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Re: Multiple live iso's on a single bootable flash drive?



Hi all!

On 28.04.2016 19:31, Curt wrote:
On 2016-04-28, Richard Owlett <rowlett@cloud85.net> wrote:
I've some untried VAGUE ideas on how to accomplish.
Maybe this would work if I'm understanding you correctly:

http://www.pendrivelinux.com/boot-multiple-iso-from-usb-via-grub2-using-linux/#more-5352

Two questions:
Has this been done before?
Any comments?

TIA





Yep, it can be done and pretty easy. I've done (been doing) it using some instructions from the pendrivelinux.com.


The idea is simple:

1. Install grub2 on a USB-drive.

2. Place there .iso image (in root of the drive or in some directory as you like).

3. Use in the grub.cfg instructions like such:

menuentry "Xubuntu 14.04.1 Desktop i386 ISO" {
 set isofile="/xubuntu-14.04.1-desktop-i386.iso"
 loopback loop $isofile
 linux (loop)/casper/vmlinuz boot=casper iso-scan/filename=$isofile noeject noprompt splash --
 initrd (loop)/casper/initrd.lz
}

4. Profit!


Images from Ubuntu family works fine. As to the Debian there was some weirdness (I don't know if it still persists in newer versions), but it is possible to dodge it. Simple way (from here https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Multiboot_USB_drive#Debian ) is:

0. Do steps 1 and 2 from list above.

1. Download proper initramfs (which matches your desirable Debian .iso image) from here:
https://mirrors.kernel.org/debian/dists/stable/main/installer-amd64/current/images/hd-media/initrd.gz
https://mirrors.kernel.org/debian/dists/stable/main/installer-i386/current/images/hd-media/initrd.gz
http://mirrors.kernel.org/debian/dists/stable/main/installer-i386/current/images/netboot/debian-installer/i386/initrd.gz
etc.

2. Place it somewhere on the USB-drive (in /deb/hdd directory, for example).

3. Use such instructions in grub.cfg:

menuentry "Debian 7.8.0 Desktop i386 Gnome CD ISO (CD Install; /deb/hdd/initrd.gz)" {
 set isofile="/debian-7.8.0-i386-CD-1.iso"
 set initrdfile='/deb/hdd/initrd.gz'
 loopback loop0 $isofile
 linux (loop0)/install.386/vmlinuz iso-scan/ask_second_pass=true iso-scan/filename=$isofile priority=low
# initrd (loop0)/install.386/initrd.gz
 initrd $initrdfile
}

4. Profit again!


Debian Live iso works without additional downloads (some kind of self-sufficient). It is possible to use fromiso param and to provide precise path to your iso and address your USB-drive by UID like this (theoretically it should speed up the process):

menuentry "Debian 7.8.0 Desktop i386 Xfce ISO (LIVE from ISO)" {
 set isofile="/debian-live-7.8.0-i386-xfce-desktop.iso"
 loopback loop0 $isofile
 linux (loop0)/live/vmlinuz1 boot=live fromiso=/dev/disk/by-uuid/19C5-2FB2$isofile live-media-path=/live config
 initrd (loop0)/live/initrd1.img
}


Best regards,
Dmitry Piyavkin



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