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sdrubbleOffline
29 Post subject: USB install & grub tweaks  PostPosted: 06.05.2011, 02:56



Joined: 2011-05-06
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Location: Belo Horizonte, Brazil
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Hi all,

first poster here and probably not asking this rightly... but I have to start from somewhere, so here it goes.

I wish to install aptosid to a multi-Gb, multi-partition USB hard drive.

Currently, I have one 4 Gb bootable vfat partition on this HD, which is used by (I think...) grub4dos. I have a number of ISOs inside this partition (all are LiveCDs from Linux distros), together with a menu.lst file which I manually edit whenever adding or upgrading any LiveCD ISOs.

This scheme was cooked up with the help of a no longer maintained app from pendrivelinux.com , called MultiBootISOs.

I also have no idea if the boot code for this scheme lives in either the MBR of this HD, or inside the boot record of this particular vfat partition.

The original idea I had had to ask here was, 'how could I install aptosid on this HD while also preserving these current boot options'. However I came later to believe there might be a BETTER and EASIER alternative, which would be something like:

1. simply ignore all this current multi-boot scheme which is in USB HD;
2. save my current LiveCD ISOs and menu.lst elsewhere;
3. install aptosid on USB HD;
4. manually edit aptosid's grub files, adding the entries for each of my ISOs.

So, would some kind soul simply confirm if this scheme is doable and more or less easy to achieve as it seems ? (expecting, of course, that all ISOs would end up being bootable from aptosid's grub menu).

At this point I'd also like to learn, if possible, if I would need to specify any install options regarding grub2 vs. legacy grub (or doing whatever post-install tweaks, for that matter).

After learning if this is indeed generally feasible, I can hunt around for the gory details. I don't mind if I can't access my LiveCDs for a while, as they're used mostly as recovery tools.

Thks in advance!
 
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bfreeOffline
Post subject: RE: USB install & grub tweaks  PostPosted: 06.05.2011, 14:12
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Yes your scheme would work, using a grub2 from aptosid on the stick and adding the setup to that to configure the alternative isos. Of course you could also simply add a boot option for aptosid to your existing setup.

If you do a full install of aptosid on the stick then you would probably want to look at how the grub2 menu's are built automagically rather then simply hand crafting things. If you do a live install of aptosid (unsing the aptosid install-usb-gui tool which uses grub2) then hand crafting things wouldn't really be a problem though as you can't dist-upgrade a live system anyway.

Hope this helps.
 
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sdrubbleOffline
15 Post subject: Re: RE: USB install & grub tweaks  PostPosted: 06.05.2011, 17:34



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      bfree wrote:
Yes your scheme would work, using a grub2 from aptosid on the stick and adding the setup to that to configure the alternative isos. Of course you could also simply add a boot option for aptosid to your existing setup.

If you do a full install of aptosid on the stick then you would probably want to look at how the grub2 menu's are built automagically rather then simply hand crafting things. If you do a live install of aptosid (unsing the aptosid install-usb-gui tool which uses grub2) then hand crafting things wouldn't really be a problem though as you can't dist-upgrade a live system anyway.

Hope this helps.


Thks a lot, bfree. Seems I'll go with a full install on the 'stick' (which BTW is a bit oversized to be called as such, hehe). Very Happy

The automagical menu building for the ISOs looks interesting. I suppose, however, that in order to be able to benefit from that I should be studying a bit more about file systems and locations to place my ISOs, as well as about grub2 itself, which I'd rather postpone for after aptosid itself is installed and running. Rolling Eyes

So in principle I'll be expecting to adjust boot entries manually after the install. If grub2 happens to offer entries for the ISOs during the install, then I'll happily take these as an unexpected bonus! Cool

As to your suggestion of simply adding a boot option for aptosid to my existing setup, I'd rather avoid possible conflicts with grub2 for Linux and grub1 'for DOS'... things might get clobbered here anyway during aptosid install, and I don't even know where the boot code for grub4dos is hiding. Better not mess with this. Wink

Thx a lot really, be sure you've indeed helped me a lot. Very Happy

Cheers
 
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bfreeOffline
Post subject: RE: Re: RE: USB install & grub tweaks  PostPosted: 06.05.2011, 17:39
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If you go for a full install it won't automagically find your other iso based systems. There is a grub2-fll-fromiso package though that can automagically setup aptosid iso's and perhaps by examining how it works you can create something similar for some of your other systems. The thing to watch out for is that grub2 will recreate your menus automagically when it should, so you will have to do a little more then simply edit a config file once to add the extra iso's, not a lot though if you want to be lazy, you could do it as simply as adding a script in the right place that just echo's a bunch of text you edit manually into the grub2 config file.
 
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sdrubbleOffline
Post subject: Re: RE: Re: RE: USB install & grub tweaks  PostPosted: 06.05.2011, 18:17



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      bfree wrote:
If you go for a full install it won't automagically find your other iso based systems. There is a grub2-fll-fromiso package though that can automagically setup aptosid iso's and perhaps by examining how it works you can create something similar for some of your other systems. The thing to watch out for is that grub2 will recreate your menus automagically when it should, so you will have to do a little more then simply edit a config file once to add the extra iso's, not a lot though if you want to be lazy, you could do it as simply as adding a script in the right place that just echo's a bunch of text you edit manually into the grub2 config file.


Mmm, more thanks man... yes, something rises fuzzily from the back of my mind about grub2 scripts. I'll definitely take a look into that after installing.

I suppose the recreate-menu-when-it-should thing would apply to new kernels and the like...

Cheers
 
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