Skip to main content

Linux on a stick part 3: Ubuntu 7.10 'simplified'

Silly me. After reading about syslinux it suddenly dawned on me I was still making it too hard to transfer Ubuntu 7.10 LiveCD from CD to thumb drive. The key difference is copying all the files in the isolinux directory on the Ubuntu LiveCD to the root of the thumb drive, and renaming isolinux.cfg to syslinux.cfg. So here are simpler instructions for creating a bootable Ubuntu Live Thumb Drive under Linux.
  1. If you don't have an Ubuntu 7.10 Desktop LiveCD handy then download the ISO. If you do have it handy (you installed from the CD-ROM) then just drop it in the CD/DVD drive on your computer. If you've downloaded the ISO then open a terminal window and mount the ISO:

    sudo mount -t iso9660 -o loop /[location-of-iso]/ubuntu-7.10-desktop-i386.iso /mnt

  2. Insert a USB thumb drive into a conveniently empty USB port on your Linux computer. It should automatically mount. I'm going to use the same Cruzer Micro I used for Linux Mint 4. For this experiment I removed Linux Mint. USB drives are mounted under /media, and can be named /media/disk or /media/[volume-name]. For this example the thumb drive's volume name is LINUX, so it automatically mounts under /media/LINUX.

  3. Copy the following files from the Ubuntu media to the thumb drive. This works for either the mounted ISO or the CD-ROM. If you've got the CD-ROM mounted you'll copy from /media/cdrom. If you've mounted the ISO you'll copy from /mnt. Regardless the mount point the file system under either is identical:

    cp -R [mount-point]/.disk /media/[usb-volume-name]
    cp -R [mount-point]/casper /media/[usb-volume-name]
    cp [mount-point]/isolinux/* /media/[usb-volume-name]

    The last copy copies the files from the isolunux directory to the root of the thumb drive.

  4. We're going to use syslinux to add a boot loader to the USB thumb drive. It's doubtful you would have installed syslinux by default. If the syslinux package isn't installed and you're doing this from Ubuntu (or an Ubuntu-based distro) then use synaptic or apt-get to install it. You'll also wind up installing mtools (a dependency) along with syslinux.

  5. Rename isolinux.cfg (now in the root of the thumb drive) to syslinux.cfg.

  6. Use syslinux to install a boot loader onto the USB thumb drive. To do this you're going to have to unmount the USB drive. Before you do this find out what the USB device name is. This is different from the mount name, and you need the device name for installing syslinux. Open a terminal and type the following: mount | grep media. On my system it returns the following:

    /dev/sdb1 on /media/LINUX type vfat ...

    where the (...) are additional configuration flags and information. You want the device name, which is the first item (/dev/sdb1) on the line. I know this is my thumb drive because I gave it the volume name LINUX. Once you have that information unmount the USB thumb drive by typing 'sudo umount /media/[usb-volume-name]' in the same terminal window. Again in the same terminal window type 'sudo syslinux /dev/[usb-device-name]' and it will modify the boot sector of the USB thumb drive and place the file LDLINUX.SYS in the thumb drive's root. At this point you're done.
Plug the thumb drive into a system that can boot from a thumb drive, reboot, and watch Ubuntu 7.10 boot into 'Live' mode, complete with technicolor boot menu. You can even install from it if you like. The creation of a bash script to automate this process is left as an exercise for the reader :)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Decade Long Religious Con Job

I rarely write inflammatory (what some might call trolling) titles to a post, but this building you see before you deserves it. I've been seeing this building next to I-4 just east of Altamonte/436 and Crane's Roost for nearly 12 years, and never knew who owned it. Today on a trip up to Lake Mary with my wife I saw it yet again. That's when I told her I wanted to stop by on the way back and poke around the property, and photograph any parts of it if I could.

What I discovered was this still unfinished eighteen story (I counted) white elephant, overgrown with weeds and yet still under slow-motion construction. It looks impressive with its exterior glass curtain walls, but that impression is quickly lost when you see the unfinished lower stories and look inside to the unfinished interior spaces.

A quick check via Google leads to an article written in 2010 by the Orlando Sentinel about the Majesty Tower. Based on what I read in the article it's owned by SuperChannel 55 WA…

Be Careful of Capital One Mailings

Capitol One ("What's in your wallet?") sent me a bit of deceptive snail mail today. I felt sure it was a credit card offer, and sure enough, it was. I open all credit card offers and shred them before putting them in the trash. Normally I just scan the front to make sure I don't miss anything; the Capital One offer made me stop for a moment and strike a bit of fear into my heart.

The letter's opening sentence read:
Our records as of December 30, 2009 indicate your Capital One Platinum MasterCard offer is currently valid and active.Not paying close attention during the first reading, I quickly developed this irrational worry that I was actually on the hook for something important, but I wasn't quite sure what. The letter listed "three ways to reply" at the bottom; via phone, the internet, and regular snail mail. I elected to call.

Once I reached the automated phone response system, the first entry offered was '1', to "activate my Capital …

cat-in-a-box channels greta garbo

So I'm sitting at my computer, when I start to notice a racket in back. I ignore it for a while until I hear a load "thump!", as if something had been dropped on the floor, followed by a lot of loud rattling. I turn around and see Lucy in the box just having a grand old time, rolling around and rattling that box a good one. I grab the GX1 and snap a few shots before she notices me and the camera, then leaps out and back into her chair (which used to be my chair before she decided it was her chair).

Just like caring for Katie my black Lab taught me about dogs, caring for Lucy is teaching me about cats. She finds me fascinating, as I do her. And she expresses great affection and love toward me without coaxing. I try to return the affection and love, but she is a cat, and she takes a bat at me on occasion, although I think that's just her being playful. She always has her claws in when she does that.

She sits next to me during the evening in her chair while I sit in mi…