Bootable USB Buster System

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Bootable USB Buster System

Kenneth Parker-2
Hello,

What I want,  is almost there (put a Live Buster DVD on a USB Drive), but I'm hoping for more.

I'd like to format my USB Drive into, at least three Partitions, preferably using msdos Partitioning (so it can Boot from older systems).  The Partitions are Root, Swap and Home.  So far, so good, I've done this before.  

What is different this time, is that I'd like to be able to Boot this from different Systems, probing their Network, Sound, Video, Keyboard and Mouse systems on Bootup, but leaving any Local Hard Drives alone.  Existing systems do this, for example, Knoppix, but it's doing a "Mini Install" each time.  I'd like to, only have the Hardware testing, but not the rest of the Install occurring.  Also, this allows me to have Static Data (i.e Logs), saved from System to System.  Sort of like a "Super Rescue System".

Are you with me so far?  Have people done this?

Thank you in advance.

Kenneth Parker
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Re: Bootable USB Buster System

Peter Ehlert-2
I have tried it, several times, but was unable to get Grub properly
installed... not able to boot.
I too would like such a tool

On 10/26/19 9:33 AM, Kenneth Parker wrote:

> Hello,
>
> What I want,  is almost there (put a Live Buster DVD on a USB Drive),
> but I'm hoping for more.
>
> I'd like to format my USB Drive into, at least three Partitions,
> preferably using msdos Partitioning (so it can Boot from older
> systems).  The Partitions are Root, Swap and Home.  So far, so good,
> I've done this before.
>
> What is different this time, is that I'd like to be able to Boot this
> from different Systems, probing their Network, Sound, Video, Keyboard
> and Mouse systems on Bootup, but leaving any Local Hard Drives alone. 
> Existing systems do this, for example, Knoppix, but it's doing a "Mini
> Install" each time.  I'd like to, only have the Hardware testing, but
> not the rest of the Install occurring.  Also, this allows me to have
> Static Data (i.e Logs), saved from System to System. Sort of like a
> "Super Rescue System".
>
> Are you with me so far?  Have people done this?
>
> Thank you in advance.
>
> Kenneth Parker

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Re: Bootable USB Buster System

Joe Rowan
In reply to this post by Kenneth Parker-2
On Sat, 26 Oct 2019 12:33:52 -0400
Kenneth Parker <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hello,
>
> What I want,  is almost there (put a Live Buster DVD on a USB Drive),
> but I'm hoping for more.
>
> I'd like to format my USB Drive into, at least three Partitions,
> preferably using msdos Partitioning (so it can Boot from older
> systems).  The Partitions are Root, Swap and Home.  So far, so good,
> I've done this before.
>
> What is different this time, is that I'd like to be able to Boot this
> from different Systems, probing their Network, Sound, Video, Keyboard
> and Mouse systems on Bootup, but leaving any Local Hard Drives alone.
>  Existing systems do this, for example, Knoppix, but it's doing a
> "Mini Install" each time.  I'd like to, only have the Hardware
> testing, but not the rest of the Install occurring.  Also, this
> allows me to have Static Data (i.e Logs), saved from System to
> System.  Sort of like a "Super Rescue System".
>
> Are you with me so far?  Have people done this?
>

I always understood that Knoppix and other live CDs/DVDs didn't touch
the host drive(s) at all, unless you specifically requested a hard-drive
installation.

I did something like this a few years ago. I had a very small USB hard
drive (with the USB actually on the drive PCB, they don't make them any
more) with an i386 installation, 'include all drivers', and it would
boot on practically any PC. It was a normal Debian system, so saving
logs and stuff was automatic. I won't swear that it drove all the
hardware, but I never noticed a problem.

--
Joe

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Re: Bootable USB Buster System

deloptes-2
In reply to this post by Kenneth Parker-2
Kenneth Parker wrote:

> What is different this time, is that I'd like to be able to Boot this from
> different Systems, probing their Network, Sound, Video, Keyboard and Mouse
> systems on Bootup, but leaving any Local Hard Drives alone.  Existing
> systems do this, for example, Knoppix, but it's doing a "Mini Install"
> each time.  I'd like to, only have the Hardware testing, but not the rest
> of the Install occurring.  Also, this allows me to have Static Data (i.e
> Logs), saved from System to System.  Sort of like a "Super Rescue System".
>
> Are you with me so far?  Have people done this?
>
> Thank you in advance.
>
> Kenneth Parker

Just did this yesterday on a RHEL server - it actually doesn't matter what
linux is there. It all works the  same way.

