title BT3 Graphics mode (KDE)

root (sd1,1)

kernel= /images/backtrack3/boot/vmlinuz ramdisk_size=6666 root=/dev/ram0 rw autoexec=xconf;kdm APPEND vga=0x317

initrd=/images/backtrack3/boot/initrd.gz

boot



title Reboot

savedefault --wait=2

reboot



title Halt

savedefault --wait=2

halt

When I boot into "Ultimate Boot CD" it seems to hang because of the boot loader inside the ISO image. Never giving an error just flashing the cursor

Now when I boot into "BT3 Graphics mode (KDE)" it tells me:

root (hd0,1)



Error 22: No such partition



Press any key to continue...

I can only assume this is because the (hd0,1) it referencing a physical hard drive not the USB drive. In my linux box it shows my drive as sdb with the partition being sdb1

Now thinking it would be (sd1,1) it came up with a different error:

root (sd1,1)



Error 23: Error while parsing number



Press any key to continue...

I have many ISO images I would like to make into a usb multi-tool of software. I would also like to keep it as clean as possible as far as the directory structure. Here is what I would like to have in the end:

/
/documents
/downloads
/images
/logs
grldr
menu.lst

With the ISO images stored under /images - This would make it easy for me to update images as time goes on - simply edit the menu list and copy the iso to the drive.

Any and all help is greatly appreciated, suggestions on better ways are also welcome - Thanks

#2 tzepu

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Posted 16 August 2008 - 07:21 PM

hello all
i am new in here and warn you that i have few knowledge about this kind of stuff
i want a multiboot pendrive with iso's , i want to be able to install them from the pendrive
i need it to show livecd's to various people, from the pendrive, and after they decide which one they want to install it on their computer (i am trying to make an intense popularisation of linux (various distributions) in schools, and several computers have no cd (even so i have to cary a dozen of discs with me)(it would be great just to stick in the pendrive and boot whatever i need)
my question is
have you guys found a way to put several iso's on a pendrive and somehow to be able to boot, and install each of them if needed?
and the worse part , to explain this in a way that even a six year old child ca do it?(or automatize it in a manner that is not requesting to many knowledge regarding programing or so?
my intention is to use only free software( linux distributions )
thank you in advance
somehow like flashboot program but to manage several iso files (beeing able to boot the one i want)

#3 xterm

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Posted 16 August 2008 - 09:59 PM

Hello,

I don't know about booting multiple iso images quite yet, but if you use live distros orriented towards usb you can create a boot menu in syslinux.cfg, I'm sure that if you are using isolinux, you can do the same thing as it is a branch off of syslinux as far as I know. I am too, looking for a way to boot iso images tho.

#4 tzepu

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Posted 17 August 2008 - 10:40 AM

after some digging i figured that there are some programs that can create a multiboot iso (i can include to that everything i need(i mean iso files with distributions i want)
but
i could not figure how to put that multiboot iso file onto the pendrive, and to be able to boot it (i found tho some ideas but they are long, complex and i always get stuck on the way

#5 tzepu

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Posted 17 August 2008 - 04:13 PM

well , hoping that some wise guy in here will help me from suffering, i tell you the news about my problem
Unetbootin is the answer to my problem but, i am stuck now at creating a multiboot iso (i go my ears stuck in easyboot (i just could not figure about what to do with it(my english is too poor and the program is too complex for me), i tried though magiciso, but it creates the image (there might be some bad movements i do in there) but this image loaded onto the pen drive with Unetbootin it gets stuck on 'default' button(after rebooting)
i managed though to put various distributions on the pen drive, but just one by one (it works like a charm anyway) with this great program (it even downloads the needed iso, and puts it onto the drive you need, ready to boot)
so
can any of you give me a solution to this?
if you need specific info about my 'work' i will gladly tell you everything you need
i think that my mistake is in the multiboot iso file (i will burn it onto a dvd to see if it works this way) or might be some limitation from Unetbootin?
thanks in advance

#6 ktp

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Posted 17 August 2008 - 08:12 PM

1) UBCD uses isolinux/syslinux which cannot be loaded by grub4dos.

