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Thread: Howto make USB boot drives

  1. #941
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    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    mkusb version 12.4.6, 12.4.7

    mkusb 12.4.6
    - dus-persistent: grub-n-iso: 'tweak 4', menu_entry_1: 'maybe-ubiquity' to set language for persistent live in one menuentry, but removed from the standard menuentry for persistence
    - grub.cfg: menu entry with 'maybe-ubiquity' to set language for persistent live
    mkusb 12.4.7
    - dus-persistent: grub-n-iso and grub.cfg: to manage 'fsck.mode=skip' to check the live system integrity in persistent live menu entries

    The current version of mkusb-dus, 12.4.7, creates persistent live drives, that can help during iso-testing because you can skip testing the integrity of the drive, which can last for minutes in slow USB drives. So if you use the default 'persistent live' menu entry for Lubuntu with Calamares or the 'live-only to RAM' for the other Ubuntu flavours with Ubiquity it should work faster than with a standard live drive.



    Unstable 1: You get/update this new version of mkusb from the unstable PPA via the following commands

    Code:
    sudo add-apt-repository universe     # this line only for standard Ubuntu
    
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mkusb/unstable
    sudo apt update
    sudo apt install mkusb           # to install
    # sudo apt full-upgrade          # upgrade to current version (with all other upgrades), only for installed systems
    
    sudo apt install mkusb guidus dus mkusb-common  # to upgrade all mkusb basic components including dus
    
    sudo apt install usb-pack-efi    # for persistent live drives that work in UEFI and BIOS mode with 32-bit iso files
    You get only the version dus (alone or with guidus) via one of the following commands (if you don't care about mkusb-11, mkusb-nox, mkusb-bas)

    Code:
    sudo apt install dus
    sudo apt install guidus
    You get only the version mkusb-plug via [the update command and] the following command,

    Code:
    sudo apt update
    sudo apt install mkusb-plug
    Unstable 2: This new version of mkusb might also be available via this link: mkusb/gui#from_phillw.net.
    Unstable 3: There are tarballs with only dus and guidus (mkusb version 12) as a last alternative.



    Stable: mkusb version 12.4.5 is in the stable PPA. The policy is to test mkusb for a long time and in several environments before it is uploaded to the stable PPA (unless there are minor tweaks or bug-fixes).

    You get/update this version via the following commands

    Code:
    sudo add-apt-repository universe      # this line only for standard Ubuntu
    
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mkusb/ppa
    sudo apt update
    sudo apt install mkusb            # to install
    # sudo apt full-upgrade           # upgrade to current version (with all other upgrades), only for installed systems
    
    sudo apt install usb-pack-efi     # for persistent live drives that work in UEFI and BIOS mode with 32-bit iso files
    You get only the version dus (alone or with guidus) via one of the following commands (if you don't care about mkusb-11, mkusb-nox, mkusb-bas)

    Code:
    sudo apt install dus
    sudo apt install guidus
    You get only the version mkusb-plug via [the update command and] the following command,

    Code:
    sudo apt update
    sudo apt install mkusb-plug
    Usually there is drive space enough to install all the following mkusb packages explicitly:

    Code:
    sudo apt update
    sudo apt install mkusb guidus mkusb-plug usb-pack-efi

    Please notice that if you have already installed mkusb-plug or dus/guidus from a tarball, you had better remove that version when you install via PPA. The advantage with the PPA version is that it gets updated/upgraded automatically along with other program packages that are installed from the Ubuntu repositories.
    Last edited by sudodus; May 18th, 2020 at 10:35 AM. Reason: added 12.4.7

  2. #942
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    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    Add a menuentry for persistence into the default grub.cfg and txt.cfg in the iso file

    We can add a menuentry for persistence into the default configuration files for grub and syslinux in the iso files of the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS flavours. This would make it straightforward to get a persistent live system directly by cloning the iso file.

    You have probably already noticed that when you boot a USB drive cloned from an iso file of 20.04 LTS, a partition with the label writable will be created. In the default ‘live’ case it is used to store logs (and maybe dump files) in order to help debug problems during booting and installing.

    And if you add the boot option persistent the system will become a persistent live system, where you can install programs and save files in your standard directories (Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures …) and they will survive shutdown and reboot.

    So with an extra boot option in the default grub.cfg and txt.cfg files, the user will get the option to run the default cloned drive not only live-only but also persistent live. This can be achieved with mkusb now, but most end users will never install it, they will probably not even know about it. But the standard Ubuntu Startup Disk Creator is there for cloning.