I used EFI so I setup GPT and created the 3 partitions marking the first
(EFI) as bootable.
Format all as required and mount for example
        mount /dev/sdd2 /mnt/target
        mount /dev/sdd1 /mnt/target/boot/efi
        mount /dev/sdd3 /mnt/target/home

After this I copied all the required content to those partitions.
Adjust the /etc/fstab (use UUIDs - this is the most important part)

blkid /dev/sda1 etc to get the UUID

Run grub-install --root.... --boot-efi ... /dev/sdd and so on.

Double check /mnt/target/boot/grub.conf it must have your root UUID
Double check /mnt/target/boot/efi/EFI/redhat/grub.conf it must have your
root UUID

Rebooted and voila it works.

regards

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Re: Bootable USB Buster System

Brian
In reply to this post by Kenneth Parker-2
On Sat 26 Oct 2019 at 12:33:52 -0400, Kenneth Parker wrote:

> Hello,
>
> What I want,  is almost there (put a Live Buster DVD on a USB Drive), but
> I'm hoping for more.
>
> I'd like to format my USB Drive into, at least three Partitions, preferably
> using msdos Partitioning (so it can Boot from older systems).  The
> Partitions are Root, Swap and Home.  So far, so good, I've done this
> before.
>
> What is different this time, is that I'd like to be able to Boot this from
> different Systems, probing their Network, Sound, Video, Keyboard and Mouse
> systems on Bootup, but leaving any Local Hard Drives alone.  Existing
> systems do this, for example, Knoppix, but it's doing a "Mini Install" each
> time.  I'd like to, only have the Hardware testing, but not the rest of the
> Install occurring.  Also, this allows me to have Static Data (i.e Logs),
> saved from System to System.  Sort of like a "Super Rescue System".

Would you please explain what you mean by "...leaving any Local Hard
Drives alone."?

> Are you with me so far?  Have people done this?

I think I have so.

--
Brian.

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Re: Bootable USB Buster System

deloptes-2
In reply to this post by deloptes-2
deloptes wrote:

> Just did this yesterday on a RHEL server - it actually doesn't matter what
> linux is there. It all works the  same way.
>
> I used EFI so I setup GPT and created the 3 partitions marking the first
> (EFI) as bootable.
> Format all as required and mount for example
> mount /dev/sdd2 /mnt/target
> mount /dev/sdd1 /mnt/target/boot/efi
> mount /dev/sdd3 /mnt/target/home
>
> After this I copied all the required content to those partitions.
> Adjust the /etc/fstab (use UUIDs - this is the most important part)
>

Perhaps I should add that I usually debootstrap debian at this step.

> blkid /dev/sda1 etc to get the UUID
>
> Run grub-install --root.... --boot-efi ... /dev/sdd and so on.
>
> Double check /mnt/target/boot/grub.conf it must have your root UUID
> Double check /mnt/target/boot/efi/EFI/redhat/grub.conf it must have your
> root UUID
>

don't know how it looks like with debian and EFI - it is still on my todo
list

> Rebooted and voila it works.
>
> regards

Perhaps I should write a howto as I see +1 interested

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Re: Bootable USB Buster System

Tom Browder
On Sat, Oct 26, 2019 at 12:52 deloptes <[hidden email]> wrote:
deloptes wrote:
...
> Rebooted and voila it works.
>
> regards

Perhaps I should write a howto as I see +1 interested

That would be great! As usual, the Devil is in the details!

Best regards,

-Tom
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Re: Bootable USB Buster System

songbird
In reply to this post by Peter Ehlert-2
Peter Ehlert wrote:
> I have tried it, several times, but was unable to get Grub properly
> installed... not able to boot.
> I too would like such a tool

  hmm, i have a booting USB stick of stable (before recent
release so i'm actually one stable back now :) ).  no issues
at all booting from it and i don't recall installing GRUB
to it.

  i use UEFI booting most of the time via refind so i don't
bios boot often, but it does work.

  i did a standard install to the USB from the debian
netinst image, put the MATE desktop on it and any
things i wanted on there.  so you can load up any
software packages you want.

  to me i don't really understand LiveImages appeal
if you can just boot a system via USB anyways.  i have
not delved into them for this reason.