2) For Backtrack 3, the code in menu.lst is
#

title BackTrack 3 1024x768

find --set-root /boot/vmlinuz

kernel /boot/vmlinuz max_loop=255 vga=791 initrd=initrd.gz init=linuxrc load_ramdisk=1 prompt_ramdisk=0 ramdisk_size=6666 root=/dev/ram0 rw

initrd /boot/initrd.gz

boot

You need to copy (from the ISO file) the /boot and /BT3 directories to root of your USB stick (so you get x:\boot and x:\BT3 if x: is your USB drive letter).

For BackTrack 3 1280x1024, use vga=794.

#7 tzepu

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Posted 17 August 2008 - 08:17 PM

can you please detail (translate into newbie language) all you said?
i do not know where to start
to use ubcd?
to use backtrack?
i will google for both and i hope i will figure what you told me:))
thanks

#8 ktp

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Posted 17 August 2008 - 08:37 PM

1) Impossible to boot UBCD iso 'as is' without modifications with grub4dos, as far as I know.
Check this topic :
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=4486
2) I assume we are talking about Back Track 3, there is an iso called BackTrack3_final_usb.iso.
You simply copy the 2 directories boot and BT3 from the iso to the root of your USB drive (or if you do not have iso decompressor, from the Back Track CD after burning the iso to the CD).
Then you take my mentioned code and put this in your menu.lst.
Then you can try to boot Back Track 3 entry, this will work!

In other words, grub4dos in vast majority of cases cannot use iso emulation (hd32), so you must as I showed you
copy some content of the iso to you USB key/HDD, and invoke it with grub4dos syntax.

#9 Arch3Angel

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 07:35 AM

Are there any grub flavors that does allow for this method to take place?

#10 ktp

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 08:07 AM

They are standard grub4dos features. Any recent version will be OK. You may want to take the latest version from here :
http://download.gna.org/grub4dos/
The grub4dos-0.4.4-2008-08-08 version is OK for me.

#11 Arch3Angel

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 08:35 AM

Hello - That is the version I am currently running

#12 Arch3Angel

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 08:41 AM

#

title BackTrack 3 1024x768

find --set-root /boot/vmlinuz

kernel /boot/vmlinuz max_loop=255 vga=791 initrd=initrd.gz init=linuxrc load_ramdisk=1 prompt_ramdisk=0 ramdisk_size=6666 root=/dev/ram0 rw

initrd /boot/initrd.gz

boot

Now with my directory structure would the code be:

#

title BackTrack 3 1024x768

find --set-root /images/backtrack3/boot/vmlinuz

kernel /images/backtrack3/boot/vmlinuz max_loop=255 vga=791 initrd=initrd.gz init=linuxrc load_ramdisk=1 prompt_ramdisk=0 ramdisk_size=6666 root=/dev/ram0 rw

initrd /images/backtrack3/boot/initrd.gz

boot


#13 ktp

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 09:02 AM

1) You should remove initrd=initrd.gz from the kernel line, since the initrd has its own line/path already.
You have to adapt the line, not only copy-paste.
2) kernel and initrd have absolute path so they would load OK, but the initrd scripts etc... would internally still search for BT3 directory starting from root, so make sure that x:\BT3 is there (x: your USB HDD/key).

Then as always test the entry on real situation with grub4dos.

Good luck.

#14 Arch3Angel

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 09:52 AM

1) You should remove initrd=initrd.gz from the kernel line, since the initrd has its own line/path already.
You have to adapt the line, not only copy-paste.
2) kernel and initrd have absolute path so they would load OK, but the initrd scripts etc... would internally still search for BT3 directory starting from root, so make sure that x:\BT3 is there (x: your USB HDD/key).

Then as always test the entry on real situation with grub4dos.

Good luck.


