Need help with Live USB stick installation

I want to write an openSUSE 11.2 RC1 ISO image to a USB stick. The only catch is that it will not be the first partition on the USB device.

I have a 16 GB USB device with a number of partitions. I have to put openSUSE on the 2nd partition. I have done that according to the instructions (see links below) and I have marked this partition with the bootable flag, but it will not boot.

Live USB stick - openSUSE
Installing USB Image into flash drives in SUSE Studio - openSUSE

Can anyone help with this? Thanks.

If you followed the instructions on those 2 links using the dd command as specified, you won’t have a second partition on your USB stick to mark as bootable?

This warning, “Please bear in mind that this will *completely overwrite the USB device so make sure you don’t have any important data on it first!” appears more than once.

Let me clarify. I have existing partitions on the USB device. Let’s call them sdb1, sdb2, … sbdN.

I put openSUSE on sdb2. I used the following code and it does not, in fact, overwrite the entire USB device. I’m sure of that. I believe it only overwrites sdb2, although I cannot be 100% sure it doesn’t touch any other area of the device.

dd if=openSUSE-KDE4-LiveCD-x86_64-Build0334-Media.iso of=/dev/sdb2 bs=4M

The warning you cite assume there is only one partition on the USB device, afaik.

However, something did not work as planned. So I would appreciate some more advanced feedback. I know that are enough dd options to give me complete control of the writing process, but I use dd rarely enough that I could use some expert feedback. Thanks.

You’re right. Specifying sdb2 as the target from dd won’t overwrite the entire USB stick…but that’s not how instructions in the links you referenced are set out; those methods assume you will effectively be “spoofing” a mounted cd.

The only way I’ve ever been able to control bootable partitions on a USB stick is by installing GRUB onto the stick, which is going to screw up your existing partitions anyway. This was to have the OSs installed on the stick, not using the stick as an installation medium. Never tried with a Live CD iso - I just don’t think they’re designed to be used that way.

So I’ll defer to anyone who can offer some “advanced feedback” :wink:

Thanks. I did experiment with putting grub on the stick and that approach will not work with the openSUSE LiveCD – at least not in a straightforward manner. I tried this first, actually.

Maybe I need to wipe the MBR of the stick now? (I can do that with dd if needed.)

I know just enough to be dangerous, so definitely looking for “advanced feedback” – i.e., anyone willing to send me off with some commands to try :slight_smile:

At your risk (i.e. I haven’t tried this but will this evening…):

Have you tried the method described here



Tried the method I linked to above but it failed on running the script (wonder if that’s customised specifically for the dvd iso?)- too late now for me to figure out the script so I’m really going to leave it for some “advanced feedback”


I checked out that link. But now I decided I want to try installing with no CD, no DVD and no memory stick. There is a way to do it and right now I’m reading this page about it: