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Installing Slackware using USB thumb drive

There are several ways to install Slackware to your computer. You have network installation options available (where the packages are on a remote NFS/FTP/HTTP/Samba server) and local options (where the packages are on a DVD/CDROM or a local directory).

In all these cases you need to boot your computer with Slackware’s installer. Traditionally you can boot from a DVD or CDROM of course, or even from a floppy if you are creative. If your computer does not have a DVD/CD drive then there is still the network boot (aka PXE boot) or using a USB thumb drive to boot from.

It is the USB thumb drive I want to talk about in this blog post.

Slackware ships with a USB image file “usbboot.img” since the 12.0 release (see http://slackware.osuosl.org/slackware-13.0/usb-and-pxe-installers/usbboot.img for instance). Using “dd” this image can be transfered to a USB thumb drive which transforms the USB drive to a bootable Slackware installer. The packages will still have to be available on a local or network medium, because the “usbboot.img” image only contains kernels and setup files… no packages.

If you do not want to “sacrifice” a USB thumb drive for this (note that dumping the image file on the USB stick will destroy all data already present on the stick), there is a solution: Slackware also ships with a script “usbimg2disk.sh” since the 13.0 release (see http://slackware.osuosl.org/slackware-13.0/usb-and-pxe-installers/usbimg2disk.sh for instance). This script extracts the content from the “usbboot.img” image file and uses this to transform a regular USB thumb drive into a bootable Slackware installer  non-destructively (i.e. any existing files on the stick will not be touched), as long as there is some 30 MB of available free space on the stick.

The “usbimg2disk.sh” script is also convenient if your computer refuses to boot from a USB stick loaded with the “usbboot.img” file. The BIOS of some computers will not understand the format of the default Slackware USB image. Using the “usbimg2disk.sh” script, you create an alternative bootable USB stick that will be recognized by your computer’s BIOS.

All nice, but there is still a problem that remains to be solved.

If you have a netbook for instance.

The average netbook computer (like my own Asus EeePC 1000H) comes without DVD drive. If you are mobile and without access to wired network, it will not be easy to install Slackware packages after booting from the USB stick.

In such circumstances you need to copy the complete Slackware package tree to a disk partition of your netbook before you start the Slackware installation. This is not always efficient, or even feasible.

Now, I have been creating “multi-partition USB images” for several Slackware releases in the past (more accurately, I have written the scripts that let you create the image and then transfer it to a big enough USB stick using the ” dd” command). You can find those scripts here: http://slackware.com/~alien/tools/usbinstall/ . This is an elegant way to create a USB Slackware installer that has all packages “on board” but I wanted something that was more basic, and thus potentially easier to use for a Slackware newbie.

The “old” scripts at http://slackware.com/~alien/tools/usbinstall/ create a secoind, EXT2-formatted partition to store the Slackware packages. This makes it harder to add more files if you are on a Windows computer for instance. I wanted to have a USB stick with a single large FAT partition – and fortunately the bootloader I am using (syslinux) allows this.

So I took Slackware’s “usbimg2disk.sh” script (which I incidentally wrote too) and expanded its functionality. What is new? The script can now copy the Slackware setup files, kernels and packages all to a regular USB thumb drive, if that has a minimum of 2GB free space available.And it still retains its original functionality (to create a bootable installer as long as there is 30 MB of available free space on the stick).

The USB stick does not even have to be formatted! So, if you already have data on the stick, it will not be destroyed.

There is one advantage to formatting though: if you allow the script to format the USB stick, it will make your future Slackware installation easier. The formatting step assigns a label “USBSLACKINS” to the fat partition. This enables Slackware’s setup to recognize and mount the USB partition automatically after boot, and pre-fill the SOURCE setup dialog “Install from a pre-mounted directory” with the correct directory path. Just hit ENTER a few times to start the installation!