  songbird

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Re: Bootable USB Buster System

songbird
In reply to this post by Brian
Brian wrote:
...
> Would you please explain what you mean by "...leaving any Local Hard
> Drives alone."?

  i would assume that booting from a USB device which
only mounts that device and none of the hard drives
unless they are specified in the fstab of the USB system's
/etc

  other standard temporary fs like run and tmp could
possibly be set up if needed.


  songbird

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Re: Bootable USB Buster System

deloptes-2
In reply to this post by Tom Browder
Tom Browder wrote:

> That would be great! As usual, the Devil is in the details!

well, it is not a rocket science as shown above - I'll post here this
evening or tomorrow. I need to redo this on the debian system and see if
there are some differences

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Re: Bootable USB Buster System

Richard Owlett-3
On 10/27/2019 04:27 AM, deloptes wrote:
> Tom Browder wrote:
>
>> That would be great! As usual, the Devil is in the details!
>
> well, it is not a rocket science as shown above - I'll post here this
> evening or tomorrow. I need to redo this on the debian system and see if
> there are some differences
>

Would what you do explicitly depend on EFI?
I don't have a clear idea of what Kenneth described in his original post.
HOWEVER, having such a system might be worthwhile to explore some of my
ideas. I have a collection of elderly machines, some with only legacy BIOS.

Thank you.



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Re: Bootable USB Buster System

deloptes-2
Richard Owlett wrote:

> Would what you do explicitly depend on EFI?
> I don't have a clear idea of what Kenneth described in his original post.
> HOWEVER, having such a system might be worthwhile to explore some of my
> ideas. I have a collection of elderly machines, some with only legacy
> BIOS.

My requirement, I described above, was to prepare a bootable USB from a RHEL
server, which uses EFI. I have done this before many times on Debian
without EFI. I will test this with Buster and post the steps here next.

I use such USB sticks for resque operations or when I need to for example
extend a root partition, or whatever you can imagine.

Regarding older hardware, it might be  that the kernel does not support this
or that. You know Debian does not support CPU<=586 and might be that some
drivers are missing, but when you run from the USB, you will know for sure.

regards

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Re: Bootable USB Buster System

Peter Ehlert-2
In reply to this post by songbird

On 10/26/19 5:41 PM, songbird wrote:

> Peter Ehlert wrote:
>> I have tried it, several times, but was unable to get Grub properly
>> installed... not able to boot.
>> I too would like such a tool
>    hmm, i have a booting USB stick of stable (before recent
> release so i'm actually one stable back now :) ).  no issues
> at all booting from it and i don't recall installing GRUB
> to it.
>
>    i use UEFI booting most of the time via refind so i don't
> bios boot often, but it does work.
I don't use UEFI, perhaps that is the difference.

>
>    i did a standard install to the USB from the debian
> netinst image, put the MATE desktop on it and any
> things i wanted on there.  so you can load up any
> software packages you want.
>
>    to me i don't really understand LiveImages appeal
> if you can just boot a system via USB anyways.  i have
> not delved into them for this reason.
>
>
>    songbird
>
>
>

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Re: Bootable USB Buster System

Richard Owlett-3
In reply to this post by deloptes-2
On 10/27/2019 09:31 AM, deloptes wrote:

> Richard Owlett wrote:
>
>> Would what you do explicitly depend on EFI?
>> I have a collection of elderly machines, some with only legacy
>> BIOS.
>
>[snip]
> Regarding older hardware, it might be  that the kernel does not support this
> or that. You know Debian does not support CPU<=586 and might be that some
> drivers are missing, but when you run from the USB, you will know for sure.

With my eclectic hardware, processor type and BIOS are independent
variables. I do run the i386 flavor of Debian more out of inertia than
necessity. I believe one important machine has only legacy BIOS. I have
not considered moving to EFI as I am not aware that it would have any
personal benefit and time spent on learning curve would be better spent
elsewhere.

YMMV ;/
Thank you.


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Re: Bootable USB Buster System

deloptes-2
In reply to this post by Peter Ehlert-2
Peter Ehlert wrote:

> I have tried it, several times, but was unable to get Grub properly
> installed... not able to boot.
> I too would like such a tool


Let me know how it works - perhaps someone could put it on the Debian Wiki
after refinement.

regards

Debootstrap_Into_USB-Stick (7K) Download Attachment
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Re: Bootable USB Buster System

Brian
On Sun 27 Oct 2019 at 19:41:12 +0100, deloptes wrote:

> Peter Ehlert wrote:
>
> > I have tried it, several times, but was unable to get Grub properly
> > installed... not able to boot.
> > I too would like such a tool
>  
> Let me know how it works - perhaps someone could put it on the Debian Wiki
> after refinement.

