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#1 2013-01-18 23:42:09

pvsage
Internal Affairs
From: North Carolina
Registered: 2009-10-18
Posts: 13,956

Multi-boot USB without Windows

I remember reading something about being able to configure GRUB to boot from a Live ISO image on a hard drive...I'm sure this isn't where I read it, but I think it's the same or similar info.  Could this be used to make a multiboot Live ISO thumbdrive?

Every time I hear somebody mention multiboot thumbdrives, they mention YUMI or some other Windows utility, and I briefly wish I had a Windows installation with which I could use it.  (Fortunately, those lapses of sanity quickly pass.)

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#2 2013-01-19 11:00:58

fatmac
#! Die Hard
Registered: 2012-11-14
Posts: 1,948

Re: Multi-boot USB without Windows

That link is from hard drive; the original thread was on the Ubuntu forum; however, if you check out linuxquestions there were several people making multiboot pendrives & using grub to boot them.


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Currently:  AntiX, & Crunchbang.
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#3 2013-01-19 14:09:14

oupsemma
#! Junkie
From: Cumbria / UK
Registered: 2008-12-06
Posts: 319

Re: Multi-boot USB without Windows

You might want to check LiveUSB MultiBoot; it doesn't require Windows, is easy to install and can be used with USB media of any size.
(NB: many languages available on top)
http://liveusb.info/dotclear/index.php?pages/os
http://liveusb.info/dotclear/index.php?pages/install
(For me, it's the next best thing after toast bread lol )

Otherwise, regarding your link:
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Grub2 … t/Examples
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Grub2/ISOBoot


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#4 2013-01-20 18:05:12

KrunchTime
#! Die Hard
From: not where I belong
Registered: 2012-03-02
Posts: 3,238

Re: Multi-boot USB without Windows

pvsage wrote:

I remember reading something about being able to configure GRUB to boot from a Live ISO image on a hard drive...I'm sure this isn't where I read it, but I think it's the same or similar info.  Could this be used to make a multiboot Live ISO thumbdrive?

Every time I hear somebody mention multiboot thumbdrives, they mention YUMI or some other Windows utility, and I briefly wish I had a Windows installation with which I could use it.  (Fortunately, those lapses of sanity quickly pass.)

YUMI supposedly will run under WINE.


Linux User #586672
There aren't enough swear-words in the English language, so now I'll have to call you perkeleen vittupää just to express my disgust and frustration with this crap. -- Linus Torvalds

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#5 2013-01-21 08:25:56

stolid
#! CrunchBanger
Registered: 2012-09-06
Posts: 206

Re: Multi-boot USB without Windows

I've also wanted to do this, and I finally got around to it today. YUMI does indeed work, but it can't format a flash drive through WINE. I ended up running it though an XP VM to get a drive with CB, LinuxBBQ, Memtest, and a few other utilities. I already had the XP VM, so it wasn't overkill. If you can get your drive formatted beforehand (FAT32) with gparted for example, then I think YUMI might work. I was lazy, and didn't try that though. I had some issues with custom ISOs, so I ended up using its default entries (Debian 6 and such) but pointing it to the newer Debian 7 (Waldorf, etc) images. Therefore the menu entries are labeled wrong, but they do work.

Last edited by stolid (2013-01-21 08:26:23)


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#6 2013-01-21 17:58:30

KrunchTime
#! Die Hard
From: not where I belong
Registered: 2012-03-02
Posts: 3,238

Re: Multi-boot USB without Windows

@stolid...

I wonder if the mkdosfs command would have worked: 

sudo mkdosfs /dev/sdb# -F32

where # is the device number.

01/22/2013 update:  The thumb drive must be unmounted according to the tip I got on using mkdosfs.  To unmount from terminal: 

sudo umount /dev/sdb#

Last edited by KrunchTime (2013-01-22 19:18:52)


Linux User #586672
There aren't enough swear-words in the English language, so now I'll have to call you perkeleen vittupää just to express my disgust and frustration with this crap. -- Linus Torvalds

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#7 2013-01-21 20:31:48

pvsage
Internal Affairs
From: North Carolina
Registered: 2009-10-18
Posts: 13,956

Re: Multi-boot USB without Windows

stolid wrote:

If you can get your drive formatted beforehand (FAT32) with gparted for example, then I think YUMI might work.

IIRC, this is where I was bucking a brick wall - for some reason, Gparted simply could not format the drive with the right parameters to make a usable multiboot drive.

@KrunchTime:  That may be the droids I'm looking for; I'll have to try that later this week.

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#8 2013-01-21 22:17:48

stolid
#! CrunchBanger
Registered: 2012-09-06
Posts: 206

Re: Multi-boot USB without Windows

Hmm. Out of curiosity, I tried this again on a second drive but using linux tools (parted, Gparted, KrunchTime's suggestion, etc) and CrossOver (WINE), but had no luck. YUMI would warn me if the drive wasn't going to be bootable, but when it didn't complain I still had no luck. Everything would appear to go smoothly, but upon booting the drive I'd get an isolinux corrupted error. All my tests were with memtest (since it's really small and a quick install to the drive). I don't know if I was unmounting the drive improperly or something or what...

Edit: I'm lazy to try anymore for now, but another possible tool is "makebootfat". It's in the repos.

Last edited by stolid (2013-01-21 22:20:22)


Registered Linux User #555399
crunchbox:     Phenom II X6 1055T | 8GB RAM | OCZ Vertex 4 128GB | Radeon 7870XT | Win7 / #! 11 (i3 WM)
lambdacore:     4x Opteron 8431 | 16GB RAM | 2x1TB mirrored (ZFSoL) | Debian 7 (headless)
crunchtop:     Acer Aspire 1410 11.6" | 2GB RAM | Crucial M4 128GB | #! 11 (i3 WM)

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#9 2013-01-22 11:03:48

fatmac
#! Die Hard
Registered: 2012-11-14
Posts: 1,948

Re: Multi-boot USB without Windows

To format a pendrive with fat32.
fdisk /dev/sd?
enter t            : to create partition type
(if more than one partition it will ask which)
enter B           : fat32 partition designation
enter a           : make it bootable
enter w           : write to disk
then run mkdosfs -F 32 /dev/sd?

Last edited by fatmac (2013-01-22 11:05:05)


Linux since 1999
Currently:  AntiX, & Crunchbang.
A good general beginners book for Linux :- http://rute.2038bug.com/index.html.gz
A good Debian read :- http://debian-handbook.info/get/now/

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