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1 rane 1.1 <?xml version='1.0' encoding="UTF-8"?>
2     <!DOCTYPE guide SYSTEM "/dtd/guide.dtd">
3 nightmorph 1.14 <!-- $Header: /var/cvsroot/gentoo/xml/htdocs/doc/en/liveusb.xml,v 1.13 2007/05/10 15:51:09 neysx Exp $ -->
4 rane 1.1
5     <guide link="/doc/en/liveusb.xml">
6     <title>Gentoo Linux LiveUSB HOWTO</title>
7    
8     <author title="Author">
9 nightmorph 1.8 <mail link="henrik@brixandersen.dk">Henrik Brix Andersen</mail>
10 rane 1.1 </author>
11 neysx 1.13 <author title="Editor">
12     <mail link="neysx@gentoo.org">Xavier Neys</mail>
13     </author>
14 rane 1.1
15     <abstract>
16     This HOWTO explains how to create a Gentoo Linux LiveUSB or, in other words,
17 neysx 1.13 how to emulate an x86 or AMD64 Gentoo Linux LiveCD using a USB flash drive.
18 rane 1.1 </abstract>
19    
20     <!-- The content of this document is licensed under the CC-BY-SA license -->
21     <!-- See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5 -->
22     <license/>
23    
24 nightmorph 1.14 <version>3</version>
25     <date>2008-07-28</date>
26 rane 1.1
27     <chapter>
28     <title>Introduction</title>
29     <section>
30     <title>The LiveUSB</title>
31     <body>
32    
33     <p>
34     This HOWTO explains how to create a <e>Gentoo Linux LiveUSB</e> or, in other
35 neysx 1.13 words, how to emulate an x86 or AMD64 Gentoo Linux LiveCD using a USB flash
36     drive. This is particularly useful for installing Gentoo Linux on a modern
37     laptop with no CD-ROM drive.
38 rane 1.1 </p>
39    
40     <p>
41 vanquirius 1.4 Although the instructions found in this document aim at emulating a Gentoo
42 neysx 1.13 Linux LiveCD using a USB flash drive, they should work for any arbitrary block
43     device as long as you adjust the device names accordingly.
44 rane 1.1 </p>
45    
46     </body>
47     </section>
48     <section>
49     <title>Prerequisites</title>
50     <body>
51    
52     <p>
53     In order to use a Gentoo Linux LiveUSB you need the following:
54     </p>
55    
56     <ul>
57 neysx 1.13 <li>Bootable USB flash drive with at least 1GB</li>
58     <li>i686 or x86_64 computer with support for booting from USB</li>
59 rane 1.1 </ul>
60    
61     <p>
62     You will also need access to the following for creating the LiveUSB:
63     </p>
64    
65     <ul>
66     <li>
67     A computer running Gentoo Linux (or alternatively another Linux
68     distribution)
69     </li>
70     </ul>
71    
72 neysx 1.13 <note>
73     If you want to use the minimal CD on a smaller key or boot a &lt;i686 system,
74     you need to follow the procedure described in this document with a
75     <b>2006.0</b> minimal CD image because of a <uri
76     link="http://bugs.gentoo.org/show_bug.cgi?id=173117">bug</uri> in more recent
77     releases.
78     </note>
79    
80 rane 1.1 </body>
81     </section>
82     </chapter>
83     <chapter>
84     <title>Preparing the USB flash drive</title>
85     <section>
86     <title>Partitioning the drive</title>
87     <body>
88    
89     <warn>
90     These instructions will erase all data from the USB flash drive. Make sure to
91     backup your data first.
92     </warn>
93    
94     <impo>
95 neysx 1.13 This HOWTO assumes that the <path>/dev/sdc</path> device node corresponds to
96 rane 1.1 your USB flash drive. If you have other SCSI-like devices make sure to use the
97     correct device node.
