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#118179, Gentoo LiveUSB installation HOWTO

1 rane 1.1 <?xml version='1.0' encoding="UTF-8"?>
2     <!DOCTYPE guide SYSTEM "/dtd/guide.dtd">
3     <!-- $Header: $ -->
4    
5     <guide link="/doc/en/liveusb.xml">
6     <title>Gentoo Linux LiveUSB HOWTO</title>
7    
8     <author title="Author">
9     <mail link="brix@gentoo.org">Henrik Brix Andersen</mail>
10     </author>
11    
12     <abstract>
13     This HOWTO explains how to create a Gentoo Linux LiveUSB or, in other words,
14     how to emulate a Gentoo Linux Installation CD using an USB flash drive.
15     </abstract>
16    
17     <!-- The content of this document is licensed under the CC-BY-SA license -->
18     <!-- See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5 -->
19     <license/>
20    
21     <version>1.0</version>
22     <date>2006-01-04</date>
23    
24     <chapter>
25     <title>Introduction</title>
26     <section>
27     <title>The LiveUSB</title>
28     <body>
29    
30     <p>
31     This HOWTO explains how to create a <e>Gentoo Linux LiveUSB</e> or, in other
32     words, how to emulate a Gentoo Linux Installation CD using an USB flash drive.
33     This is particularly useful for installing Gentoo Linux on a modern laptop with
34     no CD-ROM drive.
35     </p>
36    
37     <p>
38     Although the instructions found in this document aims at emulating a Gentoo
39     Linux Installation CD using an USB flash drive, they should work for any
40     arbitrary block device as long as you adjust the device names accordingly.
41     </p>
42    
43     </body>
44     </section>
45     <section>
46     <title>Prerequisites</title>
47     <body>
48    
49     <p>
50     In order to use a Gentoo Linux LiveUSB you need the following:
51     </p>
52    
53     <ul>
54     <li>Bootable USB flash drive (at least 64MB)</li>
55     <li>x86 computer with support for booting from USB</li>
56     </ul>
57    
58     <p>
59     You will also need access to the following for creating the LiveUSB:
60     </p>
61    
62     <ul>
63     <li>
64     A computer running Gentoo Linux (or alternatively another Linux
65     distribution)
66     </li>
67     </ul>
68    
69     </body>
70     </section>
71     </chapter>
72     <chapter>
73     <title>Preparing the USB flash drive</title>
74     <section>
75     <title>Partitioning the drive</title>
76     <body>
77    
78     <warn>
79     These instructions will erase all data from the USB flash drive. Make sure to
80     backup your data first.
81     </warn>
82    
83     <impo>
84     This HOWTO assumes that the <path>/dev/sda</path> device node corresponds to
85     your USB flash drive. If you have other SCSI-like devices make sure to use the
86     correct device node.
87     </impo>
88    
89     <p>
90     Create a FAT32 partition on your USB flash drive and mark it bootable using
91     <c>fdisk</c>. An example partitioning scheme can be seen below:
92     </p>
93    
94     <pre caption="Example partitioning scheme">
95     # <i>fdisk -l /dev/sda</i>
96    
97     Disk /dev/sda: 1048 MB, 1048313856 bytes
98     33 heads, 61 sectors/track, 1017 cylinders
99     Units = cylinders of 2013 * 512 = 1030656 bytes
100    
101     Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
102     /dev/sda1 * 1 1017 1023580 b W95 FAT32
103     </pre>
104    
105     </body>
106     </section>
107     <section>
108     <title>Creating the filesystem</title>
109     <body>
110    
111     <p>
112     Create a FAT32 filesystem on the USB flash drive using <c>mkdosfs</c>:
113     </p>
114    
115     <pre caption="Running mkdosfs">
116     <comment>(Make sure you have sys-fs/dosfstools installed)</comment>
117     # <i>emerge -av sys-fs/dosfstools</i>
118     # <i>mkdosfs -F 32 /dev/sda1</i>
119     mkdosfs 2.11 (12 Mar 2005)
120     </pre>
121    
122     </body>
123     </section>
124     <section>
125     <title>Installing a Master Boot Record</title>
126     <body>
127    
128     <p>
129     Install the precompiled Master Boot Record (MBR) from <c>syslinux</c> on the
130     USB flash drive:
131     </p>
132    
133     <pre caption="Installing a master boot record">
134     <comment>(Make sure you have sys-boot/syslinux-3.00 or later installed)</comment>
135     # <i>emerge -av '>=sys-boot/syslinux-3*'</i>
136     # <i>dd if=/usr/lib/syslinux/mbr.bin of=/dev/sda</i>
137     0+1 records in
138     0+1 records out
139     </pre>
140    
141     </body>
142     </section>
143     </chapter>
144     <chapter>
145     <title>Copying the files</title>
146     <section>
147     <title>Mounting the Gentoo Linux Installation CD</title>
