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Thread: ISO boot from FAT/NTFS/USB (GRUB.exe, grldr from boot.ini)

  1. #671
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    Hi Capricorny,
    Thank you very much for your feedback.
    To get Knoppix to work as a VmWare guest I had to add some Linux Kernel modules in the minirt.
    BTW, did you try the knoppix vm guest I posted in my previous post ? It uses the Knoppix iso as a base
    so the vm data is practically the VmWare tools plus the 3D acceleration supports under VmWare 9.0.1
    (nice to see the compiz cube within a vm guest). At boot time (grub menu) you will have two boot options:
    one to boot with a ramdisk and the other with data persistence (in a separate virtual disk).
    Just try it if you can and please let me know how it works for you.
    Best Regards,
    Gilles

  2. #672
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    Adding kernel modules: Interesting, hope I'll get to look at it some day - but I'm just happy to use your modifications.
    I installed VMware tools the standard way, and because these VMs will be used mostly as servers, I don't know if I will take the time to try out your more comprehensive customization. But if some of them are to be run under Windows, I might try!

    As for grub, maybe I should format the virtual disk as ext2/ext3, and install legacy grub to it? But for my present use, using isolinux boot is adequate for now. Using the flash-installer has got a lot of appeal to me..

    And I must say, packing your minirt with the ISO, and using it from the first guest boot on, seems so simple and safe to me.

  3. #673
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    Hi Capricorny,
    I use this setup on a win7 64 host (as a Linux server) and it is really easy to use, nothing to install: just download, unzip & play.
    If needed the persistence allows me to add the config files and links to the services I need to run at boot time.
    BTW, I do use ext4 for my virtual drives (not in the vm I did post but I could post it if you like)
    as an ext4 has some clear benefits. But for this I had to create first a small ext3 boot partition
    (before the large ext4) to hold grldr as the grub master boot record cannot find grldr in an ext4 partition.
    I just found out recently about another master boot record "wee" which should be capable to load grldr from an ext4.
    It has a "lba only" limitation (will not work on old machines) but should be ok in a vm. (I did not try it yet though...)
    BTW, I also created a simple setup to boot Knoppix as a host from the iso located within a win7 ntfs partition and
    add/patch at boot time (using the unionfs) a cloop containing the VmWare Workstation application in such a way
    that I can use Knoppix as a host (from an external hdd or a usb dongle) on someone else computer to run vmware
    and from there have various guests (such as Win 7) without touching the host computer data. Great to travel light...
    Cheers,
    Gilles

    PS: I may have removed the persistence option in the grub config file, but I could post an update if you like to try it.

  4. #674
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    I just wonder: Is there any special advantage of using grub for booting virtual machines, except,possibly, for underlying file system? Only the syslinux + kernel&initrd must be on the FAT32 part, right?
    I also wonder if I could trick vmware into doing something similar to qemu-kvm? There, I simply boot legacy grub on the host boot partition, and select an ordinary Knoppix copy on some unmounted partition to run in the VM.

    As for your ISO + persistent method, why do you use the ISO - this can be easily accomplished with only the stick too, right? With a 32 GB stick, I can have both full Knoppix, a well-endowed Windows VM + some room to spare.

    Your vm is made under Workstation 9.X. Having 8.0.5 working so well, I thought I'd forgo the 9.1, but having looked more closely into it, there seem to be quite a few improvements, in addition to the obvious Windows 8 adaptation. Any problems with 9.X?
    Last edited by Capricorny; 02-15-2013 at 03:54 PM.

