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Thread: Howto make USB boot drives

  1. #1091
    Join Date
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    3,394
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    Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa

    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    First thing tomorrow

  2. #1092
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
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    melbourne, au
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    1,161
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    Lubuntu Development Release

    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    @sudodus

    I wrote an RC of Debian bullseye (amd64; lxqt with non-free) to thumb-drive using persistence (i forget the settings; msdos, then accepting what it offered I think for all).

    Code:
    lsblk -o MODEL,NAME,FSTYPE,LABEL,MOUNTPOINT,SIZE "/dev/sdb"
    MODEL        NAME   FSTYPE  LABEL                          MOUNTPOINT  SIZE
    Cruzer_Facet sdb                                                       7.5G
                 |-sdb1 ntfs    usbdata                                    2.1G
                 |-sdb2                                                      1K
                 |-sdb3 vfat    usbboot                                    244M
                 |-sdb4 iso9660 d-live nf blsy-DI-rc2 lx amd64               3G
                 `-sdb5 ext4    persistence                                2.1G
    It was booted on
    Code:
    - hp dc7700 (c2d-e6320, 5gb, nvidia quadro nvs 290)
    monitor setup changed to reflect my box; sudo apt update; sudo apt full-upgrade; install neofetch, aptitude, cowsay, figlet (stuff that makes me feel at home; I'm weird).

    system rebooted & subsequent boot everything is exactly as expected.

    Next boot is on
    Code:
    - hp 8200 elite sff (i5-2400, 8gb, nvidia quadro 600)
    and the only thing mixed up is the monitor configuration; but that is something I expect as the box have different video card & though this & prior box share the same monitors, they aren't the same cards and I have no issues changing that around when I use different boxes (I've come to expect it).

    Next boot was on
    Code:
    - dell [optiplex] 755 (c2d-e6850, 5gb, amd/ati radeon rv516/x1300/x1550)
    and system was perfect.

    My plan was to boot it on other boxes; but I'm too tired now.

    Most of my [pre-release] bullseye testing was i386 and not amd64, so this RC won't be the latest (and thus different to the released ISO), the number of updates subsequently were ~not minor - yet subsequent boots had `neofetch` & all attempts to `sudo apt update; sudo apt full-upgrade` resulted in no updates.

    To me this was a perfect test.

    I can test i386 if helpful, or explore this further (as I'd intended, but I'm too tired now and won't remember this tomorrow so writing up what I did)

    ISO was written with

    Code:
    guiverc@d960-ubu2:/de2900/debian/amd64$   apt-cache policy mkusb
    mkusb:
      Installed: 12.7.1-1ubuntu1
      Candidate: 12.7.1-1ubuntu1
      Version table:
     *** 12.7.1-1ubuntu1 500
            500 http://ppa.launchpad.net/mkusb/unstable/ubuntu impish/main amd64 Packages
            500 http://ppa.launchpad.net/mkusb/unstable/ubuntu impish/main i386 Packages

  3. #1093
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    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    Thanks for this test @guiverc

  4. #1094
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa

    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    Using mkusb 12.7.0, I have come across some unusual behaviour.

    I tested this with ubuntu-20.04-desktop-amd64.iso.
    After the usb device was created and then booting in UEFI mode:-

    USB with persistence - UEFI Firmware Setup menu item is missing in Grub
    USB without persistence - UEFI Firmware Settings is available in Grub

    This behaviour also occurs with the Windows application Rufus 3.15

    More information in posts 93 and 94 here https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread....465291&page=10

  5. #1095
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    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    @tea for one,

    Thanks for the feedback

    The option to enter the firmware is there in a live-only USB drive (without persistence) because mkusb clones the iso file, and it is there (in the grub.cfg file from the iso file).

    This means that it will also be there is a persistent live drive made by mkusb-plug because it it almost cloning, using sed and replacing
    Code:
    'quiet splash' with 'persistent  '
    In previous versions of Ubuntu mkusb-dus could tweak the grub.cfg from the iso file and make it work, but after some modifications of the boot structure in 20.04 LTS, it is no longer possible, so mkusb must use usb-pack-efi, and there is no call to get into the UEFI/BIOS menus there. It should be possible for me to add that feature. I will think about it ...
    Last edited by sudodus; August 29th, 2021 at 04:19 PM. Reason: fixed typo:quite --> quiet

  6. #1096
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    2,055
    Distro
    Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa

    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    @sudodus

    I've been successfully using mkusb for a few years now.
    Today was the first time using mkusb-plug.

