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Thread: Flash to USB installer (experimental) in 7.0.5

  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by STraute View Post
    Hello ttopp

    What did happen after the searching? Did it just hang there? Nothing?

    For both USB flash devices, I would expect the boot loader from the DVD to mount the partition image file from the flash storage and to continue booting to the Knoppix desktop, but without mounting the persistent overlayfile system on /dev/sdd2. Did that work?
    Good Morning. I read your response and clicked reply with quote and I am now typing below your answer. I hope this is the proper way. OK. Yesterday the message was can not find KNOPPIX dir in ISO and it kept cycling through the available areas. This morning I used the 8GB after seeing it has only 1 area, sdd1. Same message and kept cycling. But now I will try again and I will WAIT... to see what it does if it does continue... Thank you. Siddhartha can wait. So can I.

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by ttopp View Post
    Good Morning. I read your response and clicked reply with quote and I am now typing below your answer. I hope this is the proper way. OK. Yesterday the message was can not find KNOPPIX dir in ISO and it kept cycling through the available areas. This morning I used the 8GB after seeing it has only 1 area, sdd1. Same message and kept cycling. But now I will try again and I will WAIT... to see what it does if it does continue... Thank you. Siddhartha can wait. So can I.
    OK. After 28 cycles PC booted to the DVD. As it cycled I tried to see the different messages and noticed a mnt-iso in the text that went by. There is a note after my post that mentions boot hd is that for me to try? Thanks.

  3. #53
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    Hurrah Hurrah Hurrah! It worked! knoppix fromhd=/dev/sdd1 Thanks people, - you're the best.

  4. #54
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    Smile Booting Knoppix from flash device on PC of ttop - Resolution

    Flash devices onto which ttop had written Knoppix 7.0.5 (both using the experimental installer "flash-knoppix2" and the "traditional" installer) were directly bootable (as USB block storage devices) on some PCs, but not on the main PC of ttop. He could not resolve this via BIOS setup changes.

    I had suggested to him (as a Test) to try to boot from a Knoppix CD or DVD; And at the kernel prompt to enter a cheat code in order to mount the compressed read-only file system image in file KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX from the flash device (instead of the copy on the optical medium). The cheat code "knoppix fromhd=/dev/sdX1" does this (not "bootfrom=", as I had wrongly suggested before). ttop replied that this had solved his Knoppix booting problems, which was a suprise for me:
    Quote Originally Posted by ttopp View Post
    Hurrah Hurrah Hurrah! It worked! knoppix fromhd=/dev/sdd1
    Then it occured to me to try this scenario myself, in order to learn what had happened on the PC of ttop. My PC can boot from USB, but I tried to boot from a DVD with Knoppix 7.0.5, while a SDHC memory card with Knoppix 7.0.5 was already inserted/connected. At the kernel/boot prompt I entered the cheat code: knoppix fromhd=/dev/sdb1 . To my suprise, not only did Knoppix continue loading from my SDHC card, but it also had the persistent overlay reiserfs filesystem from the SDHC card mounted. This means one can work with a read-write Knoppix system started from a flash storage device even on PCs which are unable to boot from USB devices! (Provided the PC has a DVD drive and one brings a Knoppix DVD, too.)

    To further my (at this point clearly broken) understanding of the Knoppix boot process, I decided to investigate: Like most Linux systems nowadays, the Knoppix kernel first passes control to configuration software (which for example might supplement the kernel with kernel modules for support of the present hardware) before initialising the system services (by using SysV init scripts or upstart or...). The kernel modules and configuration software can be found in a special compressed archieve/file system image file, which gets loaded and used directly after the kernel has finished loading. I have unpacked this file system using these commands:
    Code:
    cd
    mkdir minirt
    cd minirt
    gzip -dc /mnt-system/boot/syslinux/minirt.gz | cpio -idv 2>minirt_cpio_errors.log
    The cpio command will try to unpack even the special files in the /dev directory of this file system, but this will fail and cause error messages because user knoppix does not have the needed permissions to invoke mknod to create the special files.

    Anyway, after this I could read the system configuration script using this:
    Code:
     less init
    This shell script implements the support for most of the Knoppix cheat codes. The version on the Knoppix 7.0.5 DVD images not only identifies a storage device from which the file system image in file KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX can be mounted, it also looks for a second partition on the same device from which an overlay file system can be mounted (as /KNOPPIX-DATA) for persistent storage (among many other measures). It will not find such a partition on a DVD or CD (No partitioning, therefore no second partition), but if directed to another storage medium using the "fromhd=" cheat code, then the script does find it there and mounts it. This behavior is flexible and very useful!

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by STraute View Post
    Flash devices onto which ttop had written Knoppix 7.0.5 (both using the experimental installer "flash-knoppix2" and the "traditional" installer) were directly bootable (as USB block storage devices) on some PCs, but not on the main PC of ttop. He could not resolve this via BIOS setup changes.

    I had suggested to him (as a Test) to try to boot from a Knoppix CD or DVD; And at the kernel prompt to enter a cheat code in order to mount the compressed read-only file system image in file KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX from the flash device (instead of the copy on the optical medium). The cheat code "knoppix fromhd=/dev/sdX1" does this (not "bootfrom=", as I had wrongly suggested before). ttop replied that this had solved his Knoppix booting problems, which was a suprise for me:

    Then it occured to me to try this scenario myself, in order to learn what had happened on the PC of ttop. My PC can boot from USB, but I tried to boot from a DVD with Knoppix 7.0.5, while a SDHC memory card with Knoppix 7.0.5 was already inserted/connected. At the kernel/boot prompt I entered the cheat code: knoppix fromhd=/dev/sdb1 . To my suprise, not only did Knoppix continue loading from my SDHC card, but it also had the persistent overlay reiserfs filesystem from the SDHC card mounted. This means one can work with a read-write Knoppix system started from a flash storage device even on PCs which are unable to boot from USB devices! (Provided the PC has a DVD drive and one brings a Knoppix DVD, too.)