    Demo example with Lubuntu

    The small configuration files (that are modified) and their md5sums as well as a compressed image file and its md5sum are uploaded at this link to a Google Drive directory.

    If you extract the compressed image file to a USB pendrive or memory card (or other drive), you will get a system that behaves pretty much like a Lubuntu 20.04 LTS system cloned from the iso file.

    Please notice that you need not create a partition for persistence. Lubuntu will do that automatically.

    Try it and get a feeling of how the Lubuntu live system will work, when the new boot options for persistence are there.

    Edit: You can use mkusb to extract directly to the target drive, Maybe you can also use Disks, gnome-disks, directly. You can use several tools to extract from compression to a file and after that clone to the drive.
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    Last edited by sudodus; May 4th, 2020 at 10:04 AM. Reason: added screenshots

  3. #943
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    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    How to add a menuentry for persistence into the default grub.cfg and txt.cfg on a read only ISO9660 partition?

    I have tried writing to the 20.04 Desktop ISO file without luck.

    I am not sure how you do it for mkusb.

    However "persistent" can it be added to boot by pressing F6 each time.

  4. #944
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    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    Quote Originally Posted by C.S.Cameron View Post
    How to add a menuentry for persistence into the default grub.cfg and txt.cfg on a read only ISO9660 partition?

    I have tried writing to the 20.04 Desktop ISO file without luck.

    I am not sure how you do it for mkusb.

    However "persistent" can it be added to boot by pressing F6 each time.
    I ask the developers of Lubuntu to do it (add a menuentry for persistence into the default grub.cfg and txt.cfg on a read only ISO9660 partition) If successful with them, maybe it will be possible to do something similar with standard Ubuntu desktop the other Ubuntu flavours.

    Otherwise I think mkusb will do for you. Maybe you want mkusb to do something else or add something. In that case please ask for it. Maybe I see a way to fix it.



    Anyway please download the compressed image file from this link and try it. You can extract and clone it to a USB drive with mkusb. The system you get in the USB drive mimics the way an improved Lubuntu iso file would work, when cloned. (But it is not exactly the same, obviously.)
    Last edited by sudodus; May 2nd, 2020 at 10:08 AM. Reason: minor edits

  5. #945
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    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    mkusb version 12.4.8 ... 12.5.5

    - mkusb 12.4.8: mkusb-plug
    .. mkusb-sedd:
    ... puer: relies on automatic creation of partition for persistence by Ubuntu (faster and more robust now)
    ... p_checkpoint: 'Are you sure?' added in text mode
    .. mkusb-tow:
    ... p_checkpoint: 'Are you sure?' added in text mode

    - mkusb 12.4.9: mkusb-plug: . mkusb-sedd: puer:
    . improved identification of version number

    - mkusb 12.5.0
    .. dus-persistent: grub-n-iso:
    ... 'grub-graph-prefix' to improve grub menu with the
    ... grub background file 'mkusb-grub-bg_800x600.png'

    - mkusb 12.5.1
    .. dus-persistent: probe_source: recognizing Sparky Linux as a Debian respin

    - mkusb 12.5.2
    .. manage two usb-pack-efi versions: added p_usb_pack_manage and p_usb_pack_toggle
    ... call p_usb_pack_manage from p_starter and p_setting
    ... dus-persistent: grub_n_iso: removed verbosity for extraction of usb-pack_efi
    ... usb-pack-efi: installs two tarballs: usb-pack_efi-0.tar.gz and sb-pack_efi-1.tar.gz

    - mkusb 12.5.3
    .. dus: p_usb_pack_manage and dus-persistent: separate usb-pack_efi files for grub 2.02 and grub 2.04
    ... usb-pack_efi-x.tar.gz --> usb-pack_efi-x.tar.xz
    ... and corresponding grub-x.img.xz for better compression plus several tweaks with logical statements

    - mkusb 12.5.4
    .. dus: p_usb_pack_toggle: changed default 0 --> 1
    .. grub.cfg: changed logic detecting rmmod tpm and bootmode and changed text colours
    .. grub-graph-prefix: changed text colours
    .. mkusb-grub-bg_800x600.png: background with 'water-mark'

    - mkusb 12.5.5
    .. dus-persistent: at tweak 3: setting search by UUID failed
    .. p_setting: new test for usb-pack-efi

    Automatic creation of a partition for persistence in mkusb 12.4.8 via mkusb-plug 2.7.0

    mkusb-plug version 2.7.0 is bundled with mkusb 12.4.8. It relies on automatic creation of a partition for persistence by Ubuntu which makes it faster and more robust. In other words, mkusb-plug only 'semi-clones' with sed to replace 12 characters: the boot option string 'quiet splash' with 'persistent' and two space characters. It no longer creates a partition for persistence for Ubuntu and the Ubuntu flavours. Instead it lets the live system do it the first time it is booted. (mkusb-plug is still creating a partition for persistence with Debian iso files.)

