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Re: Copying complete SET of installation DVDs to a USB stick

Rick Thomas wrote:
As per debian list etiquette my reply is at the bottom...

On Apr 12, 2014, at 7:01 AM, Richard Owlett <rowlett@cloud85.net> wrote:

I will be installing Debian at locations which DO NOT have internet.
Instead of juggling a stack of DVDs, I want everything on a USB stick.
I am using Debian 6.0.5 as test case - it's what I have available.
There was no problem copying the first DVD to the beginning of the USB stick with dd.
I did a preliminary test by booting to the USB stick and the install program apparently worked OK.

I rebooted to an operable system and created a large partition on the remainder of the flash drive. I then attempted to copy DVDs to the flash drive using first
    cp -r -l /media/cdrom0 /media/mydrive/disk1
I aborted when started receiving error messages of failure with link files.
I then tried
    cp -r -l /media/cdrom0 /media/mydrive/disk1
I aborted that also reviving similar error messages.

How should I be doing this?

Hi Richard,

Have you tried using dd to make images of the DVDs on the extended part of the USB stick?  E.g.:
     # put DVD1 in the drive
     dd if=/dev/cdrom0 of=/media/mydrive/DVD1.iso bs=1M
     eject cdrom
     # put DVD2 in the drive
     dd if=/dev/cdrom0 of=/media/mydrive/DVD2.iso bs=1M
     # and so on...
them loop-mounting the images?

I'm not sure what you would have to do inside the installer to get the loop-mounted images into the installers "sources.list" file, but I'm sure a bit of wiki and/or FAQ scratching would answer that question.  Once you figure out the necessary magic, you can probably pre-seed it into your installer image on the front part of the USB stick.

I know this is just a sketch of a solution, but it's all I've got time for right now.  Anyway, it's the approach I'd take if I had the problem.

Hope it helps!
Good luck and let us know if you come up with something that works!


I hadn't thought of loop mounting.
A Google search yielded:

I've only skimmed them but it's encouraging enough that I'll making iso images of my DVDs.


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