If you did not format the USB stick but used an existing VFAT-formatted stick, you have two options:

  1. either you assign  the label “USBSLACKINS” to the stick’s fat partition manually,
  2. or else you do the following after booting from the USB stick but before running setup: mount the USB partition yourself using the following commands (for this eaxmple I am assuming that the installer recognized the drive as “/dev/sdX“):
mkdir /usbinstall
mount -t vfat -o ro,shortname=mixed /dev/sdX /usbinstall/

And then after you’ve started “setup” and have come to the “SOURCE selection” dialog, you use the directory “/usbinstall/slackware-<version>/slackware” as the source location where setup should look for Slackware packages.

This is how the help text for the script looks:

./usbimg2disk.sh -h
#
# Purpose #1: to use the content of Slackware's usbboot.img and
#   transform a standard USB thumb drive with a single vfat partition
#   into a bootable medium containing the Slackware Linux installer.
#
# Purpose #2: to use the contents of a Slackware directory tree
#   and transform a standard USB thumb drive with
#   a single vfat partition and 2GB of free space into
#   a self-contained USB installation medium for Slackware Linux.
#
#
# Your USB thumb drive may contain data!
# This data will *not* be overwritten, unless you have
#   explicitly chosen to format the drive by using the '-f' parameter.
#
# usbimg2disk.sh accepts the following parameters:
#   -h|--help                  This help
#   -f|--format                Format the USB drive before use
#   -i|--infile <filename>     Full path to the usbboot.img file
#   -l|--logfile <filename>    Optional logfile to catch fdisk output
#   -o|--outdev <filename>     The device name of your USB drive
#   -s|--slackdir <dir>        Use 'dir' as the root of Slackware tree
#   -u|--unattended            Do not ask any questions
#
# Examples:
#
# usbimg2disk.sh -i ~/download/usbboot.img -o /dev/sdX
# usbimg2disk.sh -f -s /home/ftp/pub/slackware-13.0 -o /dev/sdX
#
# The second example shows how to create a fully functional Slackware
# installer on a USB stick (it needs a Slackware tree as the source).

The enhanced script is here: http://connie.slackware.com/~alien/tools/usbimg2disk.sh …get itwhile it’s hot!

I hope it will get added to the Slackware tree soon. Tell me if you liked it! Any questions or remarks, you can leave them below this post.

Cheers, Eric

Comments

Comment from Grissiom
Posted: December 3, 2009 at 02:51

Although I don’t have enough time to try it out soon, I like this version of script! Thanks a lot. Hope it will be merged into the main tree soon.

Comment from alienbob
Posted: December 3, 2009 at 10:44

Hi Grissiom

I hope it will be useful to people, having a “USB version” of the Slackware install DVD is in high demand.
By the way, I made two small changes after I originally uploaded the script. It now additionally checks if you have “mtools” installed. The syslinux tool which makes your USB stick bootable depends on it. And the “syslinux-nomtools” binary seems to work (the script shows no errors) but the resulting USB stick is not bootable.

The script version which I uploaded just now, works.

Cheers, Eric

Comment from JokerBoy
Posted: December 7, 2009 at 11:27

hi Eric. i wonder if in this new release for 13.0 exist the possibility to install via usb using a PPPoE connection. and if not, can you add rp-pppoe to it? :)

thank you.

Comment from Luan Mai
Posted: December 24, 2009 at 02:18

Hi Eric,

I follow your instruction but i got boot error message. In my flash disk, i have 2 folders, one is syslinux, the other is slackware13

Many Thanks, Eric

Comment from Luan Mai
Posted: December 24, 2009 at 02:21

Please ignore my previous comment. It ‘s just my BIOS setting.

Thanks very much for your instruction.

Comment from Eduard
Posted: April 15, 2010 at 15:54

Great script, I’m using it right now to create a USB stick with all the slackware13 64 packages and looking forward to many future DVD-less installs!