98     </impo>
99    
100     <p>
101 neysx 1.13 Create a FAT16 partition on your USB flash drive and mark it bootable using
102 rane 1.1 <c>fdisk</c>. An example partitioning scheme can be seen below:
103     </p>
104    
105 neysx 1.13 <note>
106     If your key is 4GB or larger, use partition type <c>b</c> (W95 FAT32).
107     </note>
108    
109 rane 1.1 <pre caption="Example partitioning scheme">
110 neysx 1.13 # <i>fdisk -l /dev/sdc</i>
111 rane 1.1
112 neysx 1.13 Disk /dev/sdc: 2063 MB, 2063597056 bytes
113     255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 250 cylinders
114     Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
115 rane 1.1
116     Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
117 neysx 1.13 /dev/sdc1 * 1 250 2008124+ 6 FAT16
118 rane 1.1 </pre>
119    
120     </body>
121     </section>
122     <section>
123     <title>Creating the filesystem</title>
124     <body>
125    
126     <p>
127 neysx 1.13 Create a FAT16 filesystem on the USB flash drive using <c>mkdosfs</c>:
128 rane 1.1 </p>
129    
130 neysx 1.13 <note>
131     If your key is 4GB or larger, use <c>-F 32</c> to create a FAT32 filesystem.
132     </note>
133    
134 rane 1.1 <pre caption="Running mkdosfs">
135     <comment>(Make sure you have sys-fs/dosfstools installed)</comment>
136     # <i>emerge -av sys-fs/dosfstools</i>
137 neysx 1.13 # <i>mkdosfs -F 16 /dev/sdc1</i>
138 rane 1.1 mkdosfs 2.11 (12 Mar 2005)
139     </pre>
140    
141     </body>
142     </section>
143     <section>
144     <title>Installing a Master Boot Record</title>
145     <body>
146    
147     <p>
148     Install the precompiled Master Boot Record (MBR) from <c>syslinux</c> on the
149     USB flash drive:
150     </p>
151    
152     <pre caption="Installing a master boot record">
153     <comment>(Make sure you have sys-boot/syslinux-3.00 or later installed)</comment>
154 nightmorph 1.12 # <i>emerge -av '>sys-boot/syslinux-3'</i>
155 nightmorph 1.14 # <i>dd if=/usr/share/syslinux/mbr.bin of=/dev/sdc</i>
156 rane 1.1 0+1 records in
157     0+1 records out
158 neysx 1.13 304 bytes (304 B) copied, 0.0162317 s, 18.7 kB/s
159 rane 1.1 </pre>
160    
161     </body>
162     </section>
163     </chapter>
164 neysx 1.13
165 rane 1.1 <chapter>
166 neysx 1.13 <title>Copying the files to your key</title>
167 rane 1.1 <section>
168     <title>Mounting the Gentoo Linux Installation CD</title>
169     <body>
170    
171     <p>
172 neysx 1.13 Download either <path>livecd-i686-installer-2007.0.iso</path> or
173     <path>livecd-amd64-installer-2007.0.iso</path> from your local Gentoo Linux
174     <uri link="/main/en/where.xml">mirror</uri> site and mount the ISO image on
175     <path>/mnt/cdrom</path> as shown below:
176 rane 1.1 </p>
177    
178     <pre caption="Mounting the Gentoo Linux Installation CD ISO image">
179 neysx 1.13 <comment>(Create the /mnt/cdrom mount point if needed)</comment>
180 rane 1.1 # <i>mkdir -p /mnt/cdrom</i>
181 neysx 1.13 # <i>mount -o loop,ro -t iso9660 livecd-i686-installer-2007.0.iso /mnt/cdrom</i>
182 rane 1.1 </pre>
183    
184 neysx 1.7 <note>
185     If you receive a <e>Could not find any loop device</e> error message when
186     mounting the iso, you need to enable the <c>Loopback device support</c> option
187     in your kernel configuration.