    Improved identification of version number in mkusb-plug is a bug-fix that you might never notice.

    dus-persistent makes nicer grub menus

    Nicer grub menu in mkusb 12.5.0

    In the grub menu the text size is controlled and there is a wallpaper in mkusb 12.5.0 . The menu looks the same in BIOS mode and UEFI mode. In high resolution screens the menu text was too small in UEFI mode, and it was difficult to read. Please notice that this feature works for Ubuntu and the Ubuntu family flavours with the default settings, but it does not work with usb-pack-efi. See the attached screenshot.

    Three new Linux distros can be made persistent live by mkusb 12.5.1

    1. After adding a test in mkusb 12.5.1 dus-persistent can recognize Sparky Linux 5.11 and treat it 'as Debian' in order to make persistence work. Sparky can be made persistent live both via mkusb-dus and via mkusb-plug and both in BIOS mode and UEFI mode (screenshot).

    2. Elementary 5.1-stable.20200501 was already recognized 'as Ubuntu' and persistence works. In both cases it defaults to usb-pack-efi.

    3. Endless 3.8 creates a persistent live system automatically when cloned to a USB drive, so it is straight-forward for mkusb-dus.

    Choice between an old and a new usb-pack_efi in mkusb 12.5.2

    The classic (old) usb-pack_efi is renamed to usb-pack_efi-0.tar.gz. It works well with most cases. It can boot 32-bit systems even in UEFI mode. But it cannot boot anything with secure boot because it lacks the necessary signature.

    The new usb-pack_efi usb-pack_efi-1.tar.gz works with new systems. It can boot a system in UEFI mode (if the system has the necessary signature). But it cannot boot 32-bit systems in UEFI mode.

    You can select which version to use by linking from either version to usb-pack_efi.tar.gz via the menu system of mkusb-dus. There is a menu entry in the starter menu. See the attached screenshot.

    Added separate files for grub 2.02 and grub 2.04 in mkusb 12.5.3

    Separate files for grub 2.02 and grub 2.04 were added alongside the original usb-pack-efi file and grub image file.
    Code:
    grub-0.img.xz
    grub-2.02.img.xz
    grub-2.04.img.xz
    usb-pack_efi-0.tar.xz
    usb-pack_efi-2.02.tar.xz
    usb-pack_efi-2.04.tar.xz
    There are several tweaks to help select the version of these files in a convenient way without increasing the user interaction (beyond that of the previous version mkusb 12.5.2). For example
    - improved help text in dus-persistent:
    The image file 'grub.img.xz' is not found.
    - Please install the package 'usb-pack-efi' -
    or if it is installed, select it in the settings menu.
    - Changed ownership to 'root' of files in usb-pack_efi-0.tar.xz

    Various tweaks in mkusb 12.5.4 and 12.5.5

    Various tweaks to make things better after some tests and feedback from users: The new version of usb-pack_efi is the default now, and the wallpaper is less intrusive, a grey colour to make it nice for the eyes and a watermark (instead of the colourful mkusb logo; compare the screenshots). Some logical statements in the grub.cfg templates are improved. There is also a new test for the existence of usb-pack-efi before starting dus-persistent (to create a persistent live drive).



    Unstable 1: You get/update this new version of mkusb from the unstable PPA via the following commands

    Code:
    sudo add-apt-repository universe     # this line only for standard Ubuntu
    
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mkusb/unstable
    sudo apt update
    sudo apt install mkusb           # to install
    # sudo apt full-upgrade          # upgrade to current version (with all other upgrades), only for installed systems
    
    sudo apt install mkusb guidus dus mkusb-common  # to upgrade all mkusb basic components including dus
    
    sudo apt install usb-pack-efi    # for persistent live drives that work in UEFI and BIOS mode with 32-bit iso files
    You get only the version dus (alone or with guidus) via one of the following commands (if you don't care about mkusb-11, mkusb-nox, mkusb-bas)

    Code:
    sudo apt install dus
    sudo apt install guidus
    You get only the version mkusb-plug via [the update command and] the following command,

    Code:
    sudo apt update
    sudo apt install mkusb-plug
    Unstable 2: This new version of mkusb might also be available via this link: mkusb/gui#from_phillw.net.
    Unstable 3: There are tarballs with only dus and guidus (mkusb version 12) as a last alternative.



