Make a Live-USB-stick from Mint Live-CD

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Make a Live-USB-stick from Mint Live-CD

Postby Staffan » Sun Jan 13, 2008 1:58 pm

This is probably the easiest and- fastest way to make a bootable Linux Mint Live-CD on your USB-stick. All done from the Mint Live-CD itself.

You will need at least a 1Gb empty USB-stick that is preformatted with FAT (most USB-sticks you buy are already formatted in this way). If you have a empty FAT-formatted USB-stick you can skip step 2 in this guide. If you have some old files on your USB-stick you need to get rid of first it is ok, just follow this guide.
(You should not need to reformat your USB-stick, so I leave that description in this guide. Otherwise you can use the fdisk command and mkdosfs -Vfat).

1. Boot your computer with Linux Mint Live-CD - Daryna 4.0.
(If your are using Celena it will work too, but it differs in the way you shall install syslinux.I explain that further down in this guide).

Insert your USB-stick to your computer. Linux Mint will automatically detect it and open a Nautilus window.

2. Prepare your USB-stick for installation:
If you are having files lying around you will need to delete them first. In the Nautilus window:
Open the menu View - show hidden files. This will list all files you have on your USB-stick.
Open Daryna - Terminal. Type:
sudo rm -r /media/disk/filename (filename=the name of the file you have listed in Nautilus). This will remove your listed file and you need to do this until you have no files left on your USB-stick. When done you can leave the Terminal open.

3. Copy necessary files from your CD-rom:
Open computer-filesystem-cdrom. Menu-View-hidden files. You should now be able to see all the files on your CD-rom: .disk,casper,isolinux,.disc_id,md5sum.txt.
Select all - copy and paste all the files to your USB-stick in the Nautilus window (this may take a couple of minutes).

4. Make some changes on your USB-stick:
In Terminal type:
sudo mv /media/disk/casper/vmlinuz /media/disk
sudo mv /media/disk/casper/initrd.gz /media/disk
sudo mv /media/disk/isolinux/isolinux.cfg /media/disk
These commands will move vmlinuz,initrd.gz and isolinux.cfg to the root of your USB-stick.

5. Prepare syslinux.cfg for boot:
In Nautilus - rightclick on the file isolinux.cfg and open with texteditor. Change the text in it to look like this (this is all you need):

default live
prompt 1
timeout 50
label live
kernel vmlinuz
append file=preseed/ubuntu.seed boot=casper initrd=initrd.gz ramdisk_size=1048576 root=/dev/ram rw quiet splash --

When done Save as... syslinux.cfg

6. Install syslinux to your Live-CD (Daryna):
In terminal type:
sudo apt-get install syslinux

Installation starts and you will be prompted to answer Y/n. Answer y.

When done you can install syslinux to your USB-stick. Type:
syslinux /dev/sda1 (sda1 can differ in your machine. Can be sdb1 or similar).

If you are using Celena then click Celena - Install software. Edit - search - syslinux. Mark for installation - rightclick on the row - Mark recommended for installation - Mtools - apply - to be installed - apply. Close the window when finished.
Then you can make the syslinux /dev/sda1 in Terminal.

That is all to it. Now you should be able to boot from your USB-stick (You must of course make your BIOS to boot from USB). To restart you can type:
sudo reboot
in Terminal

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Re: Make a Live-USB-stick from Mint Live-CD

Postby Ede » Sun Jan 13, 2008 5:12 pm

Why the hell did you write _another_ guide? We have now 3 guides for the same thing?

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Re: Make a Live-USB-stick from Mint Live-CD

Postby olduser » Tue Jan 29, 2008 1:37 pm

I used your walk thro for the usb stick and it worked for me ---- but it is easier to use gparted to format the stick and set the boot flag. Also I had a bit of trouble with the syslinux.cfg ---- opening isolinux.cfg Changeing the text then using Save as syslinux.cfg results in "cant save -------- permisson denied" The answer is to sudo gedit enter the script -- default live etc--- then Save as syslinux.cfg >(Your USB stick).
All the rest no problem also I set my boot sequence to fd0, dvd,ide, usb. so I do'nt have to keep taking the pen drive out just press f11 at boot select usb*** from the bios boot menu and of we go

Last edited by olduser on Wed Jan 30, 2008 4:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Make a Live-USB-stick from Mint Live-CD

Postby belovedmonster » Tue Jan 29, 2008 7:10 pm

You guys sound like you know what you are talking about. I've just spent all day trying to get Xubuntu onto a USB drive for a friend following this guide and the damn thing just wont work. Can someone help me out? I started a thread here.. viewtopic.php?f=61&t=9075

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Re: Make a Live-USB-stick from Mint Live-CD

Postby fleamailman » Mon Feb 11, 2008 6:09 am

I have a question which could perhaps be made into a howto later, I have a nice thin laptop with no CDrom drive but it is windows 2000 which would be nicer on mint, could I install mint to its harddrive through booting up on a Mint system on the USB key if the boot path in recognised

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Re: Make a Live-USB-stick from Mint Live-CD

Postby fleamailman » Sun Feb 24, 2008 5:31 am

in DSL linux there is a program that simply formats the key installs the system and makes the key bootable, any chance that that same idea could be added to the next Mint linux version, the reason why people like Mint is because there is little after-install so to be able to have a USB this way but with unsername and password would be a great advance I feel
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