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 Forum index » House Training » HOWTO ( Solutions )
How to Make a Puppy Flash Drive using Another Linux
Moderators: Flash, Ian, JohnMurga
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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 8906
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Sat 17 Apr 2010, 11:34    Post_subject:  How to Make a Puppy Flash Drive using Another Linux  

This article will try to resolve the following chicken-versus-egg situation: My computer doesn't have a CD writer. So I can't make a Puppy Live CD. So I can't run Puppy. So I can't run the Universal Installer. So I can't install Puppy onto a flash drive. So I can't run Puppy.

Windows users can solve this problem with Unetbootin. But Linux-only users need an alternative.

In order to proceed, the following things must be true.

1. Your flash drive has the standard DOS/Win boot code on its MBR. It should, but see the note at the end.
2. The flash drive partition is flagged as bootable. Check this with Gparted.
3. Your Linux has the syslinux bootloader package. It probably does.

Here are the steps.

1. Determine the device name of your flash drive partition. It should be something like sdb1. But making a mistake with the device name can cause bad things to happen. Buyer beware.

2. Plug in the flash drive but don't mount it. Type:
Code:
syslinux /dev/sdxy

where sdxy is the flash drive partition. This installs the syslinux bootloader.

3. Mount the flash drive and make a file named syslinux.cfg containing the following line:
Code:
default vmlinuz initrd=initrd.gz pmedia=usbflash

4. Download the Puppy ISO file and mount it.
Code:
mkdir mnt
mount -o loop pupxxx.iso mnt

5. Copy three files from the mounted ISO to the flash drive - vmlinuz, initrd.gz and pupxxx.sfs.

6. Unmount everything and boot off the flash drive.

If it won't boot, here are some trouble-shooting questions.

Do you know for sure that your machine supports USB bootability? Many older machines (and some newer ones) don't. The best scenario is where the BIOS detects the flash drive as a secondary hard drive.

Have you modified your BIOS boot priority list to enable USB booting?

How is the flash drive formatted? Some users report better results with fat16 than fat32.

Does the MBR of your flash drive contain the standard boot code? If not, you can manually update the code as follows:

1. Locate a file named "mbr.bin" in the syslinux package. Look for it in a folder like /usr/lib/syslinux.

2. Write this file onto the MBR of your flash drive using a command like:
Code:
 dd if=mbr.bin of=/dev/sdb

Note that this command uses "sdb" and not "sdb1"
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darkcity


Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 2424
Location: near here

PostPosted: Sat 02 Jul 2011, 11:05    Post_subject:  

This is a well written guide, would you mind if I added it to the PUppy wiki?
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Aitch


Joined: 04 Apr 2007
Posts: 6825
Location: Chatham, Kent, UK

PostPosted: Sat 02 Jul 2011, 14:17    Post_subject:  

darkcity - good work on the wiki

thanks

Aitch Smile
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darkcity


Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 2424
Location: near here

PostPosted: Sat 02 Jul 2011, 16:50    Post_subject:    

its a pleasure, hopefully its usefulness will keep growing ; -)
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sacsdu

Joined: 25 Mar 2013
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon 25 Mar 2013, 06:18    Post_subject:  Re: How to Make a Puppy Flash Drive using Another Linux  

rcrsn51 wrote:
This article will try to resolve the following chicken-versus-egg situation: My computer doesn't have a CD writer. So I can't make a Puppy Live CD. So I can't run Puppy. So I can't run the Universal Installer. So I can't install Puppy onto a flash drive. So I can't run Puppy.

Windows users can solve this problem with Unetbootin. But Linux-only users need an alternative.

In order to proceed, the following things must be true.

1. Your flash drive has the standard DOS/Win boot code on its MBR. It should, but see the note at the end.
2. The flash drive partition is flagged as bootable. Check this with Gparted.
3. Your Linux has the syslinux bootloader package. It probably does.

Here are the steps.

1. Determine the device name of your flash drive partition. It should be something like sdb1. But making a mistake with the device name can cause bad things to happen. Buyer beware.

2. Plug in the flash drive but don't mount it. Type:
Code:
syslinux /dev/sdxy

where sdxy is the flash drive partition. This installs the syslinux bootloader.

3. Mount the flash drive and make a file named syslinux.cfg containing the following line:
Code:
default vmlinuz initrd=initrd.gz pmedia=usbflash

4. Download the Puppy ISO file and mount it.
Code:
mkdir mnt
mount -o loop pupxxx.iso mnt

5. Copy three files from the mounted ISO to the flash drive - vmlinuz, initrd.gz and pupxxx.sfs.

6. Unmount everything and boot off the flash drive.

If it won't boot, here are some trouble-shooting questions.

Do you know for sure that your machine supports USB bootability? Many older machines (and some newer ones) don't. The best scenario is where the BIOS detects the flash drive as a secondary hard drive.

Have you modified your BIOS boot priority list to enable USB booting?

How is the flash drive formatted? Some users report better results with fat16 than fat32.

Does the MBR of your flash drive contain the standard boot code? If not, you can manually update the code as follows:

1. Locate a file named "mbr.bin" in the syslinux package. Look for it in a folder like /usr/lib/syslinux.

2. Write this file onto the MBR of your flash drive using a command like:
Code:
 dd if=mbr.bin of=/dev/sdb

Note that this command uses "sdb" and not "sdb1"


Did you see syslinux or extlinux is not working with puppy linux for ext4 filesystem on the USB flash key. I was disappointed to see that. Though the workaround is to use another Linux but I think puppy should really fix it. I mentioned it on my blog post. It would be so nice to see that Puppy Universal USB Installer works with ext4 as well.
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darkcity


Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 2424
Location: near here

PostPosted: Mon 25 Mar 2013, 10:21    Post_subject:  

Hi sacsdu

Welcome to the forum. Thanks for reporting the ext4 bug.

This thread is about installing Puppy without the Puppy Universal USB Installer.

I recommend starting a new thread in the 'Bugs' forum, as I can't find a specific thread about that program
http://murga-linux.com/puppy/index.php?f=10

BTW I've added your blog to the Puppy Sites wiki page
http://puppylinux.org/wikka/PuppySites

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sacsdu

Joined: 25 Mar 2013
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed 03 Apr 2013, 02:18    Post_subject:  

darkcity wrote:
Hi sacsdu

Welcome to the forum. Thanks for reporting the ext4 bug.

This thread is about installing Puppy without the Puppy Universal USB Installer.

I recommend starting a new thread in the 'Bugs' forum, as I can't find a specific thread about that program
http://murga-linux.com/puppy/index.php?f=10

BTW I've added your blog to the Puppy Sites wiki page
http://puppylinux.org/wikka/PuppySites


Submitted under bugs here. Hope it's okay to post there.
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