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1 <?xml version='1.0' encoding="UTF-8"?>
2 <!DOCTYPE guide SYSTEM "/dtd/guide.dtd">
3 <!-- $Header: /var/cvsroot/gentoo/xml/htdocs/doc/en/liveusb.xml,v 1.12 2006/12/22 07:33:38 nightmorph Exp $ -->
4
5 <guide link="/doc/en/liveusb.xml">
6 <title>Gentoo Linux LiveUSB HOWTO</title>
7
8 <author title="Author">
9 <mail link="henrik@brixandersen.dk">Henrik Brix Andersen</mail>
10 </author>
11 <author title="Editor">
12 <mail link="neysx@gentoo.org">Xavier Neys</mail>
13 </author>
14
15 <abstract>
16 This HOWTO explains how to create a Gentoo Linux LiveUSB or, in other words,
17 how to emulate an x86 or AMD64 Gentoo Linux LiveCD using a USB flash drive.
18 </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 <version>2</version>
25 <date>2007-05-10</date>
26
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 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 </p>
39
40 <p>
41 Although the instructions found in this document aim at emulating a Gentoo
42 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 </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 <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 </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 <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 </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 This HOWTO assumes that the <path>/dev/sdc</path> device node corresponds to
96 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 Create a FAT16 partition on your USB flash drive and mark it bootable using
102 <c>fdisk</c>. An example partitioning scheme can be seen below:
103 </p>
104
105 <note>
106 If your key is 4GB or larger, use partition type <c>b</c> (W95 FAT32).
107 </note>
108
109 <pre caption="Example partitioning scheme">
110 # <i>fdisk -l /dev/sdc</i>
111
112 Disk /dev/sdc: 2063 MB, 2063597056 bytes
113 255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 250 cylinders
114 Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
115
116 Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
117 /dev/sdc1 * 1 250 2008124+ 6 FAT16
118 </pre>
119
120 </body>
121 </section>
122 <section>
123 <title>Creating the filesystem</title>
124 <body>
125
126 <p>
127 Create a FAT16 filesystem on the USB flash drive using <c>mkdosfs</c>:
128 </p>
129
130 <note>
131 If your key is 4GB or larger, use <c>-F 32</c> to create a FAT32 filesystem.
132 </note>
133
134 <pre caption="Running mkdosfs">
135 <comment>(Make sure you have sys-fs/dosfstools installed)</comment>
136 # <i>emerge -av sys-fs/dosfstools</i>
137 # <i>mkdosfs -F 16 /dev/sdc1</i>
138 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 # <i>emerge -av '>sys-boot/syslinux-3'</i>
155 # <i>dd if=/usr/lib/syslinux/mbr.bin of=/dev/sdc</i>
156 0+1 records in
157 0+1 records out
158 304 bytes (304 B) copied, 0.0162317 s, 18.7 kB/s
159 </pre>
160
161 </body>
162 </section>
163 </chapter>
164
165 <chapter>
166 <title>Copying the files to your key</title>
167 <section>
168 <title>Mounting the Gentoo Linux Installation CD</title>
169 <body>
170
171 <p>
172 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 </p>
177
178 <pre caption="Mounting the Gentoo Linux Installation CD ISO image">
179 <comment>(Create the /mnt/cdrom mount point if needed)</comment>
180 # <i>mkdir -p /mnt/cdrom</i>
181 # <i>mount -o loop,ro -t iso9660 livecd-i686-installer-2007.0.iso /mnt/cdrom</i>
182 </pre>
183
184 <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 </body>
191 </section>
192 <section>
193 <title>Mounting the LiveUSB</title>
194 <body>
195
196 <p>
197 Mount the newly formatted USB flash drive on <path>/mnt/usb</path> as shown
198 below:
199 </p>
200
201 <pre caption="Mounting the USB flash drive">
202 <comment>(Create the /mnt/usb mount point if needed)</comment>
203 # <i>mkdir -p /mnt/usb</i>
204 # <i>mount -t vfat /dev/sdc1 /mnt/usb</i>
205 </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 need to be reordered a bit as we will be using the <c>syslinux</c> bootloader
216 instead of <c>isolinux</c>:
217 </p>
218
219 <pre caption="Copying the files">
220 # <i>cp -r /mnt/cdrom/* /mnt/usb</i>
221 # <i>mv /mnt/usb/isolinux/* /mnt/usb</i>
222 # <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 # <i>umount /mnt/cdrom</i>
235 </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 <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 </p>
249
250 <pre caption="Adjusting the boot parameters">
251 # <i>sed -i \
252 -e "s:cdroot:cdroot slowusb:" \
253 -e "s:kernel memtest86:kernel memtest:" \
254 /mnt/usb/syslinux.cfg</i>
255 </pre>
256
257 </body>
258 </section>
259 </chapter>
260
261 <chapter>
262 <title>Installing a bootloader</title>
263 <section>
264 <title>Unmounting the drive</title>
265 <body>
266
267 <p>
268 Make sure you unmount the USB flash drive before installing the bootloader:
269 </p>
270
271 <pre caption="Unmounting the USB flash drive">
272 # <i>umount /mnt/usb</i>
273 </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 # <i>syslinux /dev/sdc1</i>
287 </pre>
288
289 <impo>
290 You will need to rerun <c>syslinux /dev/sdc1</c> each time you modify the
291 <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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