Comment from alienbob
Posted: April 28, 2010 at 10:49

FYI – the usbimg2disk.sh script I am talking about has been updated in Slackware-current.
The http://slackware.osuosl.org/slackware-current/usb-and-pxe-installers/usbimg2disk.sh is now the same version as the script discussed in this post (same for the script in the 64-bit tree).

Eric

Pingback from Alien Pastures » Preparing for a release is tedious
Posted: May 18, 2010 at 09:40

[...] Slackware quite easily now (without destroying the data on your USB stick even, if you want). Read my old blog post for usage instructions. The move to Slackware 4.4.3 in Slackware 13.1 is something I am delighted [...]

Pingback from Alien Pastures » Slackware 13.1 is here
Posted: May 25, 2010 at 09:39

[...] installer if your computer does not have a CD or DVD drive, read this older article of mine: http://alien.slackbook.org/blog/installing-slackware-using-usb-thumb-drive/ – or for the Windows users: [...]

Comment from Antman
Posted: May 26, 2010 at 06:01

I’m glad to see this script but I always get a:
trap: 37: ERR: bad trap
Whenever i try to run it. I have tried-
# sh usbimg2disk.sh -f -s /home/antman/data/ -o /dev/sdb
# ./usbimg2disk.sh -f -s /home/antman/data/slackware -o /dev/sdb

I can’t even run:
# sh usbimg2disk.sh -h
to see the help without the trap: 37: ERR: bad trap

I’m running this script from a debian machine (I tried it on Linux Mint also). Does it only work on a slackware machine?

Comment from Antman
Posted: May 26, 2010 at 06:03

Oh… i forgot to mention that I copied the slackware 13.1 dvd to /home/antman/data/

Comment from Antman
Posted: May 26, 2010 at 06:52

Ok, I figured it out. On my debian system I had to precede my command with command “bash”
So my full command was:
# bash ./usbimg2disk.sh -f -s /home/antman/data/ -o /dev/sdb

The usb is building as I type this…. ;)

Comment from Azmi
Posted: May 29, 2010 at 02:08

if i give parameters -f , i got some error like this :
“*** usbimg2disk.sh FAILED at line 37 ***
— Cleaning up the staging area…
rmdir: missing operand
Try rmdir –help’ for more information. ”

How to solve it?

Comment from Azmi
Posted: May 29, 2010 at 04:47

i got some error too if i wrote
“sudo bash usbimg2disk.sh -i usbboot.img -o /dev/sdb1″
Error:
# We are going to use this device – ‘/dev/sdb1′:
#
# Disk /dev/sdb1: 8029 MB, 8029930496 bytes
# 248 heads, 62 sectors/track, 1019 cylinders
# Units = cylinders of 15376 * 512 = 7872512 bytes
# Disk identifier: 0×00000000
#
# Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System

*** ***
*** If this is the wrong drive, then press CONTROL-C now! ***
*** ***
Or press ENTER to continue:
— Available free space on the the USB drive is 7826420 KB
— Required free space for installer: 28160 KB
— Copying boot files to the USB drive…
— Cleaning up the staging area…
— Making the USB drive ‘/dev/sdb1′ bootable…
*** usbimg2disk.sh FAILED at line 37 ***
— Cleaning up the staging area…
rmdir: failed to remove /mnt/img.an3S2a’: No such file or directory
rmdir: failed to remove /mnt/usb.vqQDWF’: No such file or directory”

can you help me?

Comment from alienbob
Posted: May 29, 2010 at 17:20

You are using the parameter “-o /dev/sdb1″ which is the partition on the device. But the “-o” parameter expects the device itself, not the partition. Try “-o /dev/sdb” instead.

Eric

Pingback from using dd to make bootable slack usb
Posted: May 31, 2010 at 05:10

[...] You might check this if you want to install from a usb drive: http://alien.slackbook.org/blog/inst…b-thumb-drive/ [...]