148     <body>
149    
150     <p>
151     Download the <path>install-x86-minimal-2005.1-r1.iso</path> file from your
152     local Gentoo Linux <uri link="/main/en/where.xml">mirror</uri> site and mount
153     the ISO image on <path>/mnt/cdrom/</path> as shown below:
154     </p>
155    
156     <pre caption="Mounting the Gentoo Linux Installation CD ISO image">
157     <comment>(Create the /mnt/cdrom/ mount point if needed)</comment>
158     # <i>mkdir -p /mnt/cdrom</i>
159     # <i>mount -o loop,ro -t iso9660 install-x86-minimal-2005.1-r1.iso /mnt/cdrom/</i>
160     </pre>
161    
162     </body>
163     </section>
164     <section>
165     <title>Mounting the LiveUSB</title>
166     <body>
167    
168     <p>
169     Mount the newly formatted USB flash drive on <path>/mnt/usb/</path> as shown
170     below:
171     </p>
172    
173     <pre caption="Mounting the USB flash drive">
174     <comment>(Create the /mnt/usb/ mount point if needed)</comment>
175     # <i>mkdir -p /mnt/usb</i>
176     # <i>mount -t vfat /dev/sda1 /mnt/usb/</i>
177     </pre>
178    
179     </body>
180     </section>
181     <section>
182     <title>Copying the files</title>
183     <body>
184    
185     <p>
186     Copy the files from the Gentoo Linux Installation CD to the LiveUSB. The files
187     needs to be reordered a bit as we will be using the <c>syslinux</c> bootloader
188     instead of <c>isolinux</c>:
189     </p>
190    
191     <pre caption="Copying the files">
192     # <i>cp -r /mnt/cdrom/* /mnt/usb/</i>
193     # <i>mv /mnt/usb/isolinux/* /mnt/usb/</i>
194     # <i>mv /mnt/usb/isolinux.cfg /mnt/usb/syslinux.cfg</i>
195     # <i>rm -rf /mnt/usb/isolinux*</i>
196    
197     <comment>(The memtest86 kernel needs to be renamed for loading it via syslinux)</comment>
198     # <i>mv /mnt/usb/memtest86 /mnt/usb/memtest</i>
199     </pre>
200    
201     <p>
202     You can now unmount the ISO image:
203     </p>
204    
205     <pre caption="Unmounting the ISO image">
206     # <i>umount /mnt/cdrom/</i>
207     </pre>
208    
209     </body>
210     </section>
211     <section>
212     <title>Adjusting the bootloader configuration</title>
213     <body>
214    
215     <p>
216     Adjust the syslinux configuration file using <c>sed</c> as shown below. The
217     <c>scandelay=10</c> parameter will introduce a 10 seconds delay before
218     attempting to mount the filesystem. This is needed to allow the USB flash drive
219     to settle upon detection.
220     </p>
221    
222     <pre caption="Adjusting the boot parameters">
223     # <i>sed -i \
224     -e "s:cdroot:cdroot scandelay=10:" \
225     -e "s:kernel memtest86:kernel memtest:" \
226     /mnt/usb/syslinux.cfg</i>
227     </pre>
228    
229     <note>
230     Consider adding <c>docache</c> to the boot parameters. This will allow running
231     <c>umount /mnt/cdrom/</c> after booting so that you can unplug the USB flash
232     drive.
233     </note>
234    
235     </body>
236     </section>
237     </chapter>
238     <chapter>
239     <title>Installing a bootloader</title>
240     <section>
241     <title>Unmounting the drive</title>
242     <body>
243    
244     <p>
245     Make sure you unmount the USB flash drive drive before installing the
246     bootloader:
247     </p>
248    
249     <pre caption="Unmounting the USB flash drive">
250     # <i>umount /mnt/usb/</i>
251     </pre>
252    
253     </body>
254     </section>
255     <section>
256     <title>Installing syslinux</title>
257     <body>
258    
259     <p>
260     Finally install the <c>syslinux</c> bootloader on the USB flash drive:
261     </p>
262    
263     <pre caption="Running syslinux">
264     # <i>syslinux /dev/sda1</i>
265     </pre>
266    
267     <impo>
268     You will need to rerun <c>syslinux /dev/sda1</c> each time you modify the
269     <path>syslinux.cfg</path> file for the configuration changes to take affect.
270     </impo>
271    
272     </body>
273     </section>
274     </chapter>
275     <chapter>
276     <title>Using the LiveUSB</title>
277     <section>
278     <title>Booting</title>
279     <body>
280    
281     <p>
282     Insert the USB flash drive and turn on the computer, making sure the BIOS is
283     set to boot from USB. If all goes well you should be presented with a standard
284     syslinux prompt.
285     </p>
286    
287     <p>
288     You should be able to follow the generic installation instructions found in the
289     <uri link="/doc/en/handbook/">Gentoo Handbook</uri> from here on.
290     </p>
291    
292     </body>
293     </section>
294     </chapter>
295     </guide>

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