Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 21

Thread: easy2boot - How to easily boot multiple ISOs from a single USB drive

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Beans
    7

    Exclamation easy2boot - How to easily boot multiple ISOs from a single USB drive

    I have already posted this exact tutorial on linuxmusicians.com but I realise its useful to ALL x86/x64 users, Linux-using musician or not. I thought I'd reproduce it here to get it the attention I feel this info deserves.

    unetbootin only allows you to boot one ISO per USB drive - easy2boot lets you boot as many ISOs as you can store on your drive and adding new ISOs is as simple as copying them into the correct folder so its platform neutral in that respect, not requiring you to run an updater as you do with say YUMI, which is Windows only. I have tried other Linux-friendly apps (multisystem etc) that have claimed to do this but none of them worked properly. Every ISO I have tested with E2B has worked 100% and I have tried at least a dozen distros, diagnostic and recovery ISOs with it now.

    Here's a quickstart guide to setting up easy2boot on your USB drive, based upon instructions from http://en.positon.org/tag/Easy2Boot

    Your easy2boot drive can be formatted as FAT32, NTFS or ext2. FAT32 is compatible with more computers and operating systems but has a 4GB max file size limit, which is too small for some DVD images although very few Linux distributions exceed 4GB. If you use ext2, you will not be able to install Windows OS's from your e2b drive. NTFS does not have a 4GB file size limit like FAT32 but you can't read/write NTFS on as wide array of platforms as FAT and in addition I've experienced difficulties booting ISOs from an NTFS formatted drive that was created under Linux due to non-contigious files that can't be defragged under Linux. Hence, FAT32/vfat is the recommended filesystem for e2b drives. You can use gparted to graphically format drives or you can use a command like:

    Code:
    sudo mkfs.vfat -n easy2boot -F 32 /dev/sdx1
    to format a drive as FAT32. Replace sdx1 with the device to be formatted.

    Download Easy2Boot ( http://www.easy2boot.com/download/ ) and extract all the files in the zip to the root directory of your e2b drive.

    Download grub4dos ( https://code.google.com/p/grub4dos-c...downloads/list ) and extract the archive on your PC (not on the usb stick). Its author seems to release a stable and a testing version but I'm unclear on their versioning and release scheme at present. For its current batch of releases, grub4dos-0.4.5c-2013-07-24.7z works fine with my Samsung R700 but grub4dos-0.4.6a-2013-07-24.7z does not so try an older or newer G4D version if you get an error like 'This is not a bootable device' when you try booting off a E2B/G4D enabled drive.

    To install grub4dos on your USB drive, run this from within the grub4dos dir:

    Code:
    sudo ./bootlace.com --time-out=0 /dev/sdx
    to install grub4dos to the MBR of the specified device but make sure you use the right device! `df` and `fdisk -l` are your friends here.

    Finally, copy some ISOs to the _ISO/MAINMENU directory then reboot! Make sure your machine is set to boot off USB storage first - many devices let you enter the boot menu by pushing F11 or F12 when they are booting BIOS/UEFI.



    NB easy2boot requires the iso's be stored as contiguous files on your USB drive. When you start deleting iso's then copying new ones on, the files can become fragmented sometimes and refuse to boot. I found this tool to defrag drives under Linux. Maybe there's a better one? Its a perl script that must be run as root but seems to do the trick:

    http://defragfs.sourceforge.net/

    After downloading and un-gzipping the defragfs script, you'd run it with a command something like this:

    Code:
    sudo perl defragfs.pl /media/dan/easy2boot/ -f
    You need to change /media/dan/easy2boot to the path of the drive you want to defrag and defrag.pl to the name of the defragfs script.

    Apparently defragfs is only intended for use with ext filesystems but in my experience it also works fine for FAT32/vfat drives. It does not work wth NTFS partitions.
    Last edited by allcoms; April 10th, 2014 at 01:10 PM. Reason: Updated e2b download link, added notes on defragfs vs FAT32 and NTFS

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Out in Left Field
    Beans
    923
    Distro
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: easy2boot - How to easily boot multiple ISOs from a single USB drive

    I also discovered Easy2Boot recently and am quite pleased with it. So far though I have only been able to get noncontiguous files sorted by putting my USB in my Win 7 machine and running RMPrepUSB. I tried your instructions dropping the extracted defragfs file in my home directory. Issuing the command you wrote "sudo perl defragfs.pl " resulted in not found in terminal
    MB: Asrock Extreme4-M CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-3770K CPU @ 3.50GHz Memory: Corsair Low Profile Vengeance 16.00 GB. GC On CPU HD4000 Platform: x86_64 Distribution:Ubuntu 14.04TrustyTahr with Cinnamon DE Boot: EFI File System:EXT4