So to get this right, I can't do the directory structure as originally planned since it would have the backtrack 3 directory down three levels as below:

/images/backtrack3/BT3

#15 tzepu

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 11:05 AM

well, i am dizzy right now
my english is not that good or you explanations are too technical for me
can someone explain this step by step?
and i mean about porting an multiboot iso on a pendrive using UNetbootin (or something else)
i need a multiboot iso creator that works with UNetbootin (this one boots it, and several multiboot iso's builded with some software(i tried ultraiso,magiciso,easy boot) just hooks the UNetbootin boot menu at 'default' option (no other is available)(usually, if i use a single OS iso,not a 'by me custom one' it loads the UNetbootin boot screen, where i can choose the options that i usually have on the livecd)
i think that my mistake is somewhere on the road building multiboot iso (i will try though the multiboot iso's by burning them on dvd's to see if there is a difference in their behaviour)

#16 Arch3Angel

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 02:52 PM

:whistling:

BackTrack3 is Bootable!!!

On to the next one ;)

Thanks for the help ;)

#17 Arch3Angel

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Posted 19 August 2008 - 01:09 PM

Whelp I am close to getting the second on my list to boot correctly, still got a slight problem. Below is the code and the error message:

title UBCD 4.11

find --set-root /boot/baslinux

kernel /boot/baslinux max_loop=255 vga=791 init=linuxrc load_ramdisk=1 prompt_ramdisk=0 ramdisk_size=6666 root=/dev/ram0 rw

initrd /boot/baslinux.gz

boot

Below is the resulting error:

Kernel Panic: No init found. Try passing init= option to kernel

Any advice?

#18 Mesh

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Posted 19 August 2008 - 01:18 PM

at last someone mentioned my post, it seem that when i registered i had to chose my Country as USA no Jordan to get replies to my post :whistling: ;)

Arch3Angel, i hope my post was useful for you , i've tried to include the experince i had in details and organized manner.
i've mentioned in my post that iso emulation most of the times won't work...

anyway, tzepu

for any live linux distribution , there is a file that can be booted from which is vmlinuz,

now the purpose of grub4dos is to create a menu boot loader that is compitable with FAT32 and NTFS ,
any how it can do the job too,

download grub4dos the latest version as ktp said , read the readme file to install it.

now when trying to boot from your pendrive , it should display a menu , this menu can be edited to include commands that makes grub4dos to boot various things,

when you see in this forum a code paragraph , most propably begins with :

title ( something here ) and followed by:
root (hd0,0)

or something like that , they are talking about menu.lst configurations that i just mentioned above .its a file that will appear the in partition where grub4dos is installed.

i don't know if grub4dos supports locating files in a deep subdirectory like : /sub1/sub2/sub3/sub4/ (the file in here)
to workaround this problem (if exsits-i dunt know honestly) , you can partition you pendrive to partitions that fits the linux live cd's WHEN EXTERACTED !

yes you are going to extract the iso images ( using winrar maybe ) to each partition , or into different folderes withen one partitions

menu.lst of yours will look like ( in case of folders ) in this case each iso image will be extracted in a folder.

title Backtrack 3 

root (hd0,0)

kernel=/Backtrack3/boot/vmlinuz

initrd=.......(etc)



title Kubuntu

root (hd0,0)

kernel=/Kubuntu/boo/vmlinuz

initrd-........ etc

or in case of partitions :

title Backtrack 3

root (hd0,0)		 [ this will be the main partition]

kernel=/boot/vmlinuz

initrd=.........



title Kubuntu

root(hd0,1)

kernel=/Kubuntu/boo/vmlinuz

initrd-........ etc

you have to read the grub4dos manual in case you want to understand the commands , and how grub works.


has any one got answers to my post the Multi Multi Multi Boot ?!?!?