Comment from thecat
Posted: June 1, 2010 at 20:41

the script seemed to work ok just like the previous versions
this time however it will not boot entirely on my netbook

i get to:
Triggering udev events: /sbin/udevadm trigger –action=add

and then it just sits there.
ive checked the iso md5 its fine, tried multiple usb sticks and ports and it just wont get past that point.

any suggestions?

Comment from thecat
Posted: June 1, 2010 at 21:55

the “noudev” option worked like a charm.
thanks very much! :)

Comment from Azmi
Posted: June 2, 2010 at 12:19

Yes it’s work, thanks alienbob

Pingback from Installing from thumb drive?
Posted: June 3, 2010 at 21:33

[...] this: http://alien.slackbook.org/blog/inst…b-thumb-drive/ [...]

Comment from Pietro
Posted: June 25, 2010 at 06:38

Hey Bob.

I bought a Netbook as a cheap replacement for my recently departed (and only) machine. It came loaded with win7starter, which was a no-go for me. Your post helped me convert it into a happy Slack 13.1 machine, so I just dropped by to congratulate and thank you for your help.

If you ever come around to Porto Alegre, I’ll buy you a beer or something.

Cheers!

Comment from bogodes
Posted: July 6, 2010 at 08:08

Very helpful and simple to use. Also the comments are great on clarifying the whole purpose and each part of the code. Thanks for this great script!

Comment from steve
Posted: September 8, 2010 at 14:09

can not format my usb using mkdosfs in slackware,but parted works great instead

Pingback from slackware boot from USB problems
Posted: October 4, 2010 at 03:05

[...] a memory stick or an external HDD with a USB connection? If the former then instructions are at http://alien.slackbook.org/blog/inst…b-thumb-drive/ but you would need a Linux system to follow the procedure. Do you have a working [...]

Comment from ole
Posted: October 7, 2010 at 01:40

For those who encounter the “line 37″ failure,
Install these packages:
cpio
rsync

DONE

Comment from ole
Posted: October 7, 2010 at 03:35

Also modify line ~#414 to:

/usr/bin/syslinux -a -d /syslinux $TARGETPART 1>>$LOGFILE 2>&1
(the “-s” in the normal config is replaced by “-a”, seems to be a typo)

you may also need to change the line @ ~122 to reflect the true cylinder size of your usb drive

for example, mine is:

/sbin/sfdisk $USBDRV -N1 <<EOF
0,1018,,*

Comment from alienbob
Posted: October 7, 2010 at 20:03

@ole –

What script are you using that contains “syslinux -a” ? That is not in any of the scripts that I have distributed as far as I can see.

Eric

Comment from alienbob
Posted: December 28, 2010 at 23:04

There is an updated version of usbimg2disk.sh here: http://connie.slackware.com/~alien/tools/usbimg2disk.sh

It fixes the issues people have seen when trying to make the USB stick bootable. The script has already been added to thenon-public Slackware-current tree and you will see that one appear with the next batch of public updates.

Eric

Comment from spc
Posted: January 7, 2011 at 23:18

Thanks for the update. Much appreciated.

Pingback from Atheros AR242x Wireless Card won’t find any network on Debian Lenny
Posted: January 18, 2011 at 21:37

[...] boot: hugesmp.s /dev/to/Debian rdinit=ro Then everything should function, and you can move from there… since you already have a Linux system up, this process is so simple thanks to AlienBob's automation script: http://alien.slackbook.org/blog/inst…b-thumb-drive/ [...]