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Canada
    Beans
    2,023
    Distro
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: easy2boot - How to easily boot multiple ISOs from a single USB drive

    I will follow this thread and try it when I get a few hours to play.
    UsingTheTerminal and PopularPages

    Smile today, cry tomorrow!
    ( Read this everyday )

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Out in Left Field
    Beans
    923
    Distro
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: easy2boot - How to easily boot multiple ISOs from a single USB drive

    Thanks sammiev

    If I try the code on a folder in my Home dir this is what I get

    Code:
    david@MainSqueeze:~$ sudo perl defragfs.pl /home/david/Dropbox/ -f
    [sudo] password for david: 
    Can't open perl script "defragfs.pl": No such file or directory
    david@MainSqueeze:~$
    Drop box was just a test folder
    Last edited by SuperFreak; November 8th, 2013 at 04:50 AM.
    MB: Asrock Extreme4-M CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-3770K CPU @ 3.50GHz Memory: Corsair Low Profile Vengeance 16.00 GB. GC On CPU HD4000 Platform: x86_64 Distribution:Ubuntu 14.04TrustyTahr with Cinnamon DE Boot: EFI File System:EXT4

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Out in Left Field
    Beans
    923
    Distro
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: easy2boot - How to easily boot multiple ISOs from a single USB drive

    I didn't realize that it was necessary to append the defragfs with .pl to make this work . Once I changed the file defragfs to defragfs.pl defragging worked. Down to my inexperience with commands I guess


    Edit: Emailed the author of defragfs, J.Robson. It is only intended for Linux file systems (EXT2,3,4) not FAT32 or NTFS. This explains why it works on my PC files which are EXT4 but not the USB key which is FAT32
    Last edited by SuperFreak; November 8th, 2013 at 07:58 PM.
    MB: Asrock Extreme4-M CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-3770K CPU @ 3.50GHz Memory: Corsair Low Profile Vengeance 16.00 GB. GC On CPU HD4000 Platform: x86_64 Distribution:Ubuntu 14.04TrustyTahr with Cinnamon DE Boot: EFI File System:EXT4

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Canada
    Beans
    2,023
    Distro
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: easy2boot - How to easily boot multiple ISOs from a single USB drive

    Good to know before I jump in. thanks
    UsingTheTerminal and PopularPages

    Smile today, cry tomorrow!
    ( Read this everyday )

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Beans
    7

    Re: easy2boot - How to easily boot multiple ISOs from a single USB drive

    Updated guide to fix e2b download link to point to its new web site, removed NTFS formatting command (FAT32 is recommended for Linux users at least) and added notes on defragfs vs FAT32 and NTFS.

    Superfreak:

    Contrary to what the defragfs author says, I know through having successfully used defragfs on FAT32 drives many times that it does work on such drives. However, It DOES NOT work with NTFS. I've had no real success with e2b and NTFS drives created under Linux. You get to the menu but ISOs don't boot as they're non-contigious.

    I also highlighted that 'defragfs.pl' needs to be changed to the name of your defragfs script.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Out in Left Field
    Beans
    923
    Distro
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: easy2boot - How to easily boot multiple ISOs from a single USB drive

    Thanks for the updated guide(GUIDE). I will try rebuilding my E2B USB and use FAT32 format. I had some misconception that I might be using files bigger thasn 4 GB which wouldn't work on FAT32.
    Last edited by SuperFreak; April 12th, 2014 at 09:24 PM.
    MB: Asrock Extreme4-M CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-3770K CPU @ 3.50GHz Memory: Corsair Low Profile Vengeance 16.00 GB. GC On CPU HD4000 Platform: x86_64 Distribution:Ubuntu 14.04TrustyTahr with Cinnamon DE Boot: EFI File System:EXT4

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Canada
    Beans
    2,023
    Distro
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: easy2boot - How to easily boot multiple ISOs from a single USB drive

    I read up on the new links and tried it and a few older versions with no luck. I just get a Grub Rescue prompt on boot. It sounds and reads so simple but just no joy. Even tried a few different USBs.
    UsingTheTerminal and PopularPages

    Smile today, cry tomorrow!
    ( Read this everyday )

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Out in Left Field
    Beans
    923
    Distro
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: easy2boot - How to easily boot multiple ISOs from a single USB drive

    repeat post
    Last edited by SuperFreak; April 13th, 2014 at 06:54 PM.
    MB: Asrock Extreme4-M CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-3770K CPU @ 3.50GHz Memory: Corsair Low Profile Vengeance 16.00 GB. GC On CPU HD4000 Platform: x86_64 Distribution:Ubuntu 14.04TrustyTahr with Cinnamon DE Boot: EFI File System:EXT4

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •