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USB Linux Howto: Adding Another Distribution 7 October, 2008

Posted by aronzak in Backtrack, Linux, Live Disk, Live Linux, Live Usb, Puppy Linux.
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You should already have a bootable USB stick with a Linux distribution. The non destructive method uses a tool called “Syslinux” to boot up. You can modify the settings to boot multiple Linux distributions, and use other tools.

There should be file called “syslinux.cfg” on your USB stick. It will be on the root of the drive or in boot/syslinux. It should have something like this in it:

default vmlinuz initrd=initrd.gz ...

Change this to match this format:

LABEL default
KERNEL vmlinuz
APPEND initrd=initrd.gz ...

Next, copy everything from a Live cd or an extracted .iso file (using winrar or another program that can extract an .iso file) your USB stick. Copy everything inside the file isolinux.cfg and paste it at the bottom of syslinux.cfg. Now, in order to allow you to choose what to boot, add to the top of syslinux.cfg

DEFAULT default

This will give you a choice of what to boot when you boot off your USB stick, and will boot the default after a time of 15 seconds.You’ll need to type the label of each Linux distribution at the prompt. Make sure you set the distributions with obvious labels. It may be helpful to set the labels to numbers. Additionally, you can display information when you boot up off your USB stick. To do so, create a file called Menu.txt saying something like this:

Booting off USB
Choose one of the following:
1 - Puppy Linux (default)
2 - Backtrack
Press Enter to boot the default.

Then edit the top of syslinux.cfg, adding this:

DISPLAY Menu.txt

If you want to move any files, change the information in syslinux.cfg to reflect this.

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USB Linux Howto: Puppy Universal Installer 7 October, 2008

Posted by aronzak in Linux, Live Disk, Live Linux, Live Usb, Puppy Linux.
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This will guide you through installing Puppy Linux on a USB stick using its graphical installer wizard. You’ll need a version of Puppy on a CD or USB stick. If you already have one, skip down. If you don’t follow this:

1. Download the latest version of Puppy Linux. Download a CD disk image (.iso file).

Then, either use a CD or use virtualisation software.

Using a live CD:

2. Burn the .iso to a blank CD
(Note: You need to burn the contents of the .iso to a disk, don’t just put the iso on the disk as a file. You’ll need to play around with your cd burning software to get this to work. Try not to waste a disk.) Software like nero or alcohol120% or even a Windows CD burning wizard (part of the file manager in XP) should be able to do this properly.)

3. Reboot. Either alter your bios settings (usually press delete at boot) to set booting off the CD above booting off your hard disk, or use a boot menu (usually press F12 at boot. Then, select CD from a list) You should see a menu with colours, and after five seconds Puppy should boot up.

Using QEMU:

2. Install QEMU for your computer. Packages for Windows are available here.

3. Run QEMU with the option -cdrom puppy-whatever.iso and the location of your USB stick. More here.

qemu -k en-gb -m 512 -localtime -boot d -cdrom puppy-3.01-seamonkey.iso /dev/sdb1

Now follow this guide to use Puppy Universal Installer

1. Choose your keyboard settings, and then ‘xorg’ and the correct screen resolution.
Puppy should boot up, and you should see the following screen:

Puppy's Desktop

Puppy Linux's default Desktop

If you have no luck, you may need to change settings or add boot parameters (such as ‘noacpi’) next time you boot up, that sometimes can make it work properly.

2. Left click on the bottom left menu icon to bring up the menu. Select “puppy universal installer”.

Setup > Puppy universal installer

Setup > Puppy universal installer

3. Choose to install to a usb stick (the first option).

4. Choose your device.

5. Choose the first option. The others are strange and experimental, and sometimes work with old hardware, but it is not recommended.

6. Choose from CD if you are using a live disc.

7. Choose “mbr.bin from the syslinux package.” It seems to work the best, and is what I’ll use in the rest of this guide.

8. You may need to set the usb stick’s partition to have a ‘boot’ flag set using a great tool called gparted. Gparted is quite easy to use, just read what comes up on the purple popup.

9. An orange box should pop up. Press enter to continue.

10. Congratulations; the stick should now boot Puppy. You can use BIOS boot order or a boot menu to boot off USB.

More on USB Linux Howto.

USB Linux Howto: Puppy 4.1 7 October, 2008

Posted by aronzak in Linux, Live Linux, Live Usb, Puppy Linux.
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Puppy Linux version 4.1, or ‘410’ is now the latest version of Puppy Linux that has many improvements ‘under the hood’, while there are few immediately apparent changes. This is what’s new:

– Bugs fixed
– Newer kernel, newer software. Also, a new kernel compression system.
– Now there is no zdrv.sfs, meaning that there is one less file to deal with.
– New applications, including:
– F-prot virus scanning for Windows drives
– Blog software, which can be used as a personal diary, or exported.
– Voice over IP client using SIP

Here’s how to put Puppy 410 onto a bootable stick, using Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex. If you don’t already have a bootable USB stick, follow this. If you already have a CD or USB stick version, you can use the ‘Puppy universal installer’ method here.

1. Download a cd disk image (.iso) from here. It should be about 95 megabytes.

2. Open the .iso with file-roller (called “Archive manager”)

3. Extract the iso to your usb stick. Here, it is called “CORSAIR”, a Corsair Flash Voyager.

4. Open isolinux.cfg

6. Select text in the middle of the file and copy it to the clipboard.

5. Open syslinux.cfg. This might be in a folder called ‘boot’ and ‘syslinux’

7.  Paste the information at the bottom of syslinux.cfg

8. Change the entry to your needs, and change pmedia=cd to pmedia=usbflash. If you have the file syslinux.cfg in boot/syslinux, you’ll need to add a slash to vmlinuz and initrd.gz

9. Save the file. Safely eject the stick with the eject icon, and then have fun.

Using Unetbootin to install Linux to a USB stick 28 September, 2008

Posted by aronzak in Linux, Live Linux, Live Usb, Syslinux.
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A new program, Universal Network Bootloader Installer (unetbootin) can be used to set up a USB drive to boot. It can be run on Windows 2000 and above and Linux. It’s very simple to use. First, download and install unetbootin. Then:

– Make sure you have a USB stick with free space. You shouldn’t need to backup your files, but it’s always a good idea.
– Download a disk image (.iso) of the Linux you want to put on the stick.
– Run unetbootin
– Select ‘diskimage’ and select the .iso file
– Make sure you have the right USB device and press ‘OK’

Or, if it is listed in the program, you can just run that.

That should then set up your USB device to boot up.

You can then go on to add more versions of Linux or other tools to the stick.

Back to USB Linux Howto.

USB Linux Howto: Backtrack 31 August, 2008

Posted by aronzak in Backtrack, Linux, Live Usb.
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1 comment so far
Backtrack's Desktop

Backtrack's Desktop

Name:    Backtrack 3
Website:  http://www.remote-exploit.org/backtrack.html
Wiki:        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BackTrack
Size:       778 MB

Backtrack is an excellent distro. It comes with a nice looking KDE 3 interface, and features a large number of tools. Most of these you would have to learn about first in order to use. It also has a pretty framebuffer interface that makes the shells (shown during startup) look really nice.

Backtrack has working wifi drivers for some atheros cards, and works out of the box on my Asus Eee PC 701. Comes with aircrack-ng and other interesting software. Try not to get caught.