Why "someone"? Why not you?

>
> regards
>
> This is a step by step how to to install debian on a USB stick and
> make this stick bootable.  The stick in the example is found under
> /dev/sdb. Change to fit your setup.

[Clear instructions snipped]

The installer can be used to install to a USB stick. What disadvantage
is there in doing that?

--
Brian.

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Re: Bootable USB Buster System

Richard Owlett-3
On 10/27/2019 03:12 PM, Brian wrote:

""
*!*


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Re: Bootable USB Buster System

deloptes-2
In reply to this post by Brian
Brian wrote:

> Why "someone"? Why not you?
>

Cause I may not have the time to do so, but of course it can be me.

>>
>> regards
>>
>> This is a step by step how to to install debian on a USB stick and
>> make this stick bootable.  The stick in the example is found under
>> /dev/sdb. Change to fit your setup.
>
> [Clear instructions snipped]
>
> The installer can be used to install to a USB stick. What disadvantage
> is there in doing that?

There is no disadvantage but perhaps you want to make a copy of your system
to a usb stick or drive, and using debootstrap is IMO a convenient way to
get a default example.

I do not use the installer that often. Following the procedure I can also
copy a pre-configured system from a usb drive/stick to a pc/server.
And the bonus is that I do not have to download all the packages again.

regards

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Re: Bootable USB Buster System

Brian
On Sun 27 Oct 2019 at 21:22:41 +0100, deloptes wrote:

> Brian wrote:
>
> > Why "someone"? Why not you?
>
> Cause I may not have the time to do so, but of course it can be me.

Time (and the fun in taking on a task) is what keeps Debian alive.

> >> This is a step by step how to to install debian on a USB stick and
> >> make this stick bootable.  The stick in the example is found under
> >> /dev/sdb. Change to fit your setup.
> >
> > [Clear instructions snipped]
> >
> > The installer can be used to install to a USB stick. What disadvantage
> > is there in doing that?
>
> There is no disadvantage but perhaps you want to make a copy of your system
> to a usb stick or drive, and using debootstrap is IMO a convenient way to
> get a default example.

A fair point. But that wasn't the focus of the instructions.
 
> I do not use the installer that often. Following the procedure I can also
> copy a pre-configured system from a usb drive/stick to a pc/server.
> And the bonus is that I do not have to download all the packages again.

Another reasonable justification.

The OP will be along in a while to give his assessment of the suggested
techniques and how they fit his aspirations.

--
Brian.

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Re: Bootable USB Buster System

deloptes-2
Brian wrote:

>> Cause I may not have the time to do so, but of course it can be me.
>
> Time (and the fun in taking on a task) is what keeps Debian alive.
>

I would write a wiki on debian only if it is approved by the community. I
think it is fair, so if we agree, but also someone else can do this, why
not - for example OP could bring his share or even you.

>> >> This is a step by step how to to install debian on a USB stick and
>> >> make this stick bootable.  The stick in the example is found under
>> >> /dev/sdb. Change to fit your setup.
>> >
>> > [Clear instructions snipped]
>> >
>> > The installer can be used to install to a USB stick. What disadvantage
>> > is there in doing that?
>>
>> There is no disadvantage but perhaps you want to make a copy of your
>> system to a usb stick or drive, and using debootstrap is IMO a convenient
>> way to get a default example.
>
> A fair point. But that wasn't the focus of the instructions.
>

Problem is a setup is always different, but I could include the commands I
use for copying a running system over - or lets say the basics.

>> I do not use the installer that often. Following the procedure I can also
>> copy a pre-configured system from a usb drive/stick to a pc/server.
>> And the bonus is that I do not have to download all the packages again.
>
> Another reasonable justification.
>
I have put this from couple of sources during the years with different
variation (crypted root with or without lvm and so on). As mentioned last
week I did this exercise on a RHEL server. It seems to be a robust process.

Another advantage is that you get only the base system installed - I do not
recall if this option exists in the installer, but I assume it exists.

> The OP will be along in a while to give his assessment of the suggested
> techniques and how they fit his aspirations.

lets see.

thanks for the opinion

regards

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