View Full Version : Making a bootable cd
Oct 10th 2007, 04:54 PM
Ok, here's my situation. I have Kubuntu 7.04 installed on my laptop. a friend of mine just got OpenSUSE 10.3 and had the disc with him. We didn't have enough time to install it on a second partition on my computer for me to play around with and since i didn't have any blank discs to make a copy of his, he just copied all the files on to my harddrive.
what we didn't know was that it wouldn't boot when it was burned to a disc.
i'm not able to download an iso image on the computers that i'm using for internet access. the network guys have it blocked for large single file sizes. so now i'm in a predicament. i can burn the files to disc in the same structure that they were in on the actual live cd, but it's not bootable when i restart my laptop.
is there something i can do to make the disc bootable? i've done some searching around but most of what's out there has something to do with floppy drives, at least from what i can find. there is a Boot folder at the root of the disc. it seems like the boot info is in there. maybe that will be of some help to most of you. i found the entire file structure of what the iso image contains here http://www.mirrorservice.org/sites/ftp.opensuse.org/pub/opensuse/distribution/10.3/iso/cd/openSUSE-10.3-GM-GNOME-i386.iso[peek]
i took the time to verify each file was available and that i wasn't actually losing my mind.
if someone can help, i'd appreciate it.
Oct 10th 2007, 06:24 PM
You might have a look at how Herman makes this CD bootable:
Sometimes, you can sorta copy the key things that make these things go.
Iím sure he addresses the El Torito requirement and all that.
Oct 11th 2007, 05:55 AM
thanks for the link. unfortunately i can't look at it. network guys have it blocked, which sucks.
i've seen something about genisoimage but i'm a little confused on how that operates. i'm going to download super grub disk with gparted to see if i can do something with that. if anything, i'll learn something, which is key.
Oct 11th 2007, 11:48 AM
I havenít had time to try it yet, but Hermanís work looks interesting, and seems to be exactly what you are talking about wanting to do. Maybe you could have someone access and print that page. In OOo Writer, itís 28 pages (using standard page layout), kind of expensive to print (but worth it!), or 41 KB (you could get it copied to flash drive or CD).
Conceptually, the steps are:
Download Super Grub Disk CD.
Download your Kubuntu files Ė which you have already done.
Access the SGD files either by burning it to CD and copying those files or by accessing the iso files directly (using commands).
Access the Kubuntu files Ė which you already have available.
Copy the Kubuntu files into a newly created directory. Copy the /boot/grub files out somewhere safe and save them separately.
Copy SGD files into same, thus overwriting the GRUB files of Kubuntu with the GRUB files of SGD.
Edit the /boot/grub/menu.lst of SGD to include a boot entry for Kubuntu.
NOTE: Use the saved /boot/grub/menu.lst of Kubuntu to copy a boot stanza for Kubuntu (with title, kernel, initrd statements).
Use the magic genisoimage command to convert this working directory into an iso file.
Put a new CD in the tray, right click the iso file you just created, and select ďwrite to disk.Ē
Re-boot to test it.
- - - - -
BTW, for others reading this, Hermanís work there would be a neat and instructive exercise to try, especially for people new to the command line. (Read tuxfiles for command line basics.) He puts SGD, Puppy Linux, and GParted all on the same CD and makes it a bootable CD. As I said, I have only just read this, but plan to make it my next Linux experiment soon when I get a little time. I have done this sort of thing on a flash drive, but not a CD.
(My stuff at: How To Make GRUB Thumb Drive
and read down the posts for Puppy etc.)
Hermanís main page: Bigpond, home: http://users.bigpond.net.au/hermanzone/
(A standard reference for dual booting and other neat Linux topics.)
Oct 11th 2007, 01:37 PM
Unless I'm overlooking some subtle point, looks like you could do this straightaway using just the genisoimage command after building that temporary directory for the OS files.
Note, if it helps (copied from Herman)
herman@red:~$ genisoimage -R -b boot/grub/stage2_eltorito \
-input-charset iso8859-1 \
-V "SUPERGPARTPUPPY" \
-boot-load-size 4 -boot-info-table -o supergpartpuppy.iso supergpartpuppy
(supergpartpuppy is the "temporary" directory where he put all the OS files; then genisoimage converts it to an .iso, and that .iso file is then copied to CD.)
Sorry, I'm about with you here in not knowing much more than this, but it sure looks quite doable from here. Maybe someone else has actual experience doing this.
Oct 11th 2007, 05:59 PM
If you can't get it to work you can always order a copy of it on cd to be posted to you. Thats generally the main alternative to burning it yourself.
Oct 13th 2007, 06:28 AM
Hello Qqmike and everyone,
I think it would be better if you can find some other way to install.
I helped someone with a similar question once before about files from a Ubuntu CD and I tried pretty hard already to get it to work.
I do have a genisoimage command I was working on that can make a folder full of files into a Ubuntu CD, and it will boot.
Here's the link, http://users.bigpond.net.au/hermanzone/p10.htm#genisoimage_commands, it's in my File Systems and Mounting Page, because the genisoimage command makes the file system for the CD.
It would be wise to read the sub-links off that link thoroughly too, before doing anything.
One thing you need to be aware of too, is there is a hidden file named .disk in the CD (on the Ubuntu CD at least, probably Kubuntu too), that most people wouldn't know you need to copy into their folder full of files, otherwise your CD won't boot, so check that you have included that or you might waste your time and some of your CDs.
I did manage to at least make a bootable CD that way, but I don't remember trying to install with it. You can try it, but be careful, and back up everything first. Let me know how you get along.
Unfortunately I can't guarantee you will have a successful installation from it because I could not get the md5sum to work out right, so it isn't a perfect copy of the original CD, so anything can happen during the installation. It could be unpredictable, maybe it will be okay or maybe not.
I think there is probably still a lot I have to learn about the genisoimage command and/or about Ubuntu/Kubuntu disks, I'm sure I am missing something.
Actually I'm trying to remember something else I did with a folder full of files. I dimly remember making a small extra partition with GParted LiveCD and copying files into it and booting it somehow (as if it were a Live CD), and installing from that. I'll try to remember where I left the details about that and a link I can give you, if I can find anything I'll get back to you. That might be a better way to do what you want to do.
Regards, Herman :)
EDIT: Here is the link to the how-to I used to install from files copied to a partition, https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Installation/FromLinux, that is definitely the one I used because I still have the same boot entry in one of my /boot/grub/menu.lst files.
I'm not sure if you'll still need that invisible .disk file, just make sure you have that, because a lot of people would copy the CD in GUI mode (drag and drop the files), so they would miss the invisible file, (unless you clicked 'show hidden files' first). If you used the cp-r command you'll be okay, or maybe it won't matter if you don't have that file for booting a partition, just try it and see.
Regards, Herman :)
Oct 13th 2007, 09:56 AM
Hi Herman --
Thanks for checking this for us. Interesting points you raise, and good point about working in GUI in Konqueror with drag-and-drop! I usually remember to enable View Hidden files, but not always and now I'm wondering about a couple projects I did that way . . . Hmmm . . .
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.2.0 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.