No CD drive: boot/install from USB thumb drive

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No CD drive: boot/install from USB thumb drive

Postby etienne on Fri Jun 12, 2009 5:46 am

That is more an answer than a question, but because it can be usefull for others:
I have an EeePC where I wanted to install Linux Mint, that can boot USB thumb drive in "superfloppy" format - but has no CD/DVD drive.
I downloaded LinuxMint-7.iso and check the first 512 byte of this image, that is blank so it cannot be used as a USB thumb drive image.
To transform LinuxMint-7.iso to a bi-format (bootable El-Torito + bootable superfloppy), I downloaded:
http://www.mirrorservice.org/sites/down ... tract=true
and just typed:
./gujin LinuxMint-7.iso
This new bi-format LinuxMint-7.iso has a bootsector (and increased size of approx 300 Kbytes), so it can be used on a USB thumb drive like:
umount /dev/sdg* # check that /dev/sdg is the USB thumb drive
cat LinuxMint-7.iso > /dev/sdg # will erase all data on the USB drive in /dev/sdg, backup first!
sync # the sync is really needed, do not remove the USB drive before it is finished!
I successfully installed Linux Mint from this USB drive.

The boot process is unmodified because it is an El-Torito boot from USB thumb drive.
If you prefer source code, just download:
http://sourceforge.net/project/download ... a=67403738
extract to a directory, go there and type "make" to regenerate the executable "gujin" (default target).

Cheers,
Etienne.
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Re: No CD drive: boot/install from USB thumb drive

Postby ebaut on Fri Jun 12, 2009 2:58 pm

I`ve successfully wrote mint 7 iso on usb stick with unetbootin without any hard ways :)
usb: keningston 4gb
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Re: No CD drive: boot/install from USB thumb drive

Postby etienne on Sat Jun 13, 2009 6:23 am

There is always (at least) two ways to do things.
The advantage of using Gujin is that the iso image is bit to bit identical for CD or USB thumb drive, so you can check the MD5 sum, compare the iso image and your USB drive... (unetbootin regenerate a syslinux config inside the image).
I have quite a few SD cards (bootable using SD/USB adapter inside the EeePc) with wrong sectors.
So it could be an improvement for Linux Mint to distribute an iso image where you can simply do:
cat LinuxMint-7.iso > /dev/sdg ; sync

Etienne.
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