USB bootable image for installing Slackware 11.0

If you want to use NFS for installing Slackware, or have the packages already
on a local disk, and don't want to be bothered by writing a Slackware
bootable CDROM (or because you like the greater read speed of USB sticks),
then this is for you:

A small (<40MB) image that you can copy to any USB stick.
The stick will transform in a bootable Slackware installer.

Copy the image to a USB stick:

   dd if=usbboot.img of=/dev/sda

(if /dev/sda is the device name for your USB stick).

NOTE 1: This will overwrite any data that is currently present on the device
        so take very good care not to type the name of your harddisk here!
NOTE 2: your computer BIOS must support booting from "USB HDD"


Plug the stick into your computer's USB slot, and boot it up. Make sure you
select "boot from USB-HDD" - how you  do this is very dependent on the type
of computer you have. Many computers will display a message during the initial
stages of the booting that says something like
  "Press [F12] for a boot device list"
The Slackware installer will start just like when you had booted from a CDROM.
Log in as "root". Start the install by partitioning your hard drive as usual,
and running "setup".
If you want to install from a NFS server, you should run the commands "pcmcia"
(if your network card is PCMCIA) and/or "network" prior to running "setup"
in order to load a driver for your network card.

If you want to install Slackware using a local hard disk partition where you
copied the Slackware tree in advance, that is also an option. It would not make
much sense to opt for the third install method "use a CDROM" since we just
abandoned the use of a CDROM medium :-)


After writing the usbboot.img to the USB stick, if you run "fdisk -l" you will
see alarming output like this:
  | This doesn't look like a partition table
  | Probably you selected the wrong device.
  |    Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
  | /dev/sda1   ?     8563200     8326647  2088818490    1  FAT12
  | Partition 1 has different physical/logical beginnings (non-Linux?):
  |      phys=(124, 38, 11) logical=(8563199, 1, 16)
  | Partition 1 has different physical/logical endings:
  |      phys=(344, 195, 26) logical=(8326646, 0, 49)
  | Partition 1 does not end on cylinder boundary.
... and so on, for partitions 2, 3 and 4 as well.
This is actually harmless. The usbboot.img uses the "raw" device, it did not
create partitions at all. Fdisk reads the information in the first sector and
incorrectly interprets that.
This also means that if you want to re-use your USB stick as an 'ordinary'
data carrier, that you'll have to wipe the first sector and create a new FAT
partition on it. These are the actual commands (note that the fdisk command
spans 10 lines, from the "fdisk /dev/sda " up to the final "EOF". This is called
a "here document" - look it up!
All the commands needed to create the FAT partition fully automatic are
positioned on their own line.
You can of course create the FAT partition manually but consider this as a
bonus learning experience :-) 

# -------------------------------------------------------------
# Commands to re-create a functional USB stick with FAT partition:
# Take care about which device actually is your USB stick !!!!!!!!!
# The next command will make all data on /dev/sda inaccessible:
dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=512 count=1
fdisk /dev/sda <<EOF   # create a FAT16 partition (type '6')

mkdosfs -F32 /dev/sda1 # Create a FAT32 filesystem (aka 'vfat')
# -------------------------------------------------------------


The script I used to create this image can be found here:

Have fun! Report problems to me (alien at slackware dot com) and not to Pat
because this is unofficial and not (yet) part of Slackware.

For Slackware 12.0 and onwards, please use the files and instructions you find
in the respective /usb-and-pxe-installers/ directory.

Eric Hameleers <alien at slackware dot com> 21-sep-2006
[ICO]NameLast modifiedSizeDescription

[DIR]Parent Directory  -  
[   ]README23-Jul-2007 09:43 4.2K 
[TXT]usbboot.img.md501-Oct-2006 03:55 46  
[   ]usbboot.img01-Oct-2006 03:55 36M 

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