  5. #675
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    Hi Capricorny,
    I like like grub for a couple of reasons: first of all it has an interactive mode where the command line
    can be modified which is really useful for debugging and when some configurations have changed.
    No need to boot the system in order to edit the configuration file and then reboot to verify the update.
    Then the exact same binary and configuration files (including a tree of sub-menus for multi-boots)
    can be used for local device boot and network (pxe) boot. Or in other words I use the exact same
    setup whatever running inside a vm or as a host setup which is really handy. Finally it is really simple
    to install (as the mbr code is capable to find the stage2 grldr code from all the scanned partitions)
    and has a ton of scripting and hacking capabilities, cf: http://www.rmprepusb.com/tutorials/grub4dos

    I like to keep the original compressed and unmodifed knoppix iso file and have all the desired customizations and
    persistence clearly separated in order to keep them small and have multiple variants of them on the same media
    (as some of them may be incompatible with each other). BTW I keep my USB stick formatted with NTFS so it
    can also be used as is on Windows system and since I only have a few files for the NTFS file system they are easy
    to copy, update and be checked for integrity. Finally if I have any kind of corruption on the persistence, I can still boot
    in Ramdisk mode to empty or erase the persistence and after reboot I still have all my extra functions and features
    as they are in cloop outside of the iso file and are also separated from the data persistence.

    The two vm: vmk705_894247.zip and vmk705_894247_3d.zip are using the Worstation 8.0 hardware compatibility
    but have the Workstation 9.0.1 tools installed so they can be used with either versions of Workstation (8 or 9)
    as as far as I know the tools are backward compatibles. The only problem I have found so far is the video recording
    which is broken in version 9. I already filed a bug report with VMware but it did not get fixed from 9.0 to 9.1.
    BTW, did you try yet the 3d support within the guest ?
    Best Regards,
    Gilles

  6. #676
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruymbeke View Post
    Hi Capricorny,
    I like like grub for a couple of reasons: first of all it has an interactive mode where the command line
    can be modified which is really useful for debugging and when some configurations have changed.
    No need to boot the system in order to edit the configuration file and then reboot to verify the update.
    Then the exact same binary and configuration files (including a tree of sub-menus for multi-boots)
    can be used for local device boot and network (pxe) boot. Or in other words I use the exact same
    setup whatever running inside a vm or as a host setup which is really handy. Finally it is really simple
    to install (as the mbr code is capable to find the stage2 grldr code from all the scanned partitions)
    and has a ton of scripting and hacking capabilities, cf: http://www.rmprepusb.com/tutorials/grub4dos
    Thanks a lot for the tips and the link - time for learning this now, I guess. But when I go into bootloading, I would like to view things in the UEFI context. Seems like they consider that too.

    I like to keep the original compressed and unmodifed knoppix iso file and have all the desired customizations and
    persistence clearly separated in order to keep them small and have multiple variants of them on the same media
    (as some of them may be incompatible with each other). BTW I keep my USB stick formatted with NTFS so it
    can also be used as is on Windows system and since I only have a few files for the NTFS file system they are easy
    to copy, update and be checked for integrity. Finally if I have any kind of corruption on the persistence, I can still boot
    in Ramdisk mode to empty or erase the persistence and after reboot I still have all my extra functions and features
    as they are in cloop outside of the iso file and are also separated from the data persistence.
    There is no reason you have to start with the unmodified Knoppix file, is it? You could have used a remastered version? And the technique here is separate overlays (like KNOPPIX1a, KNOPPIX1b etc) for different uses? What is the trick of selecting between overlays?

    The two vm: vmk705_894247.zip and vmk705_894247_3d.zip are using the Worstation 8.0 hardware compatibility
    but have the Workstation 9.0.1 tools installed so they can be used with either versions of Workstation (8 or 9)
    as as far as I know the tools are backward compatibles. The only problem I have found so far is the video recording
    which is broken in version 9. I already filed a bug report with VMware but it did not get fixed from 9.0 to 9.1.
    BTW, did you try yet the 3d support within the guest ?
    Best Regards,
    Gilles
    Think I'll try 9.1, then. Haven't looked at the 3d support - I tend to minimize graphics features for my needs, which tend to be more cpu-intensive.

