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Thread: Multiple 'boot from flash drive' situations playing nice together?

  1. #1
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    Question Multiple 'boot from flash drive' situations playing nice together?

    Hi all!!

    It's been a long time since I've posted, and it's good to see the community still growing I have a rather specific question to ask, and although I'm currently using Linux Mint, I felt it appropriate to ask here as its 1) Ubuntu-based and 2) My question is distro-independent (kinda)

    What I'm wanting to do is use my 32GB SanDisk flash drive as my go-to diagnostic tool. Currently, I have a number of tools on there, as far as the PortableApps.com suite of software and a couple of other things that I can't think of right now. I'd ideally like to include a number of different tools on there, but the issue is that each of these tools (as I understand it) will overwrite the boot record of the drive/re-format it to their specific needs. So I really need them all to play nicely with each other.

    I'm wanting to include all of the following on my flash drive (or, if this isn't possible, even in a bootable external HDD [recently purchased a 1.5TB one on sale at Best Buy])

    • Katana (of which I only found one mention after a quick search)
    • PortableApps.com suite of programs (an aside - is there any way to have access to all the tools without booting into a Windows environment? I haven't found any indication of such while navigating it)
    • Hiren's Boot CD, via USB of course
    • Linux Multi Boot (ala YUMI or UNetBootin, etc)
    • And perhaps in the future any other suite of tools that I can find that run off bootable USB


    Is my idea just a delusion of grandeur, or is it possible? I understand the logic behind it, but am not intimately familiar with how MBR's/boot records work under Linux.

    I appreciate any help in this task, but would also ask for a mini explanation of what is going on and why so I can gain a deeper understanding and expand my Linux knowledge.

    Thanks in advance!!

    Opethfan89
    Last edited by Artificial Intelligence; March 9th, 2013 at 07:58 AM. Reason: added prefix
    Laptop HP Pavillion dv7-3060US running Linux Mint 14 x64 (Cinnamon Desktop)

  2. #2
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    Re: Multiple 'boot from flash drive' situations playing nice together?

    Moved to Other OS/Distro Talk.
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  3. #3
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    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Multiple 'boot from flash drive' situations playing nice together?

    I do not know about your specific applications. Not all ISO can be booted with grub2's loopmount, but many can be.

    These are scripts to install many ISOs. Some that will not loopmount by installing a kernel and boot image.
    MultiBootUSB - Install and boot multiple Linux from Pendrive / Flash drive / USB disk w/grub2
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/In...shDriveUSBDisk
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1518273
    http://sourceforge.net/projects/multibootusb/files/
    MultiSystem Another LiveUSB Multiboot French(translate) w/grub2
    http://liveusb.info/dotclear/
    Another: multiboot055.sh
    http://blog.p-mt.net/blog/2009/12/27...oot-usb-stick/
    See yumi for multi-boot versions
    http://www.pendrivelinux.com/

    I did it manually before any of the above scripts became available.

    MultiBoot USB with Grub2 (boot directly from iso files)
    Basically you just install grub2, create a folder for the isos and edit a grub.cfg to loop mount the isos.
    HOWTO: Booting LiveCD ISOs from USB flash drive with Grub2
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1288604
    http://ubuntu-ky.ubuntuforums.org/sh....php?t=1535864
    Install grub2 to USB -general info
    http://members.iinet.net/~herman546/....html#GRUB_USB
    Label partition & mount:
    sudo grub-install --root-directory=/media/grub2 /dev/sda

    And even a flash drive is very similar to a hard drive.

    This will boot an ISO from a hard drive.
    ISO Booting with Grub 2 from Hard drive - drs305
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Grub2/ISOBoot
    Examples - you may copy & edit for your path & ISO version
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Gr...OBoot/Examples
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1549847
    Boot ISO from harddrive. To install it would have to be different partition
    [SOLVED] Using grub 2 to boot an iso off hard drive old examples
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1535864

    With my larger flash drives, I have a full install of Ubuntu and then in additional partitions have more ISO.
    I also did create one smaller flash drive with Windows repairCD, but it took so little room that I installed grub to that flash drive and put a couple more ISO on the same flash drive.

