I figured out how to get my favorite distribution (Mint) to boot from USB, but I haven't figured out how to make it persistent. I'm using a 16-GiB USB drive with two partitions: 2 GiB in Fat32 format for the "LiveCD" and the remaining in Ext2 for /home and any configuration files (once I figure out how to save them). I'm looking for help from anyone that can help me get Mint to save its configurations in my second partition (which for me is /media/sda2).
Here's how I installed the non-persistent image entirely from within Windows XP, with no CD drive:
1. Download the latest version of syslinux and extract to a folder.
Go to http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/utils/boot/syslinux/
, scroll down to the latest version with the .zip extension.
I extracted it to a folder called “syslinux” on my desktop.
2. Download the linux mint 5 iso (http://www.linuxmint.com/download.html
3. Download and install an iso extract program. I used ALZip (http://www.altools.com/Downloads/ALZip.aspx
) but there are several available.
4. Install syslinux to your USB drive and make the drive bootable.
Best done in command line:
Click Start, then Run
Type “cmd” in the window; hit “Enter”
Navigate to the Windows folder within the one where you extracted syslinux (for me that was c:\Documents and Settings\username\Desktop\syslinux\win32)
- Code: Select all
syslinux –ma e:
” (E was the assigned drive letter for my USB drive.
5. Extract the mint 5 iso to the USB drive. Right-click on the downloaded iso file and follow the instructions provided by the extraction tool.
6. Navigate to the isolinux folder in the USB drive.
7. Move everything from the isolinux folder to the root directory (top level) in the USB drive.
8. Delete “isolinux.bin”.
9. Rename “isolinux.cfg” to “syslinux.cfg”.
10. Delete the empty isolinux folder.
Now I can boot into the USB, but only have a LiveCD version of Mint. I've tried emulating examples of successful persistent USB installs offered for other distributions (http://www.debuntu.org/how-to-install-ubuntu-linux-on-usb-bar
), but I must be missing a step or two with Mint.