  7. #677
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    Hi Capricorny,
    There is no reason you have to start with the unmodified Knoppix file, is it? You could have used a remastered version?
    Yes but remastering the DVD takes a lot of storage space and takes a long time to create (since there are a lot of files and data to compress) so why do it over and over again with mostly the same data in it for each customization ? I much prefer work only on the deltas which are usually quite smaller (as the vmware tools) are faster to create and are not requiring much resources. It is also nice to select and use the deltas as required: as an example I have the same config for booting Knoppix via pxe whatever it is inside a vm guest (where I need the Vmware tools) or as a host where I use a cloop overlay with the VMware Workstation application this time in such a way that I can run multiple guests within my pxe booted Knoppix host. Finally having my customization stored outside of the Knoppix iso allows me to have an overall much smaller amount of data than having multiple big 5GB isos for each one of the customization. As a side effect it also takes much less room on my USB dongles, SSDs and other expensive media and is also much faster to copy, update or check for data integrity, ...
    And the technique here is separate overlays (like KNOPPIX1a, KNOPPIX1b etc) for different uses? What is the trick of selecting between overlays?
    You can guess now why I like grub: I can edit the command line at boot time to add or remove cloops in order to add, reduce or change functionalities as desired. cf the kernel boot parameter: "cloop=vmt894247,3dd" These are two cloop overlays outside of the original Knoppix iso file which are adding the vmware tools and the 3d guest rendering functionalities at boot time. So as an example if you do not care for the 3d rendering you can just remove the ",3dd" parameter. I hope this will help. Best Regards,
    Gilles
    Last edited by ruymbeke; 02-18-2013 at 12:59 AM.

  8. #678
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    Knoppix 7.0.5 as a VMware 9.0.2 virtual machine guest with optional persistence & 3D.

    Hello,
    Please find below the latest Knoppix 7.0.5 VMware 9.0.2 virtual machine guest
    with optional data persistence and 3D support. Please find below the link to the vm zipped:
    http://s94002264.onlinehome.us/grub/...1031769_3d.zip (with 3D support 144MB)
    http://s94002264.onlinehome.us/grub/vmk705_1031769.zip (without 3D support 46MB)
    Please provide some feedback.
    Best Regards,
    Gilles

    PS: I used the following script to get the Knoppix 7.0.5 guest 3D support to work:
    http://s94002264.onlinehome.us/grub/...uild_3d.sh.txt
    Please find below a link to the 3D cloop file used in the above vm:
    http://s94002264.onlinehome.us/grub/k705/3dd
    and another link to the VMware 9.0.2 tools cloop file also used in the above vm:
    http://s94002264.onlinehome.us/grub/k705/vmt1031769

  9. #679
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    Knoppix 7.1.0 as a VMware 9.0.2 virtual machine guest with optional persistence & 3D.

    Hello,
    Please find below the latest Knoppix CeBIT 7.1.0 minirt for nfs, samba and iso boots (32 & 64):
    http://s94002264.onlinehome.us/grub/k710/minirt_710.gz (10.6MB)
    and the latest VMware 9.0.2 virtual machine guest zipped with optional data persistence and 3D:
    http://s94002264.onlinehome.us/grub/...1031769_3d.zip (with 3D support 150MB)
    http://s94002264.onlinehome.us/grub/vmk710_1031769.zip (without 3D support 46.1MB)
    Please provide some feedback.
    Best Regards,
    Gilles

    PS: I used the following script to get the Knoppix 7.1.0 guest 3D support to work:
    http://s94002264.onlinehome.us/grub/...uild_3d.sh.txt
    Please find below a link to the 3D cloop file used in the above vm:
    http://s94002264.onlinehome.us/grub/k710/3dd
    and another link to the VMware 9.0.2 tools cloop file also used in the above vm:
    http://s94002264.onlinehome.us/grub/k710/vmt1031769

  10. #680
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    Hi Ruymbeke,
    it's correct that inside minirt_710.gz have you posted, the welcome message in init script file is still knoppix 7.0 and not knoppix 7.1 as I would expect?

    Thank you

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