Comment from aryr100
Posted: January 29, 2011 at 01:55

— Available free space on the the USB drive is 7881092 KB
— Required free space for installer: 1935432 KB
— Copying boot files to the USB drive…
cp: cannot create symbolic link /mnt/usb.PUR1Ee/syslinux/extra/flashplayer-plugin’: Operation not permitted
cp: cannot create symbolic link /mnt/usb.PUR1Ee/syslinux/isolinux/sbootmgr/RAWRITE13.EXE’: Operation not permitted
sudo bash ./usbimg2disk.sh -i slackware64-1-27-2010.iso -o /dev/sdd
cp: cannot create symbolic link /mnt/usb.PUR1Ee/syslinux/slackware64/PACKAGES.TXT’: Operation not permitted
*** ./usbimg2disk.sh FAILED at line 41 ***
— Cleaning up the staging area…

Comment from aryr100
Posted: January 29, 2011 at 02:54

Worked great using my slack64 box
thanks alienBOB

Pingback from How to install through the USB-stick?
Posted: March 28, 2011 at 13:05

[...] better served with this article I think: http://alien.slackbook.org/blog/inst…b-thumb-drive/ [...]

Pingback from So you want to be a Slacker! What do I do next? – Page 15
Posted: May 19, 2011 at 14:13

[...] [...]

Pingback from Jobvill Community » Blog Archive » Install Slackware 13.1 dari Flash Disk
Posted: May 22, 2011 at 07:58

[...] cari-cari di Internet, akhirnya saya menemukan bagaimana cara menginstall slackware dari flash disk. Langsung saja ke langkah-langkah nya, [...]

Comment from harish
Posted: July 29, 2011 at 19:23

Hello bob,
I’ve been trying to make an usb bootable drive from a slackware64-13.37-install-dvd.iso image. First i’ve mounted the iso at “/tmp/slackware13″ . Also I’ve my-sys installed. Then executed this command

“ARCH=x86_64 SLACKROOT=/tmp/slack64-13 ./create_multipartboot.sh 4000″

But it fails showing that it is unable to delete /dev/loop1. The output is as below.

mkdosfs 3.0.9 (31 Jan 2010)
Warning: block count mismatch: found 3999712 but assuming 15592.
Loop device does not match a floppy size, using default hd params
loop: can’t delete device /dev/loop1: Device or resource busy
*** ./create_multipartboot.sh FAILED at line 145 ***

I am stuck and I’ve tried it many times. What should I do?

ThankYou,
Harish

Comment from neo
Posted: September 5, 2011 at 06:17

well, i used fedora usb creator to write slack iso on usb. it did boot, however when tried to install, just says installation over in 2 sec ! will figure it soon…meanwhile let me try this script and get back with any comment

Pingback from Getting back into Linux!
Posted: November 21, 2011 at 01:32

[...] Positive progress as my research continues! http://alien.slackbook.org/blog/inst…b-thumb-drive/ has *delicious* information regarding my circumstance. I'm very intrigued by this, in particular, [...]

Pingback from how to install slackware from a usb drive
Posted: January 19, 2012 at 16:59

[...] An excellent how-to for Slackware isntalls from USB http://alien.slackbook.org/blog/inst…b-thumb-drive/ [...]

Comment from Mark
Posted: January 26, 2012 at 05:32

I have read the how-to to install Slackware on my Netbook (eeePC 1005HA). I’m a new user to Slackware and taking the challenge from the get-go! I want to learn Unix/Linux and what better way to do it than with Slackware I have been told. Anyway, the tutorial i think assumes that I have Linux running on another machine to create a boot USB thumb drive? My netbook has XP installed but it’s corrupted. How can I create the boot image from within windows? I have copied the images and also the script created by Eric and changed the boot order in BIOS but it doesn’t work. I appreciate your help.

Marco

Comment from Mark
Posted: January 26, 2012 at 05:34

Let me clarify, I copied the boot images into my thumb drive and reboot my machine and it doesn’t work.

Comment from alienbob
Posted: January 26, 2012 at 10:04

Mark,

I have another blog post for Windows users who want to create a bootable installer for Slackware:
http://alien.slackbook.org/blog/welcome-windows-user/

Eric

Comment from Mark
Posted: January 27, 2012 at 18:26

Thanks AlienBob! I have read it and doing the task of installing Slackware today. Best regards.