    Stable: mkusb version 12.5.5 is in the stable PPA. The policy is to test mkusb for a long time and in several environments before it is uploaded to the stable PPA (unless there are minor tweaks or bug-fixes).

    You get/update this version via the following commands

    Code:
    sudo add-apt-repository universe      # this line only for standard Ubuntu
    
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mkusb/ppa
    sudo apt update
    sudo apt install mkusb            # to install
    # sudo apt full-upgrade           # upgrade to current version (with all other upgrades), only for installed systems
    
    sudo apt install usb-pack-efi     # for persistent live drives that work in UEFI and BIOS mode with 32-bit iso files
    You get only the version dus (alone or with guidus) via one of the following commands (if you don't care about mkusb-11, mkusb-nox, mkusb-bas)

    Code:
    sudo apt install dus
    sudo apt install guidus
    You get only the version mkusb-plug via [the update command and] the following command,

    Code:
    sudo apt update
    sudo apt install mkusb-plug
    Usually there is drive space enough to install all the following mkusb packages explicitly:

    Code:
    sudo apt update
    sudo apt install mkusb guidus mkusb-plug usb-pack-efi

    Please notice that if you have already installed mkusb-plug or dus/guidus from a tarball, you had better remove that version when you install via PPA. The advantage with the PPA version is that it gets updated/upgraded automatically along with other program packages that are installed from the Ubuntu repositories.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by sudodus; May 25th, 2020 at 03:52 PM. Reason: added versions 12.4.9 ... 12.5.5

  6. #946
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    Re: Howto make USB boot drives


  7. #947
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    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    After feedback from @C.S.Cameron I intend to copy mkusb version 12.5.5 to the stable PPA, ppa:mkusb/ppa

    Then I start thinking about the next thing to improve, and it will probably be to include usb-pack-efi as recommended and to remove some irritating pop up windows when running installed systems in UEFI mode.

    I am also considering porting the up to date tool to create Windows installer drives from mkusb-plug to mkusb-dus. This is particularly important now that woeusb does not install in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

  8. #948
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    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    mkusb version 12.5.6 - 12.5.7

    - mkusb 12.5.6
    .. dus: p_winsel: select method to make Windows installer, the
    ... old method or the new mkusb-tow imported from mkusb-plug
    .. mkusb-plug: mkusb-tow: wf_cleanup: added umount after partprobe to
    ... manage problems because of automount plus some cosmetics
    .. dus-persistent: Silently select grub.img and usb-pack-efi, when
    ... running in an installed system in UEFI mode
    .. modified debian/control file to tie packages closer together

    - mkusb 12.5.7
    .. dus-persistent: find_distr, chk4uefi:
    ... recognizing Sparky Linux as Debian respin when running
    .. p_chk_programs: using 'p_want_pck_s mkusb-tow ...'
    ... p_need_pck pv --> p_want_pck pv
    ... p_want_pck watch-flush
    .. dus-live & dus-persistent: using watch-flush via wf_prep & wf_cleanup
    .. debian/install files: mkusb-tow and watch-flush moved to mkusb-common
    - mkusb 12.5.7-1ubuntu2
    .. minor tweaks in dus-live & dus-persistent:
    .. made independent of pv, added 'faintvid' ANSI escape sequence
    - mkusb 12.5.7-1ubuntu3 (tweak of the debian package system)
    .. Package: mkusb-common:
    ... Replaces: mkusb (<< 12.5.7), dus (<< 12.5.7), mkusb-plug (<< 12.5.7)
    ... Breaks: mkusb (<< 12.5.7), dus (<< 12.5.7), mkusb-plug (<< 12.5.7)

    There are two improvements in version 12.5.6

    - New tool to make a Windows installer boot drive ported from mkusb-plug to mkusb-dus: mkusb-tow 'TO Windows' works well with most current Windows iso files, including those with a file, install.wim, that expands to more than 4 GiB. So two partitions are created, one with FAT32 to boot from and one with NTFS where the main content of the iso file is extracted. The old mkusb method, that works well in 32-bit systems (but not when install.wim exceeds 4 GiB) is still available.

    - When running in an installed system booted in UEFI mode mkusb-dus selects method silently for persistent live drives. This is made because it is nowadays common to run Ubuntu in this way, and we still want to make drives that boot both in UEFI mode and BIOS mode. Earlier there were warnings, that compressed files were extracted instead of running commands because the grub tool to create a BIOS bootloader (grub-pc) is not compatible with grub for UEFI (grub-efi).

    You may notice some improvements in version 12.5.7

    - Sparky Linux is recognized as a working host operating system by mkusb.