#19 Arch3Angel

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Posted 19 August 2008 - 01:34 PM

Nope - Wish I did, this way I would have the answer to my menu.lst problems ;)

Any suggestions on this kernel panic, I know it is because I used the wrong files but the hard part of any of these if finding out which file you are suppose to use to begin with. Very frustrating to say the least :whistling:

#20 Mesh

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Posted 19 August 2008 - 03:55 PM

Nope - Wish I did, this way I would have the answer to my menu.lst problems ;)

Any suggestions on this kernel panic, I know it is because I used the wrong files but the hard part of any of these if finding out which file you are suppose to use to begin with. Very frustrating to say the least :whistling:


did you try this :

title BT3 Graphics mode (KDE)

root (hd0,1)

kernel= /boot/vmlinuz ramdisk_size=6666 root=/dev/ram0 rw autoexec=xconf;kdm APPEND vga=0x317

initrd=/boot/initrd.gz

boot

if it still kernel panic , did you tried it on another pc ??

#21 Arch3Angel

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 05:23 AM

did you try this :

title BT3 Graphics mode (KDE)

root (hd0,1)

kernel= /boot/vmlinuz ramdisk_size=6666 root=/dev/ram0 rw autoexec=xconf;kdm APPEND vga=0x317

initrd=/boot/initrd.gz

boot

if it still kernel panic , did you tried it on another pc ??


I got BackTrack3 working but now I am stuck on getting UBCD (Ultimate Boot CD) Working. I know it has to be something with the kernel = and initrd= portions

Any advice?

#22 Mesh

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 09:11 AM

I got BackTrack3 working but now I am stuck on getting UBCD (Ultimate Boot CD) Working. I know it has to be something with the kernel = and initrd= portions

Any advice?


as ktp mentioned grub4dos does not 'currently booting from syslinux or isolinux , unless of floppy images sth can be done maybe ..

#23 Arch3Angel

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 09:29 AM

Basically it sounds like my goal of a single USB thumb drive that contains all my bootable CDs is just that a dream. Unless you can make a suggestion on how to do this so all my bootable CDs are on a single USB thumb drive

#24 was_jaclaz

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 09:53 AM

Basically it sounds like my goal of a single USB thumb drive that contains all my bootable CDs is just that a dream. Unless you can make a suggestion on how to do this so all my bootable CDs are on a single USB thumb drive


Well, you cannot expect to find a one-size-fits-all only-a-few-clicks-away solution for ALL conceivable boot CD's.

Each single boot CD has it's own story and (hopefully :whistling:) a way to be added to a USB stick.

If I may, it seems to me like you (as many people around, rest assured you ar not the first and only one) are more focused on the (undoubtedly nifty) idea of adding a bootCD to your USB key than to what really matters, i.e. adding the functionalities of your bootCD to your USB stick.

This might require modifying the contents of the .iso image itself or using amother approach.

I mean, if there is a way to add the whole untouched .iso image, it's better, but if there is not, why not using a non-iso image, or any other possible way as long as the goal is reached?

I'll have a look at UBCD411 and see what I can find...

jaclaz

#25 Arch3Angel

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 10:14 AM

Well, you cannot expect to find a one-size-fits-all only-a-few-clicks-away solution for ALL conceivable boot CD's.

Each single boot CD has it's own story and (hopefully :whistling:) a way to be added to a USB stick.

If I may, it seems to me like you (as many people around, rest assured you ar not the first and only one) are more focused on the (undoubtedly nifty) idea of adding a bootCD to your USB key than to what really matters, i.e. adding the functionalities of your bootCD to your USB stick.

This might require modifying the contents of the .iso image itself or using amother approach.

I mean, if there is a way to add the whole untouched .iso image, it's better, but if there is not, why not using a non-iso image, or any other possible way as long as the goal is reached?

I'll have a look at UBCD411 and see what I can find...

jaclaz


Hello jaclaz,

I am not so much all about the nifty. I carry so much stuff with me that my goal was to try and condense as much as possible into my thumb drives for a couple reasons. Less to keep track of, less stuff to drag around, and universal tool for the things i work on.

Now saying that it was not enjoyable / frustrating to learn these things would be a lie, it is "nifty" to see what all can be done now a days with flash drives is pretty cool, but not my main reason.

Thanks for looking into this - I hope you can find a good solution for me




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