Marco

Pingback from slackware help
Posted: February 3, 2012 at 02:32

[...] to LQ! If you are wanting to install Slackware using a USB device, look at this.http://alien.slackbook.org/blog/inst…b-thumb-drive/ I also suggest that you use the Slackware forum under distributions for posting questions specific [...]

Comment from big tuna
Posted: March 23, 2012 at 18:12

You should take a look at Expect, it would make your life a lot easier. Thanks for the write up, I have been unable to boot Slackware off a usb stick, but I am about to try your script. Appreciate you.

Pingback from Slackware Live USB
Posted: May 23, 2012 at 17:42

[...] might like to check these out: http://alien.slackbook.org/blog/inst…b-thumb-drive/ http://www.slackwiki.com/Install_Sla…SB_Flash_Drive [...]

Comment from sathish
Posted: June 27, 2012 at 08:46

Or press ENTER to continue:
— Formatting /dev/sdb with VFAT partition label ‘USBSLACKINS’…
— Last chance! Press CTRL-C to abort!
Or press ENTER to continue:
— Available free space on the the USB drive is 7800420 KB
— Required free space for installer: 23828 KB
— Copying boot files to the USB drive…
— Extracting Slackware initrd.img…
— Modifying installer files…
*** ./usbimg2disk.sh FAILED at line 41 ***
— Cleaning up the staging area…

i got the following error. i am trying to install slackware.12.0 to my labtop which doesnt have CD/DVD ROM. In my using ubuntu-12.04 on my desktop to run the following script. and i did mounted the slackware-12.iso

These are the step i gone through
#mount -o loop /tmp/slackware.iso /mnt/slack
#./usbimg2disk.sh -f -s /tmp/slack -o /dev/sdb

and got the above error as mentioned

Comment from ajay
Posted: June 27, 2012 at 08:57

me to got the same error while trying in ubuntu…
These are my steps
#mount -o loop slack/slackware-12.0-install-dvd.iso /mnt/
#./usbimg2disk.sh -f -s /mnt/ -o /dev/sdb

# We are going to format and use this device – ‘/dev/sdb’:
# Vendor : SanDisk
# Model : Cruzer Blade
# Size : 7633 MB
#
# FDISK OUTPUT:
#
# Disk /dev/sdb: 8004 MB, 8004304896 bytes
# 212 heads, 46 sectors/track, 1603 cylinders, total 15633408 sectors
# Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
# Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
# I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
# Disk identifier: 0x21cc8419
#
# Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
# /dev/sdb1 2048 15633407 7815680 b W95 FAT32

*** ***
*** If this is the wrong drive, then press CONTROL-C now! ***
*** ***
Or press ENTER to continue:
— Formatting /dev/sdb with VFAT partition label ‘USBSLACKINS’…
— Last chance! Press CTRL-C to abort!
Or press ENTER to continue:
— Available free space on the the USB drive is 7800420 KB
— Required free space for installer: 23828 KB
— Copying boot files to the USB drive…
— Extracting Slackware initrd.img…
— Modifying installer files…
*** ./usbimg2disk.sh FAILED at line 41 ***
— Cleaning up the staging area…

Comment from alienbob
Posted: June 27, 2012 at 14:08

Try adding “–l /tmp/usbimg2disk.log” and post the content of that logfile here. I do no run Ubuntu so I do not know what it expects. The script is only tested on Slackware.