    To further my (at this point clearly broken) understanding of the Knoppix boot process, I decided to investigate: Like most Linux systems nowadays, the Knoppix kernel first passes control to configuration software (which for example might supplement the kernel with kernel modules for support of the present hardware) before initialising the system services (by using SysV init scripts or upstart or...). The kernel modules and configuration software can be found in a special compressed archieve/file system image file, which gets loaded and used directly after the kernel has finished loading. I have unpacked this file system using these commands:
    Code:
    cd
    mkdir minirt
    cd minirt
    gzip -dc /mnt-system/boot/syslinux/minirt.gz | cpio -idv 2>minirt_cpio_errors.log
    The cpio command will try to unpack even the special files in the /dev directory of this file system, but this will fail and cause error messages because user knoppix does not have the needed permissions to invoke mknod to create the special files.

    Anyway, after this I could read the system configuration script using this:
    Code:
     less init
    This shell script implements the support for most of the Knoppix cheat codes. The version on the Knoppix 7.0.5 DVD images not only identifies a storage device from which the file system image in file KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX can be mounted, it also looks for a second partition on the same device from which an overlay file system can be mounted (as /KNOPPIX-DATA) for persistent storage (among many other measures). It will not find such a partition on a DVD or CD (No partitioning, therefore no second partition), but if directed to another storage medium using the "fromhd=" cheat code, then the script does find it there and mounts it. This behavior is flexible and very useful!
    Great! But, Does this mean that I am stuck with needing a DVD or a pre configured floppy disk to get the USB booted? I have a floppy drive if someone would care to share how to get this done. Thanks again for staying with me on this issue.

  6. #56
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    Question in re 'init' @STraute, or anyone

    .
    I use a LiveUSB made from Knoppix 7.0.5 LiveCD.
    I note that when either the LiveCD or the LiveUSB is booted, that
    there is a file '/init' in the root directory '/'
    which is root:root ownership, dated 20 Dec 2012, and 38932 bytes.

    Is this the same or different than the 'init' one finds using the cpio route?

    Thanks.

  7. #57
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    Interrupted Knoppix boot

    Hello utu;

    Quote Originally Posted by utu View Post
    I use a LiveUSB made from Knoppix 7.0.5 LiveCD.
    I note that when either the LiveCD or the LiveUSB is booted, that
    there is a file '/init' in the root directory '/'
    which is root:root ownership, dated 20 Dec 2012, and 38932 bytes.

    Is this the same or different than the 'init' one finds using the cpio route?
    I think it is indeed the same init file: While playing with the bootfrom= cheat code (to learn what I had wrought upon poor ttop with my "shot from the hip" test suggestion), I was able to interrupt the repeating search across devices for a KNOPPIX image files by pressing the Ctrl+C keys. I was then left in a shell, from which I could access a root file system containig some scripts and kernel modules (.ko suffix).

    I remembered the initrd boot file system approach then. The "cpio route" for unpacking minirt.gz is just something I made up to make the init boot script accessible in a more complete Linux environment (and without interrupting the boot process in such a drastic way).

  8. #58
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    Booting Knoppix from flash device on PC of ttop, again

    Hello ttopp;

    Quote Originally Posted by ttopp View Post
    But, Does this mean that I am stuck with needing a DVD or a pre configured floppy disk to get the USB booted?
    Well, I still don't know why Your PC can boot Spinrite from flash storage but seemingly nothing else. Therefore I don't yet have an answer.

    Quote Originally Posted by ttopp View Post
    I have a floppy drive if someone would care to share how to get this done.
    Sorry, I can't help you there either. The only PC (Laptop) with a floppy drive I still have does not have usable USB ports. But I remember to be able to write boot floppies for/from a Linux Installation on the internal hard disk of that laptop. That was a nice way to preserve boot loaders of other OS on the HDD of the laptop.
    Knoppix still comes with the needed tools, I think: fdformat and grub-mkrescue (or grub-mkimage) might be the ticket for that. Perhaps other forum members can help you to find and test a procedure for making a Knoppix 7.0.5 boot floppy?

  9. #59
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    Boot floppy for flash storage installs?

    This old thread about Knoppix boot floppies might have suggestions:
    http://knoppix.net/forum/threads/222...r-Boot-Floppy!
    (Sorry for the seperate post, I found this only after my posting edit period expired.)

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by STraute View Post
    Hello ttopp;


    Well, I still don't know why Your PC can boot Spinrite from flash storage but seemingly nothing else. Therefore I don't yet have an answer.


    Sorry, I can't help you there either. The only PC (Laptop) with a floppy drive I still have does not have usable USB ports. But I remember to be able to write boot floppies for/from a Linux Installation on the internal hard disk of that laptop. That was a nice way to preserve boot loaders of other OS on the HDD of the laptop.
    Knoppix still comes with the needed tools, I think: fdformat and grub-mkrescue (or grub-mkimage) might be the ticket for that. Perhaps other forum members can help you to find and test a procedure for making a Knoppix 7.0.5 boot floppy?
    Thank you so much. And, the 256MB USB that booted Spinrite had a FreeDOS on it -if I hadn't mentioned it-, prior to now. I apologize, I thought I covered all the particulars. I last used LILO so I am now off to read up on, grub? Thank you.

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