    - watch-flush is imported from mkusb-plug to mkusb-dus in order to show what is happening while the system i flushing the buffers (during writing to a USB drive or memory card).

    The programs watch-flush and mkusb-tow are moved from the mkusb-plug package to the mkusb-common package. This may cause a hiccup when upgrading from a previous version. You can fix it with the following commands

    Code:
    sudo apt update
    sudo apt -f install        # this is the crucial command line with -f, --fix-broken
    sudo apt install mkusb


    Unstable 1: You get/update this new version of mkusb from the unstable PPA via the following commands

    Code:
    sudo add-apt-repository universe     # this line only for standard Ubuntu
    
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mkusb/unstable
    sudo apt update
    sudo apt install mkusb           # to install
    # sudo apt full-upgrade          # upgrade to current version (with all other upgrades), only for installed systems
    
    sudo apt install mkusb guidus dus mkusb-common  # to upgrade all mkusb basic components including dus
    
    sudo apt install usb-pack-efi    # for persistent live drives that work in UEFI and BIOS mode with 32-bit iso files
    You get only the version dus (alone or with guidus) via one of the following commands (if you don't care about mkusb-11, mkusb-nox, mkusb-bas)

    Code:
    sudo apt install dus
    sudo apt install guidus
    You get only the version mkusb-plug via [the update command and] the following command,

    Code:
    sudo apt update
    sudo apt install mkusb-plug
    Alternative way to get mkusb: There are tarballs at

    - help.ubuntu.com/community/mkusb/gui/tarball with only dus and guidus (mkusb version 12),

    - help.ubuntu.com/community/mkusb/plug with only mkusb-plug.



    Stable: mkusb version 12.5.7 is in the stable PPA. The policy is to test mkusb for a long time and in several environments before it is uploaded to the stable PPA (unless there are minor tweaks or bug-fixes).

    You get/update this version via the following commands

    Code:
    sudo add-apt-repository universe      # this line only for standard Ubuntu
    
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mkusb/ppa
    sudo apt update
    sudo apt install mkusb            # to install
    # sudo apt full-upgrade           # upgrade to current version (with all other upgrades), only for installed systems
    
    sudo apt install usb-pack-efi     # for persistent live drives that work in UEFI and BIOS mode with 32-bit iso files
    You get only the version dus (alone or with guidus) via one of the following commands (if you don't care about mkusb-11, mkusb-nox, mkusb-bas)

    Code:
    sudo apt install dus
    sudo apt install guidus
    You get only the version mkusb-plug via [the update command and] the following command,

    Code:
    sudo apt update
    sudo apt install mkusb-plug
    Usually there is drive space enough to install all the following mkusb packages explicitly:

    Code:
    sudo apt update
    sudo apt install mkusb guidus mkusb-plug usb-pack-efi

    Please notice that if you have already installed mkusb-plug or dus/guidus from a tarball, you had better remove that version when you install via PPA. The advantage with the PPA version is that it gets updated/upgraded automatically along with other program packages that are installed from the Ubuntu repositories.
    Last edited by sudodus; June 8th, 2020 at 08:35 AM. Reason: 12.5.6 - 12.5.7; 12.5.7 in the stable ppa now

  9. #949
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    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    Thanks for these helpful thread and for the codes. I am trying this for last weeks. But I didn't get the result that I want. I used to save this codes in google docs. In the list of codes I have all the important codes which used to make a document and logo. I have a code for subscript and superscript in google docs and so many codes like that. In this thread, I have found so many codes that I can include in my list of imp codes. SO thank you so much.
    Last edited by chriswatson2; May 29th, 2020 at 01:15 PM.

  10. #950
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    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    Instructions to make a boot drive, that boots both in UEFI and BIOS mode

    Alongside testing mkusb version 12.5.7 from the unstable PPA, I suggest that you look at the following link,

    Do it yourself - with the isoboot alias grub-n-iso method

    help.ubuntu.com/community/Installation/iso2usb/isoboot

    where I describe a basic way to use a small compressed image file,
    Code:
    dd_grub-boot-template-for-uefi-n-bios.img.xz
    that I think will be convenient to use, both

    - to create a simple [persistent] live drive with the iso-boot alias grub and iso method, and

    - to create an installed system that can boot both in UEFI and BIOS mode according to C.S.Cameron's method, and

    - (maybe even) to create a multiboot USB pendrive.

    I think it is convenient to use this compressed image file (more convenient than to let mkusb create a persistent live drive, and then delete partitions in order to create the partitions for an installed system).

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