    The usb drive was created without difficulty and persistence was added during the first boot of the live session.
    UEFI Firmware Settings was present in the Grub menu (exactly as you mentioned)

    Thank you for your advice

    Cheers

  7. #1097
    Join Date
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    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    Persistent live server

    mkusb can clone most Linux iso files but can make persistent live drives only for Ubuntu Desktop, the community flavours (Kubuntu, Lubuntu ... Xubuntu), Debian live and some respins (distros based on Ubuntu and Debian, where the boot structure is not changed too much).

    mkusb cannot make persistent live drives from Ubuntu Server iso files. But you can use the following command line for Ubuntu Live Server 20.04.3 LTS,

    Code:
    sed -e 's# append   initrd=/casper/initrd quiet  ---#append initrd=/casper/initrd persistent --#' -e 's#\tlinux\t/casper/vmlinuz   quiet  ---#linux\t/casper/vmlinuz persistent --#' ubuntu-20.04.3-live-server-amd64.iso > persistent-ubuntu-20.04.3-live-server-amd64.iso
    Copy and paste it into a terminal window. It is very important that you get it exactly correct. Otherwise it will fail. Explanation: Editing the iso file can be done within very strict limits. The total size must be preserved and only text strings should be modified. So I replace quiet and some whitespace and one hyphen with persistent both for booting via syslinux in BIOS mode and via grub in UEFI mode.

    Now you can clone the modified iso file with a cloning tool, for example mkusb-dus or mkusb-plug, for example

    Code:
    dus persistent-ubuntu-20.04.3-live-server-amd64.iso
    The result will be a persistent live drive, that works both in BIOS mode and UEFI mode.



    To make the persistence useful you can switch to a virtual text screen with ctrl+alt+F3 (or ctrl+alt+F4 ... and back to the menu with ctrl+alt+F1).

  8. #1098
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    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    Today (2021-10-16) I tested that mkusb can create working installer drives from a Windows 11 iso file

    Code:
    $ dus Windows11_InsiderPreview_Client_x64_en-us__22000.iso 
     dus 12.7.1 
    live system or temporary superuser permissions
    Drive that contains source file: /dev/sdb
    Live drive, that is booted from: /dev/sda
    Drive with a partition in fstab: /dev/nvme0n1
    cands=1
    sdc
    Corsair_Voyager_GT_3.0
    29,5G
    usb
    USB or memory card
    p_target: target=/dev/sdc
    target drive size = 32 GB
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    live system or temporary superuser permissions
        mkusb-tow: Make Windows installer 
      source file: 'Windows11_InsiderPreview_Client_x64_en-us__22000.iso'
    target device: '/dev/sdc'
    
    MODEL            NAME FSTYPE LABEL  SIZE
    Voyager GT 3.0   sdc               29,5G
    umount: /dev/sdc: inte monterad.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    extracting the partition table with grub ...
    size to extract (bytes) = 7742685184
    7,21GiB 0:00:57 [ 128MiB/s] [================================================================================================================>] 100%            
    ----- cleanup after writing ------------------------------------------
    28375 pts/2    00:00:00 watch-flush
    /usr/sbin/mkusb-tow: rad 164: 28375 Avslutad                ( watch-flush "$size" "$tailfile" > /dev/null )
    umount: /dev/sdc: inte monterad.
    umount: /dev/sdc1: inte monterad.
    umount: /dev/sdc2: inte monterad.
    mount source file ...
    mount: /tmp/tmp.RDf9u87oj9: VARNING: enhet skrivskyddad, monterad som endast läsbar.
    mount target partition 1 ...
    mount target partition 2 ...
    iso file size (bytes) = 5497985024
    extracting to FAT partition ...
         44,728,320 100%  146.08MB/s    0:00:00 (xfr#88, to-chk=0/104) 
        439,895,652 100%  166.53MB/s    0:00:02 (xfr#1, to-chk=0/1)
    extracting to NTFS partition ...
      5,492,260,661 100%   96.67MB/s    0:00:54 (xfr#944, to-chk=0/1034)  
    ----- cleanup after writing ------------------------------------------
    28919 pts/2    00:00:00 watch-flush
    /usr/sbin/mkusb-tow: rad 164: 28919 Avslutad                ( watch-flush "$size" "$tailfile" > /dev/null )
    umount: /dev/sdc: inte monterad.
    umount: /dev/sdc1: inte monterad.
    umount: /dev/sdc2: inte monterad.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    NAME MODEL            FSTYPE LABEL       MOUNTPOINT  SIZE NAME
    sdc  Voyager GT 3.0                                 29,5G sdc
    sdc1                  vfat   WININSTFAT              768M sdc1
    sdc2                  ntfs   WinInstNtfs             6,5G sdc2
     Done :-) 
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    clean if necessary and return
    clean if necessary and return
    $

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