    But I am more in the category of if you only have a hammer everything looks like nail. I have grub2, so everything looks like it will boot with grub2.
    Last edited by oldfred; March 9th, 2013 at 04:52 PM.
    For info on UEFI boot install & repair:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to close thread when/if answered completely.







  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Woodbridge, VA
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    Re: Multiple 'boot from flash drive' situations playing nice together?

    Quote Originally Posted by oldfred View Post
    I do not know about your specific applications. Not all ISO can be booted with grub2's loopmount, but many can be.

    These are scripts to install many ISOs. Some that will not loopmount by installing a kernel and boot image.
    MultiBootUSB - Install and boot multiple Linux from Pendrive / Flash drive / USB disk w/grub2
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/In...shDriveUSBDisk
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1518273
    http://sourceforge.net/projects/multibootusb/files/
    MultiSystem Another LiveUSB Multiboot French(translate) w/grub2
    http://liveusb.info/dotclear/
    Another: multiboot055.sh
    http://blog.p-mt.net/blog/2009/12/27...oot-usb-stick/
    See yumi for multi-boot versions
    http://www.pendrivelinux.com/

    I did it manually before any of the above scripts became available.

    MultiBoot USB with Grub2 (boot directly from iso files)
    Basically you just install grub2, create a folder for the isos and edit a grub.cfg to loop mount the isos.
    HOWTO: Booting LiveCD ISOs from USB flash drive with Grub2
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1288604
    http://ubuntu-ky.ubuntuforums.org/sh....php?t=1535864
    Install grub2 to USB -general info
    http://members.iinet.net/~herman546/....html#GRUB_USB
    Label partition & mount:
    sudo grub-install --root-directory=/media/grub2 /dev/sda

    And even a flash drive is very similar to a hard drive.

    This will boot an ISO from a hard drive.
    ISO Booting with Grub 2 from Hard drive - drs305
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Grub2/ISOBoot
    Examples - you may copy & edit for your path & ISO version
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Gr...OBoot/Examples
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1549847
    Boot ISO from harddrive. To install it would have to be different partition
    [SOLVED] Using grub 2 to boot an iso off hard drive old examples
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1535864

    With my larger flash drives, I have a full install of Ubuntu and then in additional partitions have more ISO.
    I also did create one smaller flash drive with Windows repairCD, but it took so little room that I installed grub to that flash drive and put a couple more ISO on the same flash drive.

    But I am more in the category of if you only have a hammer everything looks like nail. I have grub2, so everything looks like it will boot with grub2.

    Thanks for the response!

    I think you repeated a little bit redundant information about things I feel pretty comfortable doing. My question is very specific, in that I want to have a number of USB-bootable tools all on the same flash drive.

    How I understand it is that when I install something, say katana (which is just a security/pentest toolkit, source link is here), it installs GRUB on the flash drive and then overwrites the MBR. I can still put other FILES on there, but I can't put another bootable set of tools on there.

    Then, there is something like YUMI which would create a multi-boot linux flash drive, which I already have. But I'd like to combine YUMI with Katana and a few other tools to all be consolidated onto a single flash drive.

    Is this task possible to accomplish? I'm hoping for a more specific response to my exact situation.

    Thanks,
    Opethfan89
    Laptop HP Pavillion dv7-3060US running Linux Mint 14 x64 (Cinnamon Desktop)

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Chicago Suburbs
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    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Multiple 'boot from flash drive' situations playing nice together?

    I do not know katana.

    Often the issue of booting a different install is first whether it can directly boot with grub2's loopmount and then which options are required. Usually inspection of ISO's boot for internal path and boot options is required and then some experimenting with grub boot stanza.

    Did you search thru the thread to see if someone had booted katana or tried google to find an example?
    If you know what katana is based on, then the boot stanza is usually the same or similar.

    I have trouble reading Katana's site, too dark for my eyes, but it looks like it is just another one of the scripts to install many installs and some apps.
    Last edited by oldfred; March 13th, 2013 at 03:55 PM.
    For info on UEFI boot install & repair:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to close thread when/if answered completely.







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