Eric

Comment from alienbob
Posted: June 27, 2012 at 14:23

Also, sathish and ajay, could you please try running this script instead? I made a change to a single line which should hopefully show you the actual line in the script where the error occurs (the number “41″ is wrong):

http://www.slackware.com/~alien/tools/usbimg2disk.sh

Thanks, Eric

Comment from J
Posted: July 6, 2012 at 19:17

Or press ENTER to continue:
— Setting FAT partition label to ‘USBSLACKINS’
Total number of sectors not a multiple of sectors per track!
Add mtools_skip_check=1 to your .mtoolsrc file to skip this test
*** ./usbimg2disk.sh FAILED at line 355 ***
— Cleaning up the staging area…

Comment from alienbob
Posted: July 6, 2012 at 22:10

Perhaps you have to follow the advice given in the error output…:

“Add mtools_skip_check=1 to your .mtoolsrc file to skip this test”

Eric

Comment from alienbob
Posted: July 6, 2012 at 22:15

… or alternatively, try the updated http://www.slackware.com/~alien/tools/usbimg2disk.sh script, where I added that configuration parameter “mtools_skip_check=1″ to the script itself. No need for your own .toolsrc file.

Eric

Comment from J
Posted: July 7, 2012 at 21:21

It’s working now, thanks!

Comment from Juan
Posted: August 4, 2012 at 18:19

Works fine on a thinkpad X201 without DVD, is perfect. Thank you very much.
I created the USB key into an old thinkpad T30.

Comment from Kamen
Posted: September 16, 2012 at 15:18

Thank you for the tool. It really helped me.

Pingback from Interview with Patrick Volkerding of Slackware – Page 5
Posted: November 22, 2012 at 09:40

[...] on how to make bootable a 64GB USB Flash and a 32GB USB Flash. Perhaps this will help: http://alien.slackbook.org/blog/inst…b-thumb-drive/ [...]

Comment from Blanko
Posted: December 2, 2012 at 21:10

I simply cannot stress enough how useful this script is. Thank you very much.

Comment from Kristian
Posted: January 15, 2013 at 15:31

Thanks for the script Eric.
I had to lower the MININSFREE value, as my 2GB usb stick appearantly to small for the 1.3 GB installation..

Pingback from Installing slackware 13.37 from dvd
Posted: February 24, 2013 at 01:43

[...] installation options: PXE install, booting from a Slackware bootable USB drive (also see http://alien.slackbook.org/blog/inst…b-thumb-drive/). You could also try burning my mini ISO image to a CDROM (see [...]

Pingback from Questions on installing from USB stick
Posted: April 21, 2013 at 10:04

[...] could try this one as [...]

Pingback from slackware: freshly made image won’t boot
Posted: May 13, 2013 at 07:53

[...] describes another method for making a USB thumb drive to boot the Slackware installer here: http://alien.slackbook.org/blog/inst…b-thumb-drive/ Last edited by Z038; Today at 12:37 [...]

Comment from Nihlaeth
Posted: July 27, 2013 at 12:32

I’m trying to make an all-in-one usb stick with slackware14 for my new workstation. I’m currently running os x 10.6.8 so I’m doing everything from an arch linux virtual(box) machine.

Making the usb stick works fine:
sh usbimg2disk.sh -f -s /mnt/cdrom -o /dev/sdb
(/mnt/cdrom is the slack14 dvd)

Only when I insert the usb stick into my workstation it doesn’t recognize it as bootable. I set usb boot as highest priority in the bios and checked if the boot flag was set on the usb partition. Everything like it’s supposed to be.

I’ve tried dd’ing a modified iso first, it did recognize that as bootable but the image didn’t work. So I don’t think it’s the usb stick.

Do you have any idea as to what I’m doing wrong?

p.s. the script does not check if rsync is installed. The error (rsync: command not found) is pretty self explanatory though. I’ve also had to make symlinks for cpio and mkdosfs because the script was looking in the wrong directories under arch linux.

Thanks in advance!

Comment from maitri
Posted: November 17, 2013 at 05:32

hai !
I’m newbie I use puppy linux precise pagolin
I’ve tried your script and it almost 3 hours and it’s not done yet …
how long does it take to make a slackware usb installer with your script ?
and how can i tell if your script is still make a slackware usb installer or it just freeze ?
thanks

Comment from verdinand
Posted: December 29, 2013 at 22:11

I feel like I’m missing something obvious here; I’m trying to figure out how to use this script to create a fully functional USB installer for the 64-bit version of Slackware 14.1, but my main problem is the source code (or lack thereof).