188     </note>
189    
190 rane 1.1 </body>
191     </section>
192     <section>
193     <title>Mounting the LiveUSB</title>
194     <body>
195    
196     <p>
197 neysx 1.13 Mount the newly formatted USB flash drive on <path>/mnt/usb</path> as shown
198 rane 1.1 below:
199     </p>
200    
201     <pre caption="Mounting the USB flash drive">
202 neysx 1.13 <comment>(Create the /mnt/usb mount point if needed)</comment>
203 rane 1.1 # <i>mkdir -p /mnt/usb</i>
204 neysx 1.13 # <i>mount -t vfat /dev/sdc1 /mnt/usb</i>
205 rane 1.1 </pre>
206    
207     </body>
208     </section>
209     <section>
210     <title>Copying the files</title>
211     <body>
212    
213     <p>
214     Copy the files from the Gentoo Linux Installation CD to the LiveUSB. The files
215 rane 1.3 need to be reordered a bit as we will be using the <c>syslinux</c> bootloader
216 rane 1.1 instead of <c>isolinux</c>:
217     </p>
218    
219     <pre caption="Copying the files">
220 neysx 1.13 # <i>cp -r /mnt/cdrom/* /mnt/usb</i>
221     # <i>mv /mnt/usb/isolinux/* /mnt/usb</i>
222 rane 1.1 # <i>mv /mnt/usb/isolinux.cfg /mnt/usb/syslinux.cfg</i>
223     # <i>rm -rf /mnt/usb/isolinux*</i>
224    
225     <comment>(The memtest86 kernel needs to be renamed for loading it via syslinux)</comment>
226     # <i>mv /mnt/usb/memtest86 /mnt/usb/memtest</i>
227     </pre>
228    
229     <p>
230     You can now unmount the ISO image:
231     </p>
232    
233     <pre caption="Unmounting the ISO image">
234 neysx 1.13 # <i>umount /mnt/cdrom</i>
235 rane 1.1 </pre>
236    
237     </body>
238     </section>
239     <section>
240     <title>Adjusting the bootloader configuration</title>
241     <body>
242    
243     <p>
244     Adjust the syslinux configuration file using <c>sed</c> as shown below. The
245 neysx 1.13 <c>slowusb</c> parameter will introduce some extra delays before attempting to
246     mount the filesystem. This is needed to allow the USB flash drive to settle
247     upon detection.
248 rane 1.1 </p>
249    
250     <pre caption="Adjusting the boot parameters">
251     # <i>sed -i \
252 neysx 1.13 -e "s:cdroot:cdroot slowusb:" \
253 rane 1.1 -e "s:kernel memtest86:kernel memtest:" \
254     /mnt/usb/syslinux.cfg</i>
255     </pre>
256    
257     </body>
258     </section>
259     </chapter>
260 neysx 1.13
261 rane 1.1 <chapter>
262     <title>Installing a bootloader</title>
263     <section>
264     <title>Unmounting the drive</title>
265     <body>
266    
267     <p>
268 rane 1.2 Make sure you unmount the USB flash drive before installing the bootloader:
269 rane 1.1 </p>
270    
271     <pre caption="Unmounting the USB flash drive">
272 neysx 1.13 # <i>umount /mnt/usb</i>
273 rane 1.1 </pre>
274    
275     </body>
276     </section>
277     <section>
278     <title>Installing syslinux</title>
279     <body>
280    
281     <p>
282     Finally install the <c>syslinux</c> bootloader on the USB flash drive:
283     </p>
284    
285     <pre caption="Running syslinux">
286 neysx 1.13 # <i>syslinux /dev/sdc1</i>
287 rane 1.1 </pre>
288    
289     <impo>
290 neysx 1.13 You will need to rerun <c>syslinux /dev/sdc1</c> each time you modify the
291 rane 1.1 <path>syslinux.cfg</path> file for the configuration changes to take affect.
292     </impo>
293    
294     </body>
295     </section>
296     </chapter>
297     <chapter>
298     <title>Using the LiveUSB</title>
299     <section>
300     <title>Booting</title>
301     <body>
302    
303     <p>
304     Insert the USB flash drive and turn on the computer, making sure the BIOS is
305     set to boot from USB. If all goes well you should be presented with a standard
306     syslinux prompt.
307     </p>
308    
309     <p>
310     You should be able to follow the generic installation instructions found in the
311     <uri link="/doc/en/handbook/">Gentoo Handbook</uri> from here on.
312     </p>
313    
314     </body>
315     </section>
316     </chapter>
317     </guide>

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