I obtained the install dvd .iso via torrent, but I had to download the .iso with the source code separately as it was not included on the 64-bit version of 14.1.

As mentioned in the help file for the script, a Slackware file tree is necessary to create a fully functional usb installer. I’m not sure if/how I’m supposed to get both the 64-bit .iso AND the source code onto the same usb stick for a successful installer, or whether I should be doing something else entirely.

Comment from alienbob
Posted: December 29, 2013 at 22:49

The source code is not required at all. Slackware is a “binary diostribution”, the source code and scripts which produced all the package is available in order to be compliant with the licenses. Having the Slackware DVD ISO should be enough.
Even better, the official ISO images have been created in such a way (with the help of the ‘isohybrid’ program) that you can write them directly to a USB stick to create a bootable installer. This “usbimg2disk.sh” script may have been obsoleted by the new way of producing the ISOs.

Eric

Comment from aikiwav
Posted: January 20, 2014 at 15:37

I’m looking for some help using this usb installer on an intel iMac. I’ve created the usb installer using your second example (using my own directories, of course):
usbimg2disk.sh -f -s /home/ftp/pub/slackware-13.0 -o /dev/sdX

But the iMac doesn’t recognize the thumb drive as a possible option for booting. Any idea what I might need to do?

Comment from alienbob
Posted: January 20, 2014 at 17:05

Hi aikiwav

Try removing the “-s” parameter from the “syslinux” call which you can find almost at the end of the usbimg2disk.sh script.

Alternatively you could try writing the Slackware 14.1 DVD ISO image directly to a USB stick. The new ISOs have been made compatible with USB booting and support UEFI.

Eric

Comment from Dave Brooke
Posted: January 25, 2014 at 17:02

I’ve been trying to setup a usb bootable memory for doing an install of slackware64 from a slackware-14.1 system but get an error when running usbimg2disk.

mktemp: invalid option — ‘p’
Usage: mktemp [-q] [-u] template
*** ./usbimg2disk.sh FAILED at line 353 ***
— Cleaning up the staging area…

As far as I know the packages on the source system are up to date, I’ve moved the script and the img to simplify the paths but keep getting the same error. I did look at the script and thought maybe p should be a q but then I get a failure at the same line with t as the invalid option.

Dave

Comment from alienbob
Posted: January 25, 2014 at 21:38

Your mktemp is not the one used on a Slackware computer. The “-p” parameter should be recognized as valid.

$ mktemp -h
mktemp: invalid option — ‘h’
Usage: mktemp [-V] | [-dqtu] [-p prefix] [template]

Eric

Comment from Dave Brooke
Posted: January 28, 2014 at 14:17

Eric,

I’ll look into that but seems odd since the system has been running slackware for the last ten years and should be running 14.1 at the moment.
Maybe I’ve not done an upgrade correctly or the mirror I used for source is not up to date.

Thanks for posting the mktemp options – I can check that easily.

Dave

Pingback from Slack 14.1 USB install
Posted: February 6, 2014 at 17:40

[…] can copy the slackware tree to the stick. I did an install yesterday from a usb stick . I followed http://alien.slackbook.org/blog/inst…b-thumb-drive/ and then used an archive manager, that can read .ISO , to put the slackware install files into the […]

Pingback from Newb to command line: Error setting up USB Drive to install Slackware
Posted: February 28, 2014 at 18:48

[…] and its packages using Terminal on Mac OS X10.6. The tactic I am using is found here: http://alien.slackbook.org/blog/inst…b-thumb-drive/ The goal is to use Eric's enhanced "usbimg2disk.sh" script to